Frequently Asked Questions
Navigating your community engagement experience can be difficult at times, and so the Center for Civic Engagement has put together several pages of frequently asked questions to help students navigate this process. Click on any of the links below to visit a set of questions, and if you cannot find the answer to your question on our website, feel free to email the CCE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I track my civic engagement?
Our office can officially track your civic engagement experiences, including direct service learning hours. Please create a CougSync account, and print off a Record of Civic Engagement form. Next, you will need to fill out the form by putting the date and number of hours completed, writing down the agency you worked with and the position you held, having the community partner sign off on the hours, signing the sheet yourself, and describing the service you completed. Finally, either you will turn the sheet into our office in the CUB room L48 or L45 or you can fax, email, or mail the sheet to us.
Where do I get my Record of Civic Engagement form?
How do I find community service opportunities?
Our team of Peer Mentors in the CCE Student Resource Center (CUB L45) is happy to help you find the right opportunity. You can also log on directly to CougSync to find civic engagement opportunities or view the complete list of partners on a Google map .
How can I request ADA accomodations?
The CCE strives to sponsor activities that are accessible to all students. If you need accommodations to fully access the activities offered through the Center for Civic Engagement, please contact Jessica Perone, Community Programs Coordinator, at 509-335-4609 orat least one week prior to the activity.
What is the difference between a CCE-led service project and a placement?
A CCE-led service project is a project directly facilitated by the Center for Civic Engagement. Throughout the project, a CCE Project Leader facilitates the experience and provides service alongside the student participants. At the completion of the project, Project Leaders provide reflection opportunities for students to discuss what they have learned as a result of the experience.
There is transportation provided to these projects, and you only have to complete this project one time if you like. To get credit for hours completed, students fill out a green sheet provided by the Project Leader.
A placement, on the other hand, is a short or long-term opportunity for individual students. Through this model, students are matched with a local community partner for a set amount of time. A student must be able to provide his or her own transportation. To get credit for hours completed in placements, students must fill out a form.
What do I do if I registered for a project and have not heard from a Project Leader or the community partner?
If you registered for a project and have not yet heard from the Project Leader, the best thing to do is contact our office, and we can give you information about the project. If you are working directly with a community partner, and they have not gotten back to you after you have tried multiple times to contact them, it would be best for you to contact the CCE and we can try to get a hold of the community partner. If we are unable to contact the partner, we can work with you to find another position that interests you.
I volunteered on my own, and the organization is not one of your community partners. Will the CCE track my hours?
If possible, before working with an agency that is not on CougSync, please contact our office for pre-approval so that we can make sure your project is considered direct service. Once you contact our office, we can give your information on how to get they can register with our office. Once the community partner is on CougSync and approved, you can turn in a completed Record of Civic Engagement form to our office, and a staff member will enter in your hours into CougSync. Again, it is important to note that in order for your hours to be tracked, our office must approve the agency as well as the volunteer work that you completed.
How long will it take to upload hours into my CougSync account?
Aside from the two weeks at the end of the semester, we guarantee that hours will be entered into CougSync within 48 business hours. At the end of the semester, hours entry may take longer but usually falls within the 48 hour window.
What types of community service can you track?
Community service is characterized by action that meets a community identified need for the benefit of under served individuals, groups, or organizations and projects focused on issues of the common good. University students are not considered 'under served,' and so we do not track work that is done only for WSU students. Community service improves the quality of life for community residents and helps to solve public problems related to issues such as childcare, youth development, literacy, education, social services, health and wellness, safety, transportation, crime prevention, recreation, rural development, or neighborhood and community improvement. The Center for Civic Engagement is unable to track hours that promote a specific faith or religion, provide financial benefit to a for-profit organization, compete with an existing service, or that are completed for a family member or personal acquaintance
Can I register my church or political party as an agency?
Washington State University is a public institution. As such, institutional activities, including those of departments such as the Center for Civic Engagement, must serve a secular and non-partisan purpose.
A comprehensive definition of civic engagement includes all the ways that citizens contribute to the quality of life in the communities in which we live, including political action as well as service to faith-based communities. Participation in partisan politics and/or religious activity can be a critical part of the civic identity of WSU students.
