The Senior Volunteer Service Corps (SVSC), established at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1977, volunteer their time and talents to the University simply because they wish to stay physically active and intellectually challenged during their retirement years. Our volunteers currently provide tutoring and staff assistance to many departments and offices on campus.
Volunteers come from all walks of life: federal, state and civil servants, educators, lawyers, engineers, secretaries, business people, homemakers, and empty nesters. SVSC draws our volunteers from the surrounding Maryland communities and beyond.
Typically, we have approximately 80 active volunteers, ranging in age from their 30's to their 80's, who work an average of 6-7 hours a week over the 28 weeks that comprise the Fall and Spring semesters, and some programs also span the summer sessions. These dedicated volunteers cumulatively devote more than 15,000 hours annually in service to the University.
Goals and Objectives of SVSC
- To directly involve talented people, with time to give, in the education of university students in order to help personalize and enhance the quality of their educational experience.
- To provide people with a challenging opportunity to become involved in the educational community.
- To identify and define specific volunteer positions based on the needs of departments and mission of the University.
- To recruit skilled and motivated people from the surrounding area whose career experiences and personal interests will help to meet defined needs.
- To offer volunteers access to a range of services and academic programs which foster lifelong growth.
- To assess on a regular basis the impact of this program on departments, staff, students and volunteers, and to use this information in future programming decisions.
The benefit of SVSC volunteers to the University of Maryland is extremely important and the faculty and staff place a high value on these volunteers. In exchange each volunteer may obtain:
- A University Affiliate identity card
- A parking permit (if available, through their department)
- A university email account
- A Library card
- Use of UM Shuttle buses
- Invitations to our recognition reception hosted by the university's vice president, and other events throughout the year
- Use of Flexcars
- Membership in Campus Recreation Services
- Staff Discounts
If you don't see a current opening that fits your particular background and experience, we invite you to contact us so that we can keep your information on file for possible future use.
Writing Center - People with background in college level English to tutor undergraduate students
English Editing for International Graduate Students (EEIGS) - helps foreign grad students with English their in written assignments (by email).
Maryland English Institute
English Speaking Partners - for conversing with foreign students.
Ushers - for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
Library Assistants - in all Special Collections in Undergraduate, Graduate, and school-specific libraries.
Learning Assistance Service - volunteers to tutor undergraduates in a variety of subjects.
Health Center - volunteers as receptionists and greeters.
Botanical Gardens and Arboretum - volunteers to help keep our campus beautiful.
Maryland Day - volunteers for the most-attended campus event, held on the last Saturday in April.
Spring Commencement - volunteers.
Interested parties should please contact The SVSC Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 301.226.4750.
A volunteer's introduction to the Senior Volunteer Service Corps begins with an interview with the program coordinator. At that time, the volunteer's interests and qualifications are assessed and the available opportunities are discussed to determine which position appears most appropriate.
The volunteer then meets the faculty or staff person with whom they will work for a more detailed discussion of the position. Only then does either make a commitment. They agree upon a work schedule and arrange for any specialized training that might be needed.
Several basic principles apply to each position that is developed:
- It must be challenging and student-oriented
- It cannot conflict with the University mission or be a substitute for salaried positions
- The supervisor should have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of accepting a volunteer
- The supervisor and staff must have a welcoming attitude towards retired people.
The Senior Volunteer Service Corps encourages supervisors and volunteers alike to re-assess the position on a regular basis. In this way, we hope to continue to provide challenges for volunteers in ways that benefit a changing student population and support the University mission.