Getting involved in the community now is becoming easier for students at Missouri Western State University. Missouri Western’s Center for Service is working on bolstering student volunteerism by offering free elective credits for community service.

According to Gary Clapp, Director of the Center for Service at Missouri Western, students can take a class, called University 201, where they can get involved with or create their own community-service projects to earn one elective credit for every 40 hours of volunteer work. “You have to take elective credits anyway,” Clapp said. “It’s a great opportunity for people to reduce some of the cost associated with higher education.”

The Center for Service currently has nine students going through the online orientation for University 201. While some student organizations already are required to do some volunteer work, Clapp said University 201 will attract more students to volunteer in the community.

“What we find is that once people start doing some good work in the community, they don’t want to quit,” Clapp said. “Once they’ve got their hours in for what their needs are, maybe some of them quit but some of them say, ‘Hey, that makes me feel good!’”