Service-Learning and Civic Engagement

Serve. Share. Earn. Opportunities in and out of the classroom for you to make a difference.
Students working on a Manna Food Center project

Through academic and co-curricular service-learning and civic engagement, MC’s Service-Learning Program engages students, faculty, and community organizations in meaningful, collaborative, and mutually beneficial projects.

Our program offers opportunities in and out of the classroom for students to meet new people, learn new skills, and make a difference for a day, week, or semester at a time.

We support Montgomery College’s goal to foster community building, civic responsibility, and intercultural understanding by working to enrich the life of the community, serve as a place for neutral public dialog, and advance social justice.

Find a Service-Learning Project

Our Service-Learning Program offers opportunities in and out of the classroom for you to meet new people, learn new skills, and make a difference for a day, week, or semester at a time. Explore our collegewide programs below, and visit the Montgomery College GivePulse page for more opportunities. 

Spirit of Service Days are opportunities to learn and serve with local organizations for a day with other MC students. Past Spirit of Service Days have included Good Deeds Day, MLK Day of Service, Accenture Day of Service, annual Earth Day clean-ups, and Homeless Resource Day. 

Whether you're a regular volunteer, new to community service, or part of a club that wants to plan a day of service, we hope you'll join our network and help spread the spirit of service everywhere. Join the MC Serves team on GivePulse to get involved. 

More than 35 percent of public school students are eligible for free or reduced meals during the school week. Smart Sacks bridge the gap between Friday and Monday, providing nutritious foods for children and their families who might not have another meal until after the weekend.

Montgomery College's Offices of Student Life and Service-Learning Program currently support the following schools:

  • Germantown: Fox Chapel Elementary School
  • Rockville: Beal Elementary School
  • Takoma Park/Silver Spring: Broad Acres Elementary School 

Through Manna Food, Montgomery College students on all three campuses help over a hundred children every week.

Drop-in volunteers are needed weekly to help pack sacks on campus. Drivers are needed to help pick up and deliver food as well. If you would like to volunteer with Manna Food Smart Sacks, contact your Office of Student Life.

Career Pathways in Service Days are an opportunity to explore careers in various fields hiring in our area, learn new skills from local professionals and organizations, and make a difference through fun, hands-on volunteer projects.

Previous Career Pathways in Service Days have included Mental Health First Aid Certifications, an Environmental Science Field Day with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Opioid & Substance Abuse Training with the Montgomery County Health and Human Services. Applications for these unique service days are open throughout the year.

Applications for these unique service days will be shared as they become available.

 Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is a unique, award-winning volunteer program that pairs adults with dementia and MC student volunteers who assist in creating a one-of-a-kind art piece. OMA enables people with dementia to assume new roles as artists and teachers and leave a legacy of beautiful artwork.

MC volunteers will receive on-campus training, then volunteer for 8 weeks at the Charles E. Smith Life Communities, a local senior community. Applications are open at the beginning of Fall, Spring, and Summer I each year.

Applications for Spring 2020 will be shared as they become available.

Want to meet new people? Get away for a while? Travel to new places? Make a difference? Join other MC students on a week or weekend packed with community service, meaningful reflections, and fun activities.

Alternative Breaks are service trips that help students learn about social issues through direct service, issue education, and reflection. They help students explore how they can make a difference in their local and broader communities in the issues that matter to you, and affect us all.

Applications are available throughout the year for spring and summer break trips. 

Applications will be shared as they become available.

Impact MC (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) is a service-learning leadership development program designed to help students become change agents at MC and in our surrounding communities. In this year-long leadership development program, students work in teams to engage other MC students in service, awareness, and advocacy projects related to the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Applications are available in the summer through early fall for each year's cohort. 

Applications for the Fall 2019 cohort will be reviewed on a rolling basis through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, 2019.  

Volunteer, Track Your Hours, and Earn Awards

Givepulse is a nationwide platform that helps you find volunteer opportunities and share your service. Visit Montgomery College's GivePulse page to register for MC-specific opportunities, share your service hours, and earn MC service awards. 

