Being salty — Students provide service hours for school year

Carrie Overdorf is the SALT hour coordinator.
Carrie Overdorf is the SALT hour coordinator.

Johnson University students have a long tradition of service around the Knoxville community. The traditional Christian Service Hours have ben replaced with SALT hours, and students are still figuring out all of the details.

SALT hours represent Service Learning Hours.

Many classes here have  both optional and required SALT assignments, especially in academic areas such as Intercultural Studies, and Non-profit Management.

No matter what major students are studying, they must complete 60 SALT hours for an associate’s degree, or 120 for a bachelor’s degree. Teacher Education students complete their SALT hour through field experience.

“The main goal for Service Learning is to make a difference in the community,” said SALT Coordinator  Carrie Overdorf.

Given some confusion about the switch from Christian Service to SALT hours, Overdorf clarified the requirements for SALT hours.

“It must be with an non-profit organization, (doesn’t have to be faith-based) meet a community need and it has to be volunteer work,” Overdorf said.

SALT hours can be done during the academic year and during the summer. However,  for mission trips, where there is an abundance of volunteer work being done at one time, there is a 20 hour cap However, students are encouraged to log all the hours they’ve served.

Students are responsible for keeping track of their SALT hours on Sakai. On Sakai, they will fill a form describing what they did, provide supervisor information, then write a single reflection of their work at the end of each semester.

Some students who come to Johnson from different towns or states may not know about many non-profit organizations nearby. Some places students have volunteered at in the past include YOKE, Emerald Youth Foundation, KARM, and Operation Backyard. A full list of places to volunteer is on the Sakai page for Service Learning under resources.

A way to start service hours is to sign-up for the K-15 Day of Service. Classes will be canceled for the day and students have the chance to sign up to volunteer at various locations in Knoxville.

Sign-up sheets are available in the Galley, but students keep track of where they serve and how many hours were served. The Sakai site for Service Learning is not fully up and running yet, but will be soon.