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"If this is for school, how do we know [students] are considering this as community service, rather than just homework for school? Helms, an assistant professor of economics at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala."One of the interpretations that is more convincing is, maybe we are substituting this [requirement] for being self-motivated. " Service learning—in which students engage in projects and activities to improve their communities or address social problems—has become more popular in the past decade.Consequently, the 2003 graduating class of Ontario high school students contained two cohorts, the first of the 4-year cohorts that was compelled to complete a mandated community service requirement, and the last of the 5-year cohorts that was not.Using a quasi-experimental design, we surveyed 1768 first-year university students in terms of their perceptions and attitudes about the nature and amount of previous volunteering, attitudes towards community service, current service involvement and other measures of civic and political engagement.Some school districts in Washington, including Seattle Public Schools, differentiate between community service and "service learning," requiring students to demonstrate that their work has contributed to their education.If a student in high school is taking an AVID course, community service is often needed.While Maryland remains the only state to require universal service learning as a condition of graduation, the District of Columbia school system began requiring 100 hours of community service in 2007, and several other large districts, including Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia, also require community service for graduation.

Maryland's statewide requirement that all students complete 75 hours of service learning by graduation led to significant boosts in 8th grade volunteering—generally in school-organized activities—but it actually decreased volunteering among older students, leading to a potential loss in long-term volunteering, according to a study previewed online by the Economics of Education Review in June.

Community service is a non-paying job performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions.

Performing community service is not the same as volunteering, since it is not always performed on a voluntary basis.

Whether American public schools could require volunteer hours for high school graduation was challenged in Immediato v.

Rye Neck School District, but the court found no violation.