The Politis Program of Civic Engagement

Soup KitchenThe Politis Program is a required General Education component that aims to foster civic engagement. It combines service-learning opportunities, volunteer work, and other forms of co-curricular community involvement to expose students to community problems, and help them develop social, civic, and cultural responsibility.

The Aim of the Politis Program

Through these activities, students acquire a clear understanding of the link between the skills they gain through their studies and social and civic responsibility. In this way, the Politis program aims to empower its students to become responsible, pro-active, creative, and innovative citizens, who will work towards achieving solutions to community problems. It also hopes to inspire them to become leaders who will employ the skills they have acquired in their academic programs to make a positive impact on their community.

Politis Program Requirements

The Politis Program requires that undergraduates complete a total of 45 hours of service-learning activities and community volunteer work prior to their graduation. Students meet the requirement by participating in action service activities either individually and/or as part of their course work. Each year a theme is proposed to be followed, at least by the action service through courses.

Action Service: Action service may involve hours of volunteer service, non-profit fund raising, and community activism.

Individual Action Service: The undergraduate student in collaboration with the Politis coordinator, the Student Affairs Director and the Director of General Education arranges to fulfil the Politis hours in the appropriate sites.

Action Service through Courses: Three of the required undergraduate courses — two in General Education and one in the major — include a civic engagement component. The specific activities and the hours each course contributes to meeting the Politis requirement are clearly indicated in each course’s syllabus.

Image: Hellenic American University student volunteering at a relief organization's soup kitchen.