University of Vermont

Community Service Scholarship Program

About CSSP

About the Community Service Scholars Program

Fast Facts:

This scholarship is for students who have shown dedication to academics and community service, and continue to be engaged in service at UVM and beyond. We currently have 26 students in the program, and with each student performing at least 80 hours of service a year, the program contributes over 4400 hours of service each year.


It is the mission of the Community Service Scholars Program to recognize individuals who are dedicated to service and higher education, while strengthening connections between the University and Vermont communities.


The Community Service Scholars Program exists to enrich the University of Vermont with active student leaders and scholars, and to be a leader in the community service field. We believe that service is an essential part of higher education and necessary to prepare UVM students to build healthy communities and contribute to society. We promote academic achievement, service-learning, and active participation in our communities. We accomplish this by serving the communities in which we study and live, dedicating ourselves to academic success, encouraging others to participate in the community, reaching out to organizations in need, and modeling civic responsibility.

History of the Community Service Scholars Program:

The Community Service Scholarship was founded in 1998, and the Community Service Scholars Program was developed 3 years later. This transition resulted in college students who would not only receive funding for exceptional community service, but also be able to participate in an outstanding program. The program offers support by providing opportunities for community service, while also encouraging students to develop their leadership skills and to strengthen the bonds of the group through a residential learning community and social events.


It is our goal to not only have a great impact on UVM’s community through service, but also to impact all of Vermont. In previous years, our reach far exceeded the boundaries of Vermont. CSSP has been represented everywhere from Nova Scotia to the Dominican Republic and Russia.

Each year, even though scholars are only required to complete 80 hours, many go above and beyond that requirement. Our annual completed hours total usually reaches above 5000 hours!

Dewey House For Community Engagement:

All first year scholars are required to participate and live in the Dewey House. This residential community focuses on creating a living and learning environment whereby:

Students from multiple academic disciplines have the opportunity to make sustained and positive differences in the lives of Burlington residents through intentional actions of civic awareness and community engagement.

During their 2nd year, students may choose whether to continue their involvement with the Dewey House either by living in, taking on leadership roles, or continuing to participate in programs or courses.

Academic Component:

(Affiliated with The Dewey House for Community Engagement)

All first year and second year scholars will enroll and participate in a one-credit seminar class during the fall semester and a one-credit seminar class during the spring semester.  All seminars are taught through the UVM Social Work Department.  The first year seminar (SWSS 008) is entitled Civic Engagement and Self Reflection.  The second year seminar (SWSS 058) is entitled Civic Engagement, Leadership and Public Speaking: The Impact Year.  Both courses focus on public engagement, community building, social responsibility, political structures, and self-reflection.  Students will engage in environmental scans within the Burlington community, resulting in the identification of community needs.  Students will participate in a process that matches their individual personal strengths and interests with specific community needs.  Second year scholars will continue to build on the knowledge base developed during their first year experience and create personal service impact plans.

Renewal Eligibility

In order to retain your scholarship, you must:

1. Remain a full time student (defined as enrolling in a minimum of twelve credits per semester). Enrolling at less than full-time will result in withdrawal of your scholarship for that semester. Reinstatement for future semesters will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. You must also maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5, evaluated at the end of each academic year. Scholarships will be withdrawn for students who have not met the scholarship requirements. Academic achievement leading to a cumulative GPA above a 2.5 in the future will result in scholarship reinstatement the following academic year. Your scholarship is a revocable award from the University.

2. Complete 80 hours of community service per year, which may be completed during the academic year (September-August) through community service, academic service-learning, community-based work-study, and other activities. Students who fail to complete the 80 hours in an academic year will be afforded a probationary period after which the scholarship will be withdrawn if the hours are not made up during the next semester in addition to subsequent years’ hourly service requirements. Scholars are required to track their completed service hours in a designated web portal as well as submit a reflection on the first of every month. Monthly written reflections are required and three late submissions will result in a probationary period. Failure to meet log and reflection deadlines will result in probation and termination of the scholarship.

3. First year scholars are required to participate in a residential program (Dewey House for Community Engagement) and enroll in 2 one-credit seminars across the academic year (SWSS 008).  Failure to participate will result in immediate dismissal from the program.

4. Second year or returning Dewey scholars are required to enroll and participate in 2 one-credit seminars across the academic year (SWSS 058). Failure to participate will result in immediate dismissal from the program.

5. For the Leaves of Absence, Withdrawing & Less Than Full-Time Enrollment section: You may take an approved Leave of Absence from the University for up to two consecutive semesters and retain your scholarship when you return. Your scholarship will not be reinstated if you choose to withdraw, become inactive, are suspended or dismissed from the University. Enrolling at less than full-time will result in withdrawal of your scholarship for that semester. Reinstatement for future semesters will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Last modified February 12 2015 03:52 PM

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