College of Nursing Service-Learning

Service-Learning for first year students in the College of Nursing supports personal and professional development throught he Introduction to Professional Nursing course. First year service-learning experiences are intended to be non-clinical and focused on social determinants of health.

Nursing students enrolled in Introduction to Professional Nursing complete service-learning experiences in the diverse communities where we study, work, and live. These experiences facilitate the personal growth and professional skills needed to be successful in nursing.

Service-Learning Sites

See below for organizations that welcome students seeking to get the most out of their service-learning experience. This is not an exhaustive list, and students should visit to find the full list of opportunities.

The information below and service-learning site availability is subject to change.

Bearcat Buddies
Bearcat Buddies connects UC students with children in Cincinnati Public Schools through tutoring relationships. A large number of weekly tutoring sessions available with transportation provided.

Cincinnati Parks
Help conserve, manage, sustain, and enhance parks’ natural and cultural resources and public greenspace for the enjoyment, enlightenment and enrichment of the Cincinnati community.

Matthew 25: Ministries
Matthew 25: Ministries is an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization that provides nutritional food to the hungry, clean water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, affordable shelter to the homeless, medical care to the ill and humanitarian supplies to those in need.

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 and other illnesses present a constantly changing set of circumstances that impact service-learning in a variety of ways. Your patience, flexibility, and understanding are greatly appreciated.

Students are expected to adhere to all University of Cincinnati policies and protocols at all times. In addition, students are expected to adhere to the policies and protocols of their service-learning site as well.

You are presented with a variety of service-learning opportunities, and if any given opportunity does not meet your needs, please consider another option. Contact your instructor or the Center for Community engagement (, 513-556-1559) with questions or concerns.

Individual needs on the site indicate where and how each activity takes place. Virtual and face-to-face activities are subject to change, so be sure you understand the expectations of your service-learning site before you finalize your placement.

If you are not comfortable with a given option, please explore other options or contact your instructor to talk about alternative options.

10 service hours must be completed during the semester. Ideally, service is completed consistently and regularly (weekly or every other week, depending on your site). However, your availability may lead you to supplement regular service with a one-time opportunity or an activity that requires a more limited commitment. Service cannot start prior to the semester and cannot be completed after the end of the semester without permission from the instructor.

Please note: Many community partner agencies require MORE than 10 hours in order to recoup a reasonable return on their investment in you. This investment includes training you, expenses related to your intake process (such as background checks), and more. These opportunities deepen your personal and professional growth, and give you a headstart on your future goals. Do not shy away from an opportunity simply because it asks more than 10 hours of you.

If you're having individual issues meeting the service expectations for this course, contact your instructor.

Students cannot double-count hours for course requirements AND scholarship requirements, in accordance with scholarship guidelines. Any hours beyond the required 10 service hours for the Introduction to Professional Nursing course can be counted toward other requirements.

If you have a Cincinnatus scholarship, for example, you are expected to complete 10 service hours for your course in addition to your scholarhip requirements, but you can use any hours beyond the initial 10 to satisfy your Cincinnatus requirement. Hours attributed to your section of Introduction to Pofessional Nursing through wil be used to satisfy that requirement, unattributed hours will be used to satisfy other scholarship requirements.

  • Make a plan! Look at the academic calendar, the calendar of your service-learning site if applicable, and do the math.
  • If you have scholarship community serive requirements:
    • Get ahead on your scholarship service requirement whenever possible. Consider using academic breaks, if possible.
    • Use winter break and other breaks in the academic schedule to earn scholarship service hours. You cannot earn hours for this class outside of the semester during which you are enrolled.
    • If you serve more than 10 hours at your service-learning site, you can count those additional hours toward your scholarship or other requirements. This is managed within based on associating your service-learning user group with your service-learning hours.

Most UC scholarships are overseen by Student Financial Aid. Contact for more information.

Spend some time thinking about issues that are important to you, and find a balance between work that you care about and what fits with your schedule and other needs. Work with your instructor and Center for Community Engagement resources to identify the best option for you. Check out and the content on this page for site options and instructions for how to start the placement process.

As soon as possible!

You can initiate the process by clicking the "Register" button associated with a specific volunteer opportunity. Note that some organizations have a series of needs and you are required to respond to all needs in the series in order to participate. Read the opportunity description thoroughly, and ask the agency contact person any questions you may have.

Here's an example of what you might say: "Dear Contact, My name is Liz Lemon, and I'm a first-year student in the College of Nursing at UC. I am participating in the service-learning course and am interested in volunteering at your site because...I'd like to move forward with the application and training process. I can be reached by email or phone...Thank you! Sincerely, Liz Lemon"

Most sites have an application and training process. Some sites require additional documentation, a background check, and/or immunizations and immunization records.

For general questions contact your instructor or the Center for Community Engagement (, 513-556-1559).

For questions about specific volunteer needs, contact the organization manager (contact person) listed on the organization's profile page within You can search for organizatinos using the tools menu on