School for New Learning > Student Resources > Graduate Resources > Volunteering to Contribute & Learn

Volunteering to Contribute & Learn

Volunteering in order to Contribute and Learn

Periodically, SNL graduate students wish to volunteer their evolving expertise (relevant to their graduate study)—both to contribute to community organizations and to further their own learning-from-practice in doing so. 

To proceed, students are encouraged to seek-out volunteer opportunities on their own and/or to brainstorm possibilities within their professional networks, with their faculty mentors and/or with the SNL Graduate Programs Office.

In addition, students may seek networking/referral assistance to Chicago-area non-profit organizations fromThe Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning at DePaul University. The steps for utilizing assistance from The Steans Center are as follows: 

Step #1: 
Student consults with his/her Faculty Mentor to identify the types of services for which the student might volunteer in relation to his/her graduate study. (The student and faculty mentor are responsible to identify the sought-outcomes of a volunteer opportunity in relation to the student’s particular graduate program.)

Step #2: 
Student contacts the Associate Director of DePaul’s Steans Center (Ms. Helen Damon-Moore;; 773-325-8192) to schedule an in-take conversation regarding the student’s interests, abilities and sought outcomes as determined in Step #1.

Step #3: 
The Associate Director of DePaul’s Steans Center consults with Steans Center staff regarding possible relevant sites for non-paid volunteer opportunities and provides (within three weeks) contact information to the student regarding such sites.

Step #4: 
Student contacts possible volunteer site(s) and makes arrangements for volunteer (unpaid) activities. (The student is responsible to ‘make the match’ between a possible site and his/her desire/ability to contribute and learn.)

Step #5: 
Student notifies Associate Director of DePaul’s Steans Center regarding volunteer sites contacted and final site eventually selected.

Step #6: 
Student follows-up with his/her Faculty Mentor (follow-up to Step #1) in light of the actual volunteer site identified and the activities involved in the volunteer opportunity. (Learning associated with the volunteer opportunity is to be assessed and incorporated into one’s graduate program in accordance with the directives outlined in the relevant graduate program guidebook.)