One of the big appeals that  Virginia Commonwealth University  have is its open campus in the city of Richmond. Still, while much of Richmond is still accessible, the VCU campus begins to feel a little bit like a village after a while; you get in your routine and you tend to stay within a certain radius. This often makes it hard for students to find good volunteer opportunities that they seek for personal pleasure or resume building. Luckily, VCU offers a variety of service learning classes that connect you to volunteer opportunities all over the city for class credit. This article discusses the reasons to get involved with service classes at VCU.

Variety

The service learning program at VCU has grown immensely over the last 15 years. It now consists of more than 200 classes across almost all majors. Service work isn’t always manual labor. Some classes feature indirect service by working on websites, publicity, or financial aspects of the organizations they work with.

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Hands-on experience relating to class content

In each service learning class, regardless of the subject, the volunteer work will almost always be tied back into the content you learn in class. This is great for students who prefer learning by doing hands-on work. It also reinforces concepts that appear on tests or quizzes. Some studies show that 41% of people are more likely to be engaged in their work if is meaningful or fulfills a sense of purpose. Service learning is a great way to find meaning in the content you learn through the direct impact you make on your community.

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Volunteering is good for you!

Busy college students often find it hard to build time in their schedule for volunteer work. However, it is linked to reduced feelings of stress or depression, can provide a sense of fulfillment or purpose, and has the potential to expose you to opportunities to advance your personal career. Service learning incorporate volunteering into the curriculum and class time, so by taking these classes you stand to gain all of these benefits.

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“Credited” Resume Builder

Beyond a sense of community contribution, the service work done through service learning classes is great to add to resumes for jobs or applications for further education. By fulfilling the service hour requirements for your class each semester, you are not only receiving class credit but also building these valuable “resume-worthy” experiences.

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Interpersonal Connections

By working so much out in the community, service-learning students are exposed to people beyond just their fellow classmates and their professors. Through their volunteer work, they are able to meet other volunteers or organizational heads who may be a great future reference or introduce you to a great business connection. In addition, they interact with people in need through out the city and often form strong bonds.

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Overall, the service learning program at VCU offers great personal, educational, and business-related opportunities for the students that are a part of it. If you’re a VCU student looking for a meaningful, hands-on, educational experience, service learning classes may be a good choice for you.


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Chandler Girman

Mass Communications major at Virginia Commonwealth University Dallas, Richmond, Philadelphia


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