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Service Hours

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Community & Volunteer Services

Service Hours

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Kean University takes pride in the passion to serve within its students, faculty, staff and administrators. One of the primary goals of the Center for Leadership and Service is to build a culture of leadership and service within the Kean University community. The Center for Leadership and Service serves the University community as a student-focused connection point for student involvement and campus engagement. The Center encourages active citizenship and celebrates individual and community involvement.

Kean University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as a result of all of the hard work and dedication its students, faculty, staff and administrators have done to improve the lives of all members of the surrounding community. Kean University community members have volunteered countless hours.

We encourage all Kean University to record all of their community service hours so that they, and their student groups and organizations, may receive proper recognition for their efforts through special awards and the Co-Curricular Transcript program. Kean University utilizes Cougar Link as its online student involvement management and tracking system. All students who serve and student group members are strongly encouraged to utilize Cougar Link and the service hour tracking feature.

What Type of Service Hours Should Be Submitted?

The Kean University Center for Leadership and Service recognizes the three types of community and volunteer service: volunteer service, community service, and service learning. Please visit the Community and Volunteer Services webpage to learn more about the three types of service.

8-Question Community Service Hour Credit Checklist

When submitting service hours for inclusion on your Co-Curricular Transcript through Cougar Link, consider all of the following questions:

  1. Was the service activity officially sponsored, hosted, endorsed, approved or organized by Kean University through one of its offices, departments, schools, colleges or officially recognized student clubs or organizations at the time of the service activity?
    • IF YES: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 2.
    • IF NO: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
  2. Did the service activity violate any institutional, local, state or federal laws, statutes, ordinances, policies, procedures or guidelines including, but not limited to Student Code of Conduct?
    • IF YES: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
    • IF NO: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 3.
  3. Was a considerable amount of time dedicated to the service activity? Service hours should be recorded for at least 30 minutes or more.
    • IF YES: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 4.
    • IF NO: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
  4. Does the activity, at least, moderately assist a non-profit organization (ex: educational organization or institution, religious organization, charity, foundation, social welfare or advocacy organization, hospital, etc...) in fulfilling its public service mission or goals? Kean University, as an institution of higher education, falls within the category of a non-profit organization.
    • IF YES: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 5.
    • IF NO: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
  5. Does the activity contribute to bringing about positive (social) change or address a societal issue, perceived or actual?
    • IF YES: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 6.
    • IF NO: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
  6. Were you compensated or motivated monetarily or academically to serve? Did you receive pay or an honorarium as a result of your service? Were you required to serve as a course requirement?
    • IF YES: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
    • IF NO: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 7.
  7. Was your service required as a result of a student conduct sanction, judicial sentence or court order?
    • IF YES: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.
    • IF NO: Your service hours may be eligible for credit. Continue to question 8.
  8. Have you met all of the criteria to continue through questions 1 through 7?
    • IF YES: Your service hours are eligible for credit. You may record your service hours in Cougar Link. For more information about recording your service hours in Cougar Link, please click here.
    • IF NO: Your service hours are NOT eligible for credit. Do NOT record your service hours.

Recording Service Hours

Student volunteer service hours can be recorded into Cougar Link. Prior to submitting your service hours for approval, review the 8-question community service credit checklist. To self-report community service hours, please follow these steps:

