Certificate of Community Engagement


Greg Sapp, Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility, Coordinator

The Certificate of Community Engagement program provides students with an opportunity to combine theory with practice that will deepen their understanding of course material and, at the same time, give them the opportunity to engage the community by solving real-world problems. The Certificate requires 4 units of community engagement courses, 100 hours of community service, and a capstone essay. For the coursework, students must take two courses that incorporate a significant service-learning component.  Students must also take two courses that devote a significant amount of theoretical attention to issues of community engagement such as social justice and environmental responsibility. No more than two units may come from the same department.

Students may complete the 100 hours of voluntary community service through any service organization recognized by Stetson that is registered with Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement, but the organizations for which the service is done must confirm the completed hours. Students may not submit more than 75 community service hours in any one academic semester and may not submit more than 50 service hours toward the completion of the requirement through the same community partner.

To complete the Certificate of Community Engagement, students will write an essay in which they reflect critically on their experience of community engagement from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Essays will be submitted to the Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility and will be reviewed by a committee composed of faculty and staff members. Students whose essays are deemed unsatisfactory may rewrite and resubmit them.

The Certificate of Community Engagement will be awarded when all undergraduate degree requirements for graduation have been met. Completion of the Certificate Program will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Course Requirements
Service-Learning Requirement2
Community Engagement Theory Requirement2
Additional Requirements
Volunteer Community Service100 hours
A Capstone Essay Integrating Theory and Practice

Detailed Guidelines

  1. A course may count toward either the Service-Learning requirement or the Community Engagement Theory requirement, but may not fulfill both requirements at the same time. Students must take four different courses to complete the course requirement.
    An independent study course may fulfill a Certificate course requirement as long as the faculty member supervising the course submits an application for the course to be approved as fulfilling either the Service-Learning course requirement or the Community Engagement Theory requirement. The application must be submitted to and approved by the Service-Learning Faculty Group.
    A student may fulfill Certificate course requirements by taking a course that does not meet the Service-Learning or Community Engagement Theory requirements by contracting with her or his professor to add those missing elements to the course. Such a contract between the student and professor must be approved by the Service-Learning Faculty Group prior to completion of the course. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain approval before the course begins.
    A student who transfers to Stetson at the level of Junior or above may apply one completed course toward the Community Engagement Theory course requirement upon approval by the Certificate Program Coordinator in consultation with the University Provost.
  2. Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all courses that are taken to fulfill Certificate coursework.
  3. Community engagement work completed as part of the required service-learning courses may not count toward the Volunteer Community Service requirement. Community work done for any additional service-learning courses may count toward the 100-hour total. All community service work submitted to fulfill the 100-hour requirement must be done through community partners that are recognized by Stetson University and registered through Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement.
  4. Capstone Essays will be determined as either “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory.” Essays that are determined to be “Unsatisfactory” may be resubmitted. Essays should demonstrate students’ critical reflections on the Certificate coursework and the community service completed.

For additional information, consult the University’s webpage for the Certificate of Community Engagement or contact Prof. Greg Sapp in the Religious Studies Department.