Service Distinction FAQs

1. How do I enroll in the Service Distinction Program at CNU?

Enrolling in Service Distinction is easy.  Simply create an account online at cnuengage.org. When you create your account, you are automatically enrolled in the Service Distinction Program. If you wish to enroll in Service Distinction Leader, you may opt in when you create your account or you can enroll at a later date via your Student Dashboard. Once your account is created, you can start logging your service hours. NOTE: Remember to log all of your service hours during your time at CNU - both from your service here and at home.  You can track your progress toward Service Distinction in your Student Dashboard.

2. Do hours that I have served from High School count towards my Service Distinction Hours?

No. All hours must be hours logged while attending Christopher Newport University. The Service Distinction and Service Distinction Leader programs each have specific service hour requirements that can only be completed while attending CNU.  These requirements allow for hours served in both the local community and at home (or abroad) over breaks.

3. What are the hour requirements for both Service Distinction and Service Distinction Leader?

For Service Distinction, you must log 140 total service hours into the CNU Engage website. While you are encouraged to serve all of your hours in the local community, with 1-2 non-profit organizations, at least 100 of those hours must be within the Hampton Roads area benefiting a non-CNU community organization(s) and must be within your declared service track. The remaining 40 hours can come from other service, such as: on-campus work, clubs supporting a local non-profit organization, service completed while on home breaks, and/or additional hours served in the local community. 

For Service Distinction Leader, you must log 400 total service hours into the CNU Engage website. While you are encouraged to serve all of your hours in the local community, with 1-2 non-profit organizations, at least 250 of those hours must be within the Hampton Roads area benefiting a non-CNU community organization(s) and must be within your declared service track. The remaining 150 hours can come from other service, such as: on-campus work, clubs supporting a local non-profit organization, service completed while on home breaks, and/or additional hours served in the local community.

4. What do I have to do in order to graduate with Service Distinction or Service Distinction Leader?

To graduate with Service Distinction or Service Distinction Leader honors, you must first create an account at cnuengage.org, declare the service track you are choosing to follow, and attend a program orientation. You must then complete and log the required amount of service hours through the CNU Engage website. Finally, you must complete a Senior Service Reflection which includes what you did, what you learned from your service site(s), and how you made an impact on your site(s). If you do all of those steps, you will graduate with Service Distinction or Service Distinction Leader honors!

5. Why should I do Service Distinction?

Participating in consistent, committed service to a non-profit organization during your time at college is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from your peers, gain real world, marketable skills, grow your network, and provide a pathway to knowing and connecting with the community you are now a part of. Getting off campus and caring for your community is an opportunity to grow and learn how to work with diverse people. Committing to an organization will give you increasing levels of responsibility and knowledge that can lead to leadership and internship opportunities. It also greatly benefits our non-profit partners who are in need of committed, knowledgeable volunteers.

6. What happens if I want to change my Service Track?

You can easily change your Service Track by going to your Student Dashboard and editing your profile. We understand that interests can shift as you go through your college career. If you do change your Service Track, it is important that you continue to commit your service to 1 or 2 non-profits within your track.

7. I am having trouble finding a service site, what should I do?

There are many ways to get connected in the local community. First, you can visit cnuengage.org to browse our community partners and service tracks, learn about current volunteer opportunities, or get connected with a CNU service club.  Second, connect with a Service Track Coordinator(s) (see “Contact Us” on cnuengage.org) to set up a meeting. Once you have a list of potential sites, reach out to the corresponding volunteer coordinator to get connected and start volunteering. If you are still encountering problems, please drop by the office or email Center staff to set up a meeting.

8. I made an error as I was logging my hours. How can I fix it?

If you have made an error when logging your hours, contact Jessica Deal, the Community Engagement Coordinator, at jessica.deal@cnu.edu. In your email, please indicate which logging entry needs to be corrected, and provide the correct information (date served, location, and number of hours served) so that the entry may be corrected.