Students paint a gate during the Big Event
Community service is woven into the fabric of Quinnipiac's culture. The Office of Community Service is a central resource for students, faculty and staff interested in volunteering in the local community. We believe service and civic engagement are agents of education and social change. We value service as a method to educate participants about local, national and international concerns and the individual's capacity to initiate change.

We are dedicated to the promotion and development of service, service learning, experiential learning, and civic engagement programs and initiatives that involve students in the local community and challenge them to critically examine the role their service plays in cultivating personal development and social change.

The Office of Community Service continually develops new programs and connections with the local community, and offers the following resources to the Quinnipiac community:

The office is available to students, faculty and staff to discuss the creation of volunteer events and assist in identifying and selecting local, national and international volunteer opportunities. Faculty and student groups can receive assistance with all of the pertinent details, from identifying an appropriate service partner to planning and logistical needs. Financial assistance for faculty and student group volunteer events is available through the office's Seed Grant Program.

Nonprofit Directory
The office compiles an annual directory of local nonprofit organizations, listing contact information and brief descriptions of each agency.

Requests for Service
The office regularly receives requests from nonprofit organizations for volunteer support. These requests are forwarded to the various student clubs and organizations and listed on the office's Web site. Individual volunteers interested in serving also are notified of specific service requests.

Off-Campus Work-Study
The work-study program provides part-time employment to students to help defray college expenses. These positions offer the opportunity to network locally, learn about the community and make a difference. Quinnipiac partners with nonprofit organizations within the Hamden and New Haven area to provide work-study positions that allow students to take an active role in strengthening the community. Off-campus work-study positions are exciting professional development opportunities for students to utilize their skills, work with professional organizations and gain resume-enhancing experience. Jobs are tailored to utilize the skills of undergraduate students and maximize their available time. Partner organizations include: AIDS Project New Haven, Gear-Up, Wallingford YMCA, Hamden Youth Services, Special Olympics Connecticut, and Schooner Inc.

Service Series
The Service Series is a program that offers educational service opportunities to Quinnipiac students. Projects are designed to engage and educate participating students about problems and challenges in the community through direct service and reflection. Each month, the Office of Community Service coordinates one service opportunity in conjunction with a specific issue or historical event. In most cases, the time commitment for participants is three to four hours.

Service Series volunteer events:
  • Confront a community need and engage the community partner
  • Engage participants in direct service
  • Orient participants on the project's value and necessity
  • Educate on the community need
  • Conclude with reflection and critical examination
The Service Series challenges students to think of service as more than just "good deeds" and use their experience to develop projects that are designed to have an impact upon their community, country and world.

Alternative Break Trips
These week-long service trips are available to students over extended break periods. Each year, the office develops at least two domestic trips that engage up to 18 students and one to two staff leaders per trip in direct service. The trips enable students to dedicate their break to making a difference, while learning about themselves, their classmates and the pressing needs of our communities.

Alternative break trips take place in the region that extends north to Maine, west to Ohio and south to North Carolina. This regional focus assists in keeping costs low by eliminating air travel and overnight hotel stays. The type of work completed on the trips depends on the nonprofit organization's mission and goals. In the past, groups have built homes, renovated camps, cleared trails, served in soup kitchens, gutted homes and worked with the homeless. Trips are designed to be low-cost, and student trip fees cover transportation, food and lodging for the week.

State-Funded Grants
The Connecticut Independent College Student Community Service Grant assists Connecticut residents who choose to attend a private institution and have unmet financial needs. This grant is a natural fit for eligible students who are familiar with volunteering and are committed to making a difference in their local community through service. For students who have little experience with volunteering, this grant offers the chance to network locally and make a difference through service, while helping to cover the costs of attending college. Eligible students are contacted by the Office of Community Service and offered the opportunity to apply at the beginning of each academic year.

America Reads Work-Study Program
America Reads is a unique work-study opportunity that enables dedicated students to help elementary school students achieve academic success. The Office of Community Service partners with local schools where America Reads tutors work in professional educational environments. Tutors work with K-5 students in a variety of situations, from one-on-one tutoring to small group work. The America Reads program partners with schools and nonprofit organizations in the local community.

Whether students are planning a career in education, exploring career options, or simply enjoy working with children, they receive unparalleled professional work experience and a first-hand look at the operations of a school. Tutors receive direct supervision and instruction from veteran educators and learn new skills to help children succeed. Many tutors develop a close working relationship with their teachers and students, and return to America Reads year after year.

To learn more, please contact:
Vincent Contrucci
Director of community service

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