However, the mandate of the public institution requires that the CCE not engage in the promotion of specific political parties or religions. Therefore, the CCE cannot affiliate with political groups and religious institutions for those purposes, for example, a political campaign for public office. The CCE can affiliate with groups that provide a secular or non-partisan service to the general public, for example, a church that hosts a community food bank or a government/community group promoting voter registration.
All civic engagement activity by WSU students who hope to track their experiences in CougSync must be approved by the CCE in advance. Students who wish to engage with a faith-based group or political party may need to find an alternate way to track those experiences if documentation is required. Students are encouraged to bring their questions to a CCE peer mentor (CUB L45, 509-335-1661 or
Can you help me find a community service project for my group?
We're happy to help you set up a group project! Pleaseto learn how to create a group project.
My group created a community service project. Can the CCE track our service hours?
How do I cancel a group project?
If you need to cancel a project registration, you will need to contact our office as well as the community partner.
Where do I get a group sign-in sheet?
To get a group sign in sheet for an approved project, one of our staff members will send you a specially created form for your particular project. If your group is doing a one time service project through our office, members should just sign in on the green sheet that is provided.
Can you help me find a community partner for my course?
Yes, we can help you with locating a community partner. First, you need to decide on a community partner you want to work with. There are three ways to do this:
Take a look at our Community Partner Map. You can filter results for area and type of organization using the collapsible menu on the left side.
Some community partners are already listed on CougSync. After logging in to CougSync with your WSU credentials, select "Service Opportunities" from the homepage. You can sort by opportunity or by partner.
You can Google organizations in your area. When you locate a community partner on your own, they need to register on CougSync. Please send them the Welcome Letter for Community Partners and submit a Student Request Form on CougSync. Our community partnerships team will follow up with your community partner contact.
How can I register a new Community Partner on CougSync?
My Community Partner is on CougSync, but there are no opportunities listed. What should I do?
This means that your community partner’s profile is not complete yet. Please email the contact information of the individual you are working with to email@example.com and our Community Partnership team will contact them and help them set up an opportunity for you. You may still begin your service even though an opportunity has not yet been created.
Should I wait for my Community Partner to register on CougSync before starting my course project?
As long as your community partner meets your course requirements and the CougSync yet. You must document your hours of participation on the Record of Civic Engagement form. You can access this form on CougSync as well. After you have completed your required hours, the Record of Civic Engagement form must be verified and signed by your community partner and submitted to the CCE via mail, fax (509-335-3400), or scanned and emailed., you may begin your service learning project even though your organization does not have a complete profile on
I submitted a new community partner request, but my partner isn't on CougSync. What should I do?
Registering a new community partner on CougSync can take two to three weeks, and may take longer depending on how quickly we are able to connect with your partner. If you would like, you can check back with us after two weeks. We appreciate your patience.
Can hours I did last semester count for my class this semester?
Hours that were done in a previous semester cannot count towards future semesters, even if it is for a class.
Do the service hours I complete for a course count towards my fraternity/sorority requirement?
Yes, service hours done for a class can also count towards your Greek hours requirement. When filling out your Record of Civic Engagement form or the one-time service project sign-in sheet, apply the hours to your class, and at the end of the semester, our office will enter in the hours completed for your class and for required Greek hours.
When should I start looking for community service projects to fulfill a requirement?
The sooner, the better. Many opportunities fill quickly since there are many individuals that need and want service learning opportunities. There is not a required start date for your service, but if you wait until the end of the semester, it will be more difficult to find open projects.
I am completing service hours for a conduct sanction. What should I do?
If you have been assigned service hours by the , please come into our office and meet with one of our staff members to set up a profile on CougSync, if you do not already have one. A staff member will help you find opportunities to meet your hour requirements as well as opportunities about which you are passionate. Make sure to bring a Record of Civic Engagement form with you to your service projects and check the "Standards Student" box on the top right of the form when you turn it in to the CCE.
I am interested in doing a service learning internship. Where can I find more information?
If you would like to find a service learning internship, our office is a great resource. For further information about finding a service learning internship, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you contact us, our staff will work with you to find a position that best meets your needs.