Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.81
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Houston
EN-13: Community Service

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 5.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount; part-time students, continuing education, and/or graduate students may be excluded):

Number of students engaged in community service (headcount):

Percentage of students engaged in community service:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (community service hours)? (if data not available, respond 'No'):

Total number of student community service hours contributed during the most recent one-year period:

Number of annual community service hours contributed per student :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Does the institution include community service achievements on student transcripts?:

Does the institution provide incentives for employees to participate in community service (on- or off-campus)? (Incentives may include voluntary leave, compensatory time, or other forms of positive recognition):

A brief description of the institution’s employee community service initiatives:

Service to the Community or Public is part of the tenure process. The Faculty Handbook states that tenure seeking faculty are encouraged to: "Document public involvement that is related to the candidate's area of expertise, including speeches, expert advice to community organizations, donations of creative or scholarly efforts to public institutions, consultations with private organizations, etc." Among many examples is "Other Evidence of Teaching, Student Learning, and the Scholarship of Teaching: Candidates may submit evidence that they have¬¬¬ facilitated students' success. Examples may include contributions to students who have won awards, letters from community members who have benefited from student projects or internships, and other evidence that the candidate contributed to student learning."
There are a variety of student, faculty, and staff-run organizations devoted to public service, but the Metropolitan Volunteer Program (MVP) stands out. MVP is a student organization that creates and provides service opportunities for students by collaborating with campus and community partners. Membership in the Metropolitan Volunteer Program is entirely free and open to the entire student body. Volunteering with MVP not only provides students with the opportunity to make a positive impact on our campus and community, but also to gain leadership skills, build relationships with fellow students, and gain experience in their field of interest. MVP organizes volunteer opportunities in many areas of service including education, health, environment & sustainability, and senior citizens. They have volunteer opportunities to fit the needs for every student, whether students are looking to assist with our smaller, ongoing service projects or the larger annual service events that MVP hosts each semester.

MVP’s most prominent service project, Rock the Block, won the 2018 Outstanding Service Project of the Year from the Association of College Unions International. Rock the Block is an annual event in which students volunteer in the local Third Ward community through a variety of smaller projects, from painting houses to picking up trash, then throw a carnival-themed party with Agape Development, a local faith group.
In addition to previously existing programs, UH addressed many issues that arose in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey through public service.
Many weeks after Hurricane Harvey made landfall and stalled over southeast Texas, buffeting the region with record-shattering rains and historic flooding, Houston is still recovering from one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history. The UH community has launched a huge volunteer effort to help repair our city and to offer assistance to those whose homes and lives have been upended by the catastrophic storm. UH CARES, Cougar Assisted Relief Efforts launched shortly after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and was created to mobilize UH volunteers into strategic work teams and to bring the resources of the entire UH family to a city that still needs help. The program is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University. There has been over 1,000 hours of cleanup work by more than 180 dedicated UH students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UH Cares has helped homeowners across the Greater Houston area with gutting home, mold remediation and bringing hope to help homeowners who need it the most. The UH community can complete an online form to start getting involved while being mindful of their personal schedules and preferences.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.