Community Service Project (COM499)

Student smiling.

The Community Service Project is designed to provide students with opportunities to meet the essential needs of an approved charitable or community service organization, applying interpersonal, organizational, or mediated communication skills while tying service and learning together

Project description

The Community Service Project is designed to provide students with opportunities to meet the essential needs of an approved charitable or community service organization, applying interpersonal, organizational, or mediated communication skills while tying service and learning together.

These projects, conducted anywhere in the United States on an in-person or remote volunteer basis, focus on providing hands-on service. Projects are self-selected. There are hundreds of opportunities available and the course instructor can provide you with lists. Some ideas include

  • serving as a volunteer at COVID-19 testing or vaccination sites,
  • providing social media assistance to a city zoo,
  • working with a mental health counselor to provide self-help group support to students with anxiety issues,
  • working on a Habitat for Humanity project,
  • volunteering at a local animal shelter,
  • helping with food assistance at a community food bank.

Areas of focus for each project include setting and reporting individualized learning objectives and competency building, practicing effective oral and written communications from a business perspective, and contributing to the goals of a charitable organization

Project outcome

Students will gain 1, 2 or 3 academic credits for 40, 80 or 120 service hours, respectively.

Specific outcomes include creating enhanced communication skills; applying critical thinking and evaluation skills to refine professional conduct and demeanor; and analyzing how theoretical knowledge and skills acquired in UB courses can be applied to public service.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment One semester
Start time Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Projects can be done individually, in pairs or small groups, depending on the service site.  
Benefits Academic credit, Volunteer
Who is eligible Students who register for COM 499

Core partners

There are hundreds of possible core partners. The course instructor can provide you with lists. 

Project mentor

Vivian M. Williams

Director of Internships and Community Service Projects

Department of Communication

Phone: (716) 645-1503

Email: vmw@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.