Getting Started

“How can I be useful, of what service can I be?  There is something inside me, what can it be?” – Vincent van Gogh

Students are able put their knowledge to work and begin service during their first semester at UMBC!  Volunteers commit to a full semester of service in order to build a relationship with their community partner.   Students enroll in service during the first few weeks of the semester, but because some sites fill up quickly early enrollment is encouraged! The Shriver Center provides service placements to UMBC students of all years and disciplines, and students can choose placements based on their skills and interests. Volunteers may earn course credit for their work, have the opportunity to assume leadership positions within an organization, and may be eligible to apply for service-related scholarships.

Step 1: Become familiar with some of our service sites and form an idea of what kind organization you are interested in serving:

View some of our Campus Community service opportunities HERE.

View some of our K-16 service opportunities HERE.

Step 2: Contact The Shriver Center to make an appointment with a Program Coordinator Call the front desk at 410-455-2493 or visit The Shriver Center on the first floor of the Public Policy Building.

Step 3: Meet with a Program Coordinator You and the Program Coordinator will meet to discuss your interests and sign up for service.  Service enrollment includes signing up for the 096 Practicum, a zero-credit course that is graded Pass/Fail.  The 096 Practicum will appear on your official academic transcript, acknowledging your participation in a university-sanctioned service placement.

Step 4: Connect with your site supervisor and begin service! The Program Coordinator will then connect you with your site supervisor who will help orient you to your new service placement.  Your supervisor may be a staff member or volunteer coordinator at the community organization, or some service placements are led by UMBC Service-Learning Interns.  Additionally, some organizations require you to take additional steps before you are able to serve, such as completing a volunteer application, background check, or health clearance.