Community Service Guidelines

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Community service has its roots deeply embedded in the foundation of Alvernia University and is central to the mission of our Catholic, Franciscan institution. Service provides students the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to help those in need and to support local non‐profit organizations. Additionally, community service is an integral part of students’ learning experiences, contributing to their intellectual, social, and spiritual growth and development and providing a framework for students’ roles as members of both local, regional and global communities.


Community service is an unpaid, voluntary act performed by a student or group of students with an approved non‐profit agency that benefits the local community. As a Franciscan institution, Alvernia University puts special emphasis on the relational aspect of community service, and therefore asks students to partner with non‐profit organizations. A listing of approved local non‐profit organizations can be found on this page. Individual projects that do not require some amount of collaboration with an approved non‐profit organization will not be counted as community service.


All Alvernia students must perform 40 hours of community service before being certified for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to try to complete their requirements before the end of their sophomore year, and then to exceed them. Transfer students community service hours are based on remaining Alvernia credits required; transfer students should consult with the Registrar or the Holleran Center for Community Engagement for their requirements.


  1. Students must work with an approved non‐profit organization.
  2. Direct service to people who are most vulnerable is consistent with Alvernia’s Franciscan mission and encouraged. Alvernia recognizes the importance of supporting all non‐profit organizations in their efforts to fulfill their missions.
  3. Community service that is not performed with an approved Community Partner or is not on the Weekly Service Opportunities List must be pre‐approved by the Holleran Center for Community Engagement. The official list of Community Partners is compiled and maintained by the Holleran Center for Community Engagement, and is available on this page.
  4. Community service can be done with approved community partners or with pre-approved non-profit organizations in a student's home community.
  5. Students may not perform their community service under direct supervision of a relative or close family friend.
  6. Pre-approval of community service and questions may be directed to the Holleran Center for Community Engagement at 610-790-1925 or
  7. Students must turn in community service forms to the Holleran Center for Community Engagement in Bernardine Hall 102 before the end of the semester in which the hours were completed. Hours completed in the Fall Semester must be turned in by January 15th, Winterim hours by February 15th, hours for the Spring Semester by May 15th and hours for the Summer by September 15th. Forms from previous semesters will not be accepted. Forms can be completed on paper or online.
  8. Forms are not valid unless they have the name and contact information of a supervisor at the non‐profit organization. Non‐profit organizations will be assessed by Alvernia University’s Office of Institutional Research in a yearly survey.
  9. Community service is a hallmark of an Alvernia University education. Community service, along with service‐learning incorporated into individual class curriculum, forms the basis for a lifelong dedication and commitment for contributions to an Alvernian’s community. Service‐learning courses designated by Associate Director of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research of the Holleran Center qualify for 10 hours of community service, to be approved by the Professor and the Associate Director of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research of the Holleran Center.

Please contact the Holleran Center at 610-790-1925 or at for questions about the Community Service Requirement.

Holleran Center