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Volunteer Hour Guidelines & Tracking

Students engaged in an outdoor activity

Did you know that more than 500,000 volunteer hours have been logged over the past four years? Congratulations, UT students—and thank you for your service!

Track Your Hours Here


Volunteer Hour Guidelines

Our broad definition of community service is “action taken to meet the needs of others and to better the community as a whole” (Campus Compact, 1998). The Jones Center for Leadership and Service further defines volunteer hours as non-compensated, activities that are organized in partnership with a non-profit organization and directly benefit the larger public or external community, beyond the UTK campus.

Timeline Requirements: Service must be tracked within 1 month/31 days of completion to be accepted.

Tracking Note: In all cases where a student is tracking more than 5 hours, a detailed timeline of activities must be included in the service details section of the tracking form.

An example might be:
“This service was conducted weekly over the entire month of August 2019 (3.5 hours each week). I volunteered every Thursday from 8:00-11:30 am in the Emergency Department. I mostly helped clean beds, work the reception desk, restock rooms, and consolidate wheelchairs. I volunteered a total of 4 times resulting in 14 hours of service.”

Service Guidelines

Prior to submitting your hours, please review the detailed JCLS Service Guidelines regarding what can and cannot be logged for volunteer hours. Chancellor’s Honors Scholars, Haslam Scholars, 1794 Scholars, and Honors Leadership Program participants should also review any guidelines established for those respective programs.

While we encourage and value all types of service and volunteerism, only certain types of activities can be logged through the JCLS. The most important factor in determining an activity’s qualification is whether it serves an unmet need in the community, preferably one identified by a community partner organization. The goal of these guidelines is not to exclude any meaningful or well-intentioned service but rather to provide a very basic framework for understanding volunteerism. If you have any questions, please contact us at