Frequently Asked Questions

How do I learn more about Service-Learning and the GivePulse Database?

  • Review the Student Resources section on the website and the handout for Give Pulse.
  • Talk to your Professor or reach out to the Service-Learning Department staff at for any questions.

What is the Process  to sign up for Service-Learning ?

  • You need to talk with your professor about the types of agencies/schools that are appropriate and tied into your course learning outcomes.
  • Service-Learning staff does not assign students to agencies. You need to look up sites in the GivePulse database to find a site that matches your course requirements. The Service-Learning staff can help you navigate the database if you are having difficulty finding a site.
  • Please complete the Service-Learning Contract and submit it by the deadline - you have been given one month to find a placement!

When should I begin looking for a site?

  • As soon as you can--- it takes time to find a site and contact with a staff member. Community partners may not respond to you immediately 
  • If Service-Learning is a requirement for your course, please find a site right away. You will not pass the course without completing the service requirement. 
  • You need to plan enough time in advance to get CORI approved (Criminal background check), which can take multiple weeks.
  • Many sites won’t accept students past the S-L contract deadline since you will not be able to complete your course requirements. 
  • Do not expect to find a site if you wait until the last minute. It is your responsibility to investigate and select a site. If assistance is needed, the S-L office is a resource. 

What is the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form?

  • This is a criminal background check that MUST be completed when working with children, senior citizens or any vulnerable population.
  • MCC does not  CORI students or provide the paperwork.  This is done at sites.
  • Even if you have already been CORI approved, each site has their own CORI to complete.  There is no universal CORI.
  • You DO NOT pay for the CORI.  The site where you are serving covers the fee.
  • Please note that any misdemeanor charges (i.e. disorderly conduct, theft, vandalism, etc.) will show up on your CORI.  So, it is in your best interest to be honest if you have had any charges or a speeding ticket. 
  • Depending on what comes up on your CORI, sites have the right not to accept you.

How do I email / call sites?

  • As a representative of MCC, please be professional and courteous when emailing community partners.  If you are rude, a site will not respond to you. This is not the first impression you want to make.
  • Words not to use: call me ASAP; I will fail if you don’t respond; get back to me soon.
  • See the sample email below to help write your email.


Example message to Community partner

Good afternoon / morning (include the person’s name, if you know it):

My name is Jane Smith and I am currently taking an Intro to Sociology course at Middlesex Community College.  The purpose of this course is to explore issues facing communities, how societies develop, and how individuals interact with one another.  A requirement of this course is to engage in a Service-Learning project at an agency in the community.  I am very passionate about hunger and homelessness issues and would like to serve at your site.  I need to complete a total of 22 hours this semester.  I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about Service-Learning opportunities that are available at your agency.

I look forward to hearing from you and can be reached via email or on my cell (xxx) 222-3333. The best time to reach me is………….

Thank you for your time,


What if I am having trouble finding a site?

  • Email the Service-Learning office ---include your name, the course you are taking and details. Do not wait until the last minute and expect an immediate response. 
  • The Service-Learning staff works with over 150 students and respond to email within a reasonable time. Service-Learning staff will also be available by  appointment to meet individually with students to review the process and help with finding a site.  

How many hours do I need to complete?

  • Individual Service-Learning:
    • 22 hours for one class (2.5 – 3 hours a week if you begin by the contract deadline)
    • 36 hours for two classes (3.5 – 4 hours a week if you begin by the contract deadline)
    • 44 hours for three classes (4.5 – 5 hours a week if you begin by the contract deadline)
  • Project-Based Service Learning:
    • Hours will be set and verified by your professor


How do I log my hours?

  • Log your hours in the GivePulse database.  Go to the MCC website and type in "Service-Learning" in the search box. This will bring you to the MCC Service-Learning page. The link to the MCC GivePulse page will be on the MCC Service-Learning page.
  • Log your hours each week after you serve via clicking the green tab "Add Impact." Each time you go to your site will count as an impact.
  • Your site supervisor’s name and email must be entered, as he or she will verify your hours.
  • If your site supervisor is having trouble adding a site, start logging your hours on paper. Once your site is added, you can then go into the database to log your hours.
  • Be sure to have all hours logged on GivePulse by the same deadline that the Service-Learning paperwork is due back.
Last Modified: 7/27/18