Why We do Service

Service is a core value of Honors. We are developing ourselves as leaders, as community members, and as hands-on learners who strive to have a positive impact on our campus, local, and global community. This is why we have a service requirement in Honors. In the Honors program, service is defined as not for profit activities which directly benefits the public or environment and meet the explicit needs requested by a community partner.


In order to graduate with an Honors degree, every Honors student must complete a minimum number of service hours, equivalent to five hours per semester in the Honors Program, and submit proper documentation of those hours as instructed by the Service Committee (so, 40 hours for four years in the program, 30 hours for three years in the program, etc). These hours must be completed between the student’s enrollment in the Honors Program and the end of their last academic year prior to graduation.

HP 200

For those of you who are graduating Honors in 2025 or later, at least 15-20 hours of your service will be completed in HP200, Introduction to Community Engagement, where we will have discussions about the relationship between service and leadership, how to approach equity-based community service, and what we learn from community partners. Where you gain the rest of your service hours will be largely up to you. We want you to seek out meaningful service that connects you to the Honors, Clarkson, and local communities. Our Service Committee will plan service events and advertise opportunities for which you can choose to take part; you can also find your own.

Goals of Service
  • Directly benefits members of the community by fulfilling needs identified by the community and offering services requested by the community.
  • Develops ties between Clarkson University and the surrounding communities by working alongside those communities in an equal partnership.
  • Builds a sense of community within the Honors Program.
  • Provides an opportunity for Honors students to reflect on and broaden their knowledge, skill sets, and life experiences.
Kinds of Service
The five required hours of service per semester of participation in the Honors Program can be completed in the following ways:
  1. Service performed in HP 200
  2. Internal service to Clarkson University or in St. Lawrence County
    • Events planned by the service committee, or advertised by the service committee (i.e. if sent out in an email from a service representative).
    • Individual service projects, done while on-campus, proposed by an Honors student and approved by the service committee .
    • Service to the Honors Program, planned by the Honors office (Open House, orientation, etc.).
    • Service to Honors community projects such as the Clarkson Food Pantry.
  3. External service outside of Clarkson, or at home
    • Individual service projects, done while off-campus, proposed by an Honors student and approved by the service committee .
Conditions and Guidelines for Service
  • At least half of the service hours must be performed while the student is at Clarkson. (This means you can do some service when you’re at home in the summer, but at least half of your service needs to be with and for the community you’re a part of while you’re at Clarkson.)
  • Service required for other clubs or organizations may not count as Honors service i.e. no double dipping.
  • Students receive credit for the actual duration of an event, not for the planned duration of an event. If an event that was supposed to last 2 hours and only lasts 15 minutes, then only 15 minutes is counted.
  • The service activity does not express political or religious commentary or otherwise render an opinion for or against a community issue (no protesting). The event may encourage political discussion, while remaining neutral.