Serving others is what we are about at Hesston College. The Hesston College mission calls us to “integrate thought, life and faith for service to others in the church and the world.” One of the college’s learning outcomes is to develop “persons of individual and social responsibility through civic knowledge, engagement and service on the local and global level.”
All First Year Experience students participate in Community Involvement Week during one week in September. The students serve with local organizations such as Schowalter Villa, PET Kansas, Youthville, Ethiopia Reads, Harvey County Homeless Shelter, the local public schools, Agape Resource Center, Et Cetera Shop, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Center, Dyck Arboretum, Lions Club, and the American Red Cross. There are opportunities for students to continue to serve with these organizations throughout the school year.
Some students serve with organizations on an ongoing basis throughout the school year. One of these service opportunities is through the Offender-Victim Ministries Match-2 program, where students meet with inmates from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility on a monthly basis. Another ongoing service opportunity is through the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
All first-year students participate in a service activity during LARKfest, a day in April highlighting service and education. Sophomores are involved with formal presentations and assessments on that day, while freshmen serve at local organizations in the morning.
Mod activities throughout the year include doing service projects together. Athletic teams also participate in service projects together.
Students in the Disaster Management Program serve with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) throughout the school year on local disaster sites and for eight weeks during the summer on an active MDS project site.
Service learning at HC is a course-based educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, as well as course objectives. Reflections on the service activities help students to gain further understanding of course material, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic duty.
Students at Hesston College have the opportunity to have a service transcript kept on file electronically for them. Every act of service, whether from a service learning course, service in the community or field experience will be recorded on the students’ transcripts. The service transcripts are given to the students when they leave Hesston.
Service beyond Hesston College
Many students serve for a longer period of time with organizations after they leave Hesston College. Some of these organizations include MCC, through the SALT or SWAP programs, Mennonite Mission Network, through DOOR or Service Adventure, and Mennonite Disaster Service.
Office of Service-Learning
Smith Center offices
Russ Gaeddert, Service Coordinator