  1. Visit Cougar Link at http://cougarlink.kean.edu.
  2. Sign in using your Kean Google username (without the “@kean.edu”) and password.
  3. Once logged in, enter the “User Drawer” toolbox by selecting your profile picture (or name initial) on the top right. The “User Drawer” will slide out from the right side of the screen.
  4. Select “Service Hours”, and this will bring you to the Cougar Link “My Service Hours” page where you can view all of your service hours for the time period selected – within the last week, month, 3 months or between a custom date set.
  5. To enter or add new service hours, select the blue button on the top right of the page for “+ ADD SERVICE HOURS”.
  6. On the “Add Service Hours” page, select the organization you are attributing your service hours to. Was your service through a recognized Kean University organization or department?
    1. ​​IF YES: Select the campus organization from the "Organization" drop down list. You must be a member of the organization within the Cougar Link system to have the organization appear on your drop down list.
      • If you have requested to join an organization, but have not been confirmed, please contact the organization's president and/or secretary to confirm your membership in the organization. For more information about joining an organization in Cougar Link, please click here.
    2. IF NO: All general Kean University student service hours may be entered through "Cougar Volunteers". Cougar Volunteers is a general organization within the Cougar Link system that is used as a general database of student volunteers. To enter your hours through Cougar Volunteers, select
      • If “Cougar Volunteers” does not appear as an organization in your organization drop down list, this means you are not a current member of “Cougar Volunteers” within Cougar Link. You MUST be a member of “Cougar Volunteers” to enter service hours for “Cougar Volunteers”. To join “Cougar Volunteers”, please go to the Cougar Volunteers page at https://kean.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/volunteer and select “JOIN” on the top left of the organization page – upon clicking join you must select your roster visibility setting and then select “CONFIRM” to fully join Cougar Volunteers. Once you have joined you may return to the “Add Service Hours” page.
  7. For the “Description”, please enter the name of the service project.
  8. Enter the date of the service project for “Date”.
    • If the service event spans multiple dates, please enter the last date. Also note that each individual service project should be entered individually - do not provide one combined service hour submission for multiple service events or for the same service event on multiple days. One submission must be made for each occurrence of the service project.
  9. Enter the number of hours for “Hours”.
  10. Enter the number of minutes for “Minutes”.
  11. Enter the name or email of the person responsible for the service project as the “Verification Contact”.
  12. When you are done and the information is ready to submit, please click “Create”.
    • Once you create your service hour request, it will go to the organization you identified in the first step for approval. Please note that in most cases, only an organization's President, Secretary and/or Cougar Link Primary Contact may verify and approve community service hours.
    • Hours submitted under Cougar Volunteers are verified and approved by the staff of the Center for Leadership and Service. Members of the Center for Leadership and Service staff routinely review and approve community service hours. If you do not receive a response within two business days, please email serve@kean.edu or call 908-737-5170.
    • Once approved service hour submissions become a part of a student's Co-Curricular Transcript, an official University document that records student involvement and co-curricular engagement. Wrongfully submitting service hour submissions or falsifying University records is a violation of the Kean University Student Code of Conduct. Service hour submitters are strongly encouraged to carefully review all service hour submissions prior to officially submitting the approval request.

 

Managing Community Service Hour Submissions

(Student Groups and Organization Leaders Only)

As community service hours are recorded and submitted on behalf of your organization in Cougar Link, they must be managed in a timely manner by the organization's President, Secretary, Cougar Link Primary Contact and/or other designated community service officer. A student group or organization executive board member in one of the before mentioned positions, may approve service hours using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Cougar Link at http://cougarlink.kean.edu.
  2. Log in with your Kean Google username (without the “@kean.edu”) and password.
  3. Navigate to your organization’s page through the Action Center.
  4. Enter your Organization Manager Drawer by selecting the menu icon on the left. When the Manage Drawar appears from the left, select “Service Hours” and review the pending submissions, if any. Submissions may be approved by clicking the "Approve" button or denied by clicking the "Deny" associated with each submission. When denying a service hour submission, the administrator will be able to provide an explanation to the submitter electronically. Approved service hour submissions become a part of a student's Co-Curricular Transcript, an official University document that records student involvement and co-curricular engagement. Wrongfully approving service hour submissions or falsifying University records is a violation of the Kean University Student Code of Conduct. Organization administrators are strongly encouraged to approve and deny service hour and membership requests with extreme caution. Please refer to the 8-question community service credit checklist prior to approving any community service hour submission.

To learn more about the Cougar Link organizational administration features associated with service hours, please refer to the Service Hours section of the Cougar Link Organization Administrator Guide by clicking here.

For More Information or Assistance

For more information or assistance regarding service hour records, please contact the Center for Leadership and Service at (908) 737-5170 or email serve@kean.edu.

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