Community Service

As part of the requirements of the Federal Work-Study program, a percentage of on-campus jobs must fulfill a Community Service requirement. Community Service is any work a student or department performs for a community other than the University of Maine community in a non-profit manner. Please let the Office of Student Employment know if your student is performing work with outside communities so we may code their job appropriately.

Community services are defined as services that are identified by an institution of higher education through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations, as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs. These services include:

  • such fields as health care, child care, literacy training, education (including tutorial services), welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, and community improvement;
  • work in service opportunities or youth corps as defined in Section 101 of the National and Community Services Act of 1990, and services in the agencies, institutions and activities designated in Section 124(a) of that act;
  • support services to students with disabilities (including students with disabilities who are enrolled at the school — this is the only statutory exception to the requirement that community service be open and accessible to the community); and
  • activities in which a Federal Work-Study student serves as a mentor for such purposes as tutoring, supporting educational and recreational activities, and counseling, including career counseling.

The definition of community services includes the terms “service opportunity” and “youth corps program.” Section 101 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 defines the terms as follows:

Service Opportunity — A program or project, including a service learning program or project, that enables students or out-of-school youth to perform meaningful and constructive service in agencies, institutions, and situations where the application of human talent and dedication may help to meet human, educational, linguistic, and environmental community needs, especially those relating to poverty.

Youth Corps Program — A program, such as a conservation corps or youth service program, that offers full-time, productive work (to be financed through stipends) with visible community benefits, in a natural resource or human service setting and that gives participants a mix of work experience, basic and life skills, education, training, and support services.

The definition of “community services” includes service in agencies, institutions, and activities that are designated in Section 124(a) of the National and Community Service Act (NASA) of 1990:

1. Conservation corps programs that focus on:

  • conservation, rehabilitation, and the improvement of wildlife habitat, rangelands, parks, and recreation areas;
  • urban and rural revitalization, historical and site preservation, and reforestation of both urban and rural areas;
  • fish culture, wildlife habitat maintenance and improvement, and other fishery assistance;
  • road and trail maintenance and improvement;
  • erosion, flood, drought, and storm damage assistance and controls;
  • stream, lake, waterfront harbor, and port improvement;
  • wetlands protection and pollution control;
  • insect, disease, rodent, and fire prevention and control;
  • the improvement of abandoned railroad beds and rights-of-way;
  • energy conservation projects, renewable resource enhancement, and recovery of biomass;
  • reclamation and improvement of strip-mined land;
  • forestry, nursery, and cultural operations; and
  • making public facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities.

2. Human services corps programs that include service in:

  • state, local, and regional governmental agencies;
  • nursing homes, hospices, senior centers, hospitals, local libraries, parks, recreational facilities, child and adult daycare centers, programs serving individuals with disabilities, and schools;
  • law enforcement agencies, and penal and probation systems;
  • private nonprofit organizations that primarily focus on social service such as community action agencies;
  • activities that focus on the rehabilitation or improvement of public facilities, neighborhood improvements, literacy training that benefits educationally disadvantaged individuals, weatherization of and basic repairs to low-income housing including housing occupied by older adults, energy conservation (including solar energy techniques), removal of architectural barriers to access by individuals with disabilities to public facilities, activities that focus on drug and alcohol abuse education, prevention and treatment, and conservation, maintenance, or restoration of natural resources on publicly held lands; and
  • any other nonpartisan civic activities and services that the commission determines to be of a substantial social benefit in meeting unmet human, educational, or environmental needs (particularly needs related to poverty) or in the community where volunteer service is to be performed; or

3. Programs that encompass the focus and services described in both paragraphs (1) and (2).

*Source: National Student Employment Association