Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning
University Student Union 312
Chris Fiorentino, Director
California State University, Fresno has a rich history of engaging students in service to the community. As part of an overall educational experience, community engagement can have a profound impact on a student’s personal, professional, and academic development. Each year since 2009-10, Fresno State students have provided over 1 million hours of service to the community through a variety of university coordinated community engagement and service-learning initiatives.
The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning is responsible for coordinating the university’s community engagement and service-learning efforts. We are dedicated to improving the education and development of our students and helping create a better community through service and learning.
Fresno State is committed to being a premiere university that is fully engaged with our community. This is reflected in the many ways our university demonstrates, through mutually beneficial partnerships, the alignment between the university’s teaching, research, and professional service and the interests of our region. Examples of community engagement activities include, but are not limited to, volunteerism; service-learning; applied research; efforts that engage the campus community in the democratic process; faculty and staff professional service to the community; and projects that address the historical, cultural, and/or informational needs of the region.
Service-learning is proven to enhance students’ academic success, career development, and personal skills. This is accomplished through active participation in meaningful service linked to academic study through structured reflection. The service may include improvement of community resources, direct service to people in need, applied research, community outreach and education, or policy analysis and advocacy. There approximately 4,000 students enrolled in nearly 200 such courses offered each year at Fresno State. Approved service-learning courses are listed in the catalog and the Class Schedule with an “S” designation. Additional details can be found at www.fresnostate.edu/cesl.
To promote the value of service activities and enhance the subsequent learning experience, the university also offers two community service-learning courses for academic credit:
Note: Students in COMS courses are required to complete a minimum number of service hours with a nonprofit agency of their choice. The required number of service hours is determined by the course and number of COMS units. For more information, contact the Richter Center staff or visit the Web page at https://academics.fresnostate.edu/cesl/
Everyone! Research has shown that students who are involved in community service activities during their undergraduate years significantly enhance many aspects of their personal, professional, and academic development. Programs and citizens of our community dramatically benefit from the service work of students. Community service and service-learning provide an opportunity for everyone to gain important benefits.