‘IMPACT Connects’ makes service more efficient for students and faculty

By: Michael DePietro

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY – The IMPACT office recently unveiled IMPACT Connects, a new website that offers a fresh, user-friendly way for Niagara University students to connect to community service opportunities that best fit their skills and interests.

The service’s goal is to help students fulfill their community service requirements by not only making the process easier, but more valuable and rewarding as a result.

Students can log-in with their Purple Pass ID at http://www.niagara.edu/ImpactConnects to begin easily searching for service opportunities from over 600 partnered organizations across Western New York and filter the results to find the projects that best fit them. Community service projects can now be sorted by location to find organizations close to each student, or by how well they suit a student’s personal skills and career goals.

IMPACT Connects also gives each student a volunteer profile which not only makes logging and tracking service easier, it also includes services which make their volunteer work more attractive to prospective employers. Students can print out a “volunteer résumé,” which shows their total number of service hours and highlights the skills that were utilized during their service fulfillment.

Civic 50 companies – a name given to the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation each year by the volunteer advocacy organization Points of Light – such as AT&T, KeyBank, UPS and many others, are now actively seeking service backgrounds from those they choose to hire.

The overall benefits of IMPACT Connects extend beyond individual students. Clubs can now register and respond to volunteer needs as a group, rather than as individual members, providing a more timely way to respond to, report and track required service.

The program also makes service learning easier to implement in the classroom by giving faculty optimized methods for organizing and implementing project-based learning in their coursework.

“Students and faculty now have an easy and user-friendly way to learn about and connect their career interests with organizations doing incredible work in Niagara County and throughout the region,” said IMPACT/ReNU director Tom Lowe.

For more information about IMPACT Connects, contact IMPACT at impact@niagara.edu or visit them in Academic Complex room 125.

IMPACT’s goal is to connect students to community service based on their career interests and personal goals. This provides students with meaningful service that they can put on their resume after graduation, and also gives community organizations the opportunity to effectively utilize the growing skill sets of NU students.

Feature image attributed to Niagara University.

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