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SFSU among first in U.S. to include community work on student transcripts



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1743
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Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


About 3,000 students volunteered 132,427 hours last year as part of their coursework

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13, 2005 -- As of last fall San Francisco State University is giving credit where it is due to students who perform community service: on their official University transcript.

This effort, spearheaded by the University's Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL), is believed to make SFSU the first college west of the Mississippi to include on transcripts student community volunteer work that is completed as part of their coursework.

Approved community service learning courses completed by a student are noted on the transcript, along with the total number of community service hours that the student performed that semester, and cumulatively throughout his or her SFSU career. A student must perform a minimum of 20 hours per semester in courses designated by OCSL for the hours to be included on a transcript.

"The benefits for students are tremendous," says Perla Barrientos, OCSL director. "It shows you can work with people and are willing to provide for your community at large."

Barrientos said that more employers and graduate schools are seeking applicants with volunteer experience in a competitive job market. She adds that inclusion of community service hours on student transcripts provides proof that the student completed the amount of volunteer work in the community that he or she claims on a resume and in interviews. This gives SFSU students an advantage over their counterparts at most other universities.

SFSU has long been considered a leader in community service learning -- a teaching method that incorporates academic study with community service experiences. In 2003-2004, about 3,000 students took part in service learning classes, contributing more than 132,427 hours to the surrounding community. That contribution would add up to nearly $900,000 if paid at the minimum wage. The University offers nearly 170 designated community service learning courses, a number that is expected to grow in coming years.

For details, visit the OCSL Web site at:

One of the largest campuses in the CSU system, SFSU was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public, urban university.


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Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications