TA K E N O T E S :
At Eastern Michigan University we have had
some signiﬁcant success over the past year. We
currently have over 50 MSS members enrolled
through our school, over double from previous
years. The program has allowed us to open up
conversations with local organizations to mixed
success. The program provides strong support
for many of our student leaders in our ofﬁce.
With such a large group, there is a ready group
of volunteers who have been able to provide
support to our many programs and
opportunities as they are involved on campus
and in the community. Development of the
group was difﬁcult and the number of students
provided speciﬁc challenges.
S T R AT E G I E S :
S E RV I C E
Strategies for MSS Supervisors on
how to use the program to encourage
growth in student engagement and
campus community partnerships.
• Meet your members and know their
interests and schedules.
• Give them useful information before
training because they are “gone” after that.
• Help them meet each other, cohesion
helps with retention.
• Use members as a resource for the
needs and volunteer activities of the
346 EMU Student Center,Ypsilanti, MI 48197
T: (734) 487-0364 F: (734) 487-6410
Students willing to complete 300
hours of community service during
one calendar year will be awarded a
For further program information:
• Set goals with your most active MSS
members or co-workers in the ofﬁce. Why
MSS? What the program might be able to help
you accomplish? (Try using a modiﬁed logic
model: inputs, activities, outputs, intermediate
outcomes, and long term outcomes).
• Modify the application - The ﬁrst time
you will probably gather information from a
student is through the application. Know the
information you need and information you need
to convey. This can shape the student’s
experience and your goals from the start.
(Consider shaping it to ﬁt with a speciﬁc
volunteer position, asking for schedules, a short
essay, and/or upcoming meeting dates).
• Brand it/integrate it - Let MSS be known
on your campus. Create a logo or slogan to
promote it to the campus and local community
alike. Also, look at existing projects and
programs that can “adopt” MSS easily.
• Pretend to be a student - Create online
proﬁles on relevant campus and community
systems to gather information about volunteer
opportunities that MSS could support.
• More than just posters and emails Inform and promote to ﬁnancial aid, campus
departments, and community partners. (Also
try a mailbox drop, newspaper, and listserves).
• Attend training - Go to the training that
your students are most likely to attend,
guarantee they know who you are.
• Inform members regularly of volunteer
opportunities and let them sign up through you.
• Thank you letters to agencies Timesheets tell you where students are
volunteering. When you thank the agencies,
communicate information about campus service
M S S : A T O O L F O R G ROW T H
The basic premise of MSS is simple, students volunteer and they get some money. Yet, the
opportunity it provides to further develop students and community partnerships is often
overlooked. Below are some tips on how to quickly utilize the foundation of resources the
program already provides.
S T U D E N T E M P O W E R M E N T :
R E C O R D K E E P I N G :
Although the program needs to be supervised by a staff member
there are many things a student can work on: record keeping,
timesheet review (some processing tasks), research community
campus service opportunities, plan service projects, meet with
community partners, communicate with members, lead meetings
Keep a log of all of your members and information of their
activities and interests. When do you have an opportunity
to build the habit of recording volunteer hours and agency
information? They give it to you each month, use it. If many
of your student volunteers are part of the program, MSS
can help normalize important practices for a whole ofﬁce.
Nothing is stopping you from using the materials and
systems after they exit the program.
C O M M U N I T Y P A R T N E R S H I P S :
T E A M , G R O U P, O R C O H O R T :
You have a bunch of students at a variety of agencies OR
agencies are looking for incentives to involve students. The MSS
program serves as a great way to begin a conversation with any
community member. “I see so and so is volunteering with you, how is
that working out? Do you have any other needs?” OR “Did you know
that [your institution here] students already volunteering at your
agency qualify for a $1000 scholarship? Can this help you recruit?”
Build something that helps bring MSS members together:
regular meetings, email newsletters, group projects, or
anything that helps them get to know each other. A group
can help expose student leaders and keep them connected
to the program through their completion. Another way to
look at this is to see a group on campus already doing
service and build in MSS.
V O L U N T E E R B A S E :
P R O M O T E T H E D O L L A R $ :
The educational scholarship provides useful "leverage" over
students that helps open up the conversation about service and
social justice. This allows to build a dynamic group of students
that are able to extend the volunteer ofﬁce and university
further into the community and grow service on campus. The
more students you have at hand through MSS, the more you can
attempt projects and ideas. They can have an identity with MSS
that transcends the issues of a growing project.
MSS is a great way to add monetary value to service
projects or the service ofﬁce. Students receiving
scholarships can be touted as an ofﬁce or campus
accomplishment. Including monetary values with project/
program results, which are too often just qualitative, can
help build support from a broader audience.