The Office of Service and Leadership (OSL) at Ashford believes that serving others is an important aspect of the educational experience. We believe in giving students the opportunity to see the variety of possibilities associated with service. We partner with our Student Government Association (SGA) and our athletic teams to bring our students different service experiences that are tied into a student’s regular activities. Students are able to work through organizations to serve, or work directly with the Office of Service and Leadership. All volunteer and service learning hours that are managed through the OSL are recorded throughout the students’ time at Ashford University.
“I strive to live a passionate life and to give myself wholeheartedly to whatever lies before me. To give half-heartily is to give nothing at all, and so I work to lay my heart on the line and live with no regrets. My heart burns with compassion for those in need and I hope to never brush off an opportunity to serve.”
– Rachel Yoder, Senior, Bachelor of Arts in Computer Graphic Design (Farley, IA)
From one of their first classes, “Freshman Experience,” campus students learn the importance of service to others. A key component of the Freshman Experience class is the community service projects that students choose to do each semester. Classes have participated in a wide variety of projects, including helping at Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising events, volunteering at local nursing homes, cleaning up highways, and helping at the local Discovery Center. Our students are taught how to be leaders in the community by reaching out to individuals and organizations in need.
Student Government Association (SGA)
Each student organization that receives funding from the Ashford University SGA is required to complete at least one community service project each semester. Because of the diversity among these groups, each year there is a wide variety of community service projects completed. Some groups choose to do projects that are closely associated with their mission (e.g., Fine Arts Club members used their talents to help create the YWCA’s “House of Wonders”) while others go beyond their mission (e.g., Campus Pals wrote letters to solders and SGA helped with a blood drive for the American Red Cross).
As part of ongoing team-building exercises and the institution’s commitment to community service, the Saints athletic teams participated in a wide variety of community service projects during the regular academic year. These community service events gave our students the opportunity to be positive athletic role models to children in our community. Below are examples of service projects our athletic teams participated in:
- African-American Read-In – student athletes read, helped with assignments, tutored, mentored, and played games with preschoolers through eighth-graders.
- Victory Center – students helped serve dinner to local homeless and less fortunate men and families.
- NABC Reading Program – Ashford student athletes and coaches spent many hours reading to at-risk students.
- Big Brother Big Sisters Santa Fun Run – Ashford coaches held a Santa Fun Run, with assistance from athletes, for the youth of the community. Athletes helped the youth to warm-up and ran the race with them. It taught children that it can be fun to exercise and stay healthy, while helping them to feel special and happy about themselves.
Audra Adams, MBA
Manager of Service Learning
563.242.4023, ext. 7242