Tennessee Wesleyan believes that service to others is the purest form of leadership. Guided by the principles of servant leadership, we integrate service, leadership, and learning experiences to empower students to become active, engaged citizens who believe they have the capacity to make a difference in the world.
All full-time Athens day students (both new and transfer) who start in fall 2016 or later are required to complete a minimum of 5 service hours per semester while enrolled, excluding summer terms. In a traditional four-year timeline, students will complete 40 hours of service. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of service opportunities on- and off-campus. Hours may be earned through a variety of activities coordinated through Student Life or through a Service-Learning designated course. Courses with the Service-Learning designation are offered in a variety of core curriculum courses and within major-specific areas.
Service-Learning Designated Courses
Simply put, service-learning includes an intentional educational component that is generally missing from community service and volunteer opportunities. The goal of service-learning is to deepen students’ understanding of academic material while also providing a valuable service to the community.
Courses designated as Service-Learning (SL) include a service-learning project during the semester that either employs skills or knowledge learned in the course or teaches new skills or knowledge related to course objectives. Students will be involved in the planning and implementation of the project(s) and will spend time outside of the classroom completing the service portion. Courses with the SL designation meet the semester service requirement and are counted toward the graduation service requirement.
Annual Day of Service
All first-year students will participate in the annual Day of Service as part of the TWU 101 course experience, and many upper-class students participate in the day to earn hours toward the service requirement. Students, faculty, and staff serve a variety of organizations throughout McMinn County and help complete projects that community partner agencies might not have the capacity to complete otherwise. In 2016, participants completed over 1,480 hours of service and made an economic impact of approximately $34,143, according to the Independent Sector’s value of volunteer time.
Tennessee Wesleyan Angel Tree
Each year, Tennessee Wesleyan partners with The HOPE Center, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Grace and Mercy Ministries, Morning Pointe Assisted Living, and the Love Thy Neighbor Project to give Christmas gifts to individuals who might not otherwise receive them. In 2015, over 150 Christmas presents were distributed throughout our community.
United Way Day of Caring
Each year, Tennessee Wesleyan staff, faculty and students participate in the annual United Way Day of Caring to assist local organizations in Athens. Check out our video by student Kinsley Vincent about Day of Caring 2016.