Here to Volunteer

Learn more about Cougar Volunteers and how to submit service hours

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Here to Volunteer
Cougar Volunteers is the basis of all things in community service for Kean
Justin Kanski, Staff Writer

Who are the Cougar Volunteers? Cougar Volunteers are a representation of Kean faculty, students and staff. These are the heroic individuals committed to volunteering their services for Kean University as well as surrounding communities.

Cougar Volunteers is under the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) which is committed to providing opportunities for leadership development training, community service involvement, service learning and campus organizational development and serves as a connection point for participation in volunteer activities. CLS 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.

As a result of service and dedication, Kean University was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. It is the students, faculty, staff and administrators at Kean University who have devoted their time to reshape and improve the lives of those they serve and their surrounding communities.

Kean University supports and encourages anyone interested in donating their services to record all of their community service hours so that they, and their student groups and organizations, may receive the appropriate recognition for their efforts through service awards and the Co-Curricular Transcript program. To make sure service hours are recorded, Kean University utilizes Cougar Link as the online tool that manages student involvement. Individual students who serve and student group members are advocated to navigate Cougar Link and submit their hours of service to appear on their transcripts. 

Whether it be volunteer service, community service or service learning, the Kean University Center for Leadership and Service recognizes the services when hours are submitted and approved by the department. Please visit the Community and Volunteer Services webpage on the Kean website to learn more about the three types of service.

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?

  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?

  3. Was a considerable amount of time dedicated to the service activity? 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.

  4. Does the activity contribute to bringing about positive (social) change or address a societal issue, perceived or actual?

  5. Were you compensated or motivated monetarily or academically (as a part of an academic program requirement) to serve? Did you receive pay or an honorarium as a result of your service? Were you required to serve as an academic program requirement (ex: student teaching, internship, etc...)?

  6. Was your service required as a result of a student conduct sanction, judicial sentence or court order?

  7. Have you met all of the criteria to continue through questions one through seven?

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://kean.campuslabs.com/engage.

  2. Sign in using 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 guide one to the Cougar Link “My Service Hours” page where all service hours for the time period selected – within the last week, month, three 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 attributing for service hours to. Was the service through a recognized Kean University organization or department?

  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 done and the information is ready to submit, please click “Create”.

    • Once service is requested, it will go to the organization 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 a response is not received 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.

To find out about volunteer opportunities from the Center for Leadership and Service, please click here to visit the Center for Leadership and Service events calendar.

For more information about how you can * LEAD * SERVE * LEARN * contact the Center for Leadership and Service at (908) 737-5170.


about the author
Justin Kanski - web

Justin Kanski, Staff Writer
kanskij@kean.edu

Justin Kanski is a senior majoring in Communication with a focus on Media/Film and a minor in Health Relations. A Staff Writer for The Cougar's Byte, Justin is also a part of Kean TV and WKNJ 90.3 Cougar Radio as the host of J Money Jams. He is a member of the Leadership Institute Platinum Level and has served as a New Student Orientation Leader for the past two years. Justin’s favorite shows are “Power” and "Cobra Kai" while his favorite movies are anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also loves listening to Hip-Hop music. Whether it be in front of the camera or behind it, Justin aspires to be a media mogul.