Canvas soon to handle service hours uploads

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 9, 2017) – Submitting community service hours is getting easier for students, who soon will be able to upload their hours on Canvas by the end of this semester, said the Rev. Earnest Salsberry, chaplain and coordinator of community service.

Students also were reminded of the pre-approved list of companies for community service. Working at any other company not pre-approved requires completion of a form beforehand, Salsberry said.

Salsberry could not give a specific date when the change will be made on Canvas, but he assured students that a document link will be added to Canvas to allow submissions and approvals online by semester’s end. Students will be able to take pictures of their forms and upload them straight to Canvas. And the setup will allow students to view their hours easily.

All Dillard graduates are responsible for completing 120 community service, with the first 30 hours available through the First-Year Experience through a mandatory service-learning program.

Dr. Nia Haydel, director of the Academic Center for Excellence, said the program was set up to provide different opportunities for first-year students to work on learning objectives and goals.

Students should be aware of the difference between community service hours and service learning. Haydel said service learning is associated with a class, regardless of classification.

“You should have to produce an academic artifact to process the experience, and there should be a reflection exercise associated with the service project,” she explained.

“Community service work is when students go out and help people who can’t help themselves,” said Salsberry. After completion of this one-credit course, students receive 30 community service hours, but they are still responsible to complete the rest of their community service hours

The chaplain said, “Students say all the time, ‘I did work in the office. That should be community service.’ Just because you work in an office at school doesn't mean that’s community service work,” said Salsberry.

Some 20 non-profit organizations have been pre-approved by Salsberry, and students should check their emails daily for opportunities.

Salsberry said the challenge comes in when students want to use a company that is not on the list. Then, he emphasized, students have to fill out a form and get the company and work approved before doing the work.