Visit MC's GivePulse page to find MC-specific opportunities and events. You may log in to GivePulse using your MyMC username and password. First-time users will need to click "Sign Up" and select "Log in via your College." 

Click on the Events, Calendar, and Subgroups to explore available opportunities. 

Student clubs and organizations: To create your own events, you have to be an administrator of a subgroup. Request your own subgroup.  

Already volunteering? Use the “Add Impact” button to share your hours, rate projects, and write reflections.

  1. Go to the MC GivePulse page
  2. Log in using your MyMC credentials
  3. Select the green "Add Impact" button
  4. Select the organization with which you served (e.g., Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, etc.)
  5. Enter the name and email address of the person who supervised your service
  6. Enter the date or time span during which you served
  7. Enter your total hours served
  8. Add a description and reflection about what you did
  9. Check the boxes to share with groups that need to see your hours (e.g., a service-learning class or student club)
What to Record

Record Your Hours Spent: 

  • Performing any activity assigned to you by your  community partner
  • Creating products as directed by a community partner, e.g. grants, brochures, website
  • Performing any activity directly related to the outcome of your service project, like making flyers for a fundraiser you are helping to plan
  • Planning, researching, or preparing for activities, when necessary to complete assigned tasks or as directed by an community partner
  • Undergoing training or orientation activities, when hosted by a community partner or related organization (e.g., CPR training by the Red Cross for an assisted living center)
  • Planning projects with a community partner by remote or in-person meetings

Do NOT Record Hours Spent: 

  • Traveling to/from a service site, unless with clients or the organization as part of a related activity, e.g. a tour that is part of an orientation, training meant to prepare you to do the service task, supervising school children on a bus to a service site
  • Sleeping, i.e. when staying overnight at a service site
  • Performing work for a political candidate or political party
  • Proselytizing for a particular religion
  • Eating, unless as part of an assigned activity, e.g. at a meeting or event
  • Contacting community organizations when arranging an initial partnership
  • Research done on your own to enhance your knowledge or understanding of the partner
    Reflection activities, assigned or otherwise, e.g. journaling, making class presentations, writing class research papers  

Service awards are given annually for hours served between May 1 and April 30. Share your service in GivePulse to be considered for the following MC Service Awards: 

  • Spirit of Service Certificate (20-99 hours)
  • MC Spirit of Service Medallion (100+ hours)
  • If eligible, the U.S. President's Volunteer Service Award (100+ hours)

Applications for the President's Volunteer Service Award may be submitted year round. Apply here (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) , and learn more about the President's Volunteer Service Award.


Resources for Faculty

We'll help you integrate academic service-learning projects into your courses through reflection assignments and assessments that help measure student learning outcomes.

We'll help you integrate academic service-learning projects into your courses through reflection assignments and assessments that help measure student learning outcomes.

Academic service-learning is:

  • A teaching method using community service that addresses real community needs and reflection assignments that integrate service with learning outcome
  • A high impact approach linked to higher GPAs, increased student retention, and enhanced civic engagement
  • A form of active learning that values critical thinking and problem solving
  • A great hands-on experience for students in any discipline

The Service-Learning Coordinators have supported faculty across the College, as well as programs like Learning Communities, First-Year Experience, and Summer Bridge.

Request Support for a Class

We offer various levels of support, including: 

  • Developing new courses or a service-learning assignment for an existing course
  • Creating related reflection activities and assessment materials
  • Identifying service-learning partners
  • Training and preparing students to serve
  • Helping students find appropriate sites
  • Coordinating a class day of service

To get started, submit a request for support

Resources for Community Organizations

Information for nonprofits, schools, and government agencies interested in partnering with the College.

Information for nonprofits, schools, and government agencies interested in partnering with the College.

Are you a nonprofit, school, or government agency interested in partnering with the College? Do you have an established volunteer program or need support for a particular project? We can help you connect with service-learning courses, student clubs and organizations, and independent student volunteers. 

We also offer opportunities to recruit volunteers at networking events and our fall and spring semester Volunteer Fairs. 

Contact us to learn more about working with student volunteers and faculty.