Join a medical mission trip. Volunteer with families dealing with disabilities. Prepare tax returns for low-income communities. Giving back can earn you ExEL units too. At Nova Southeastern University (NSU), you’ll learn how to meaningfully engage with local, national, and global communities. You’ll experience new places, people, and things when you sign up for opportunities provided by NSU or one you found on your own.

Through the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE), you can earn ExEL units for community engagement in a variety of ways, from regular volunteering to alternative spring break:

  • Ongoing Service with a Community Affiliate
    Utilize your own connections in your community to choose a service opportunity or project. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, or serve meals to the homeless. Work with SLCE to get your choice approved.
  • Sharks and Service (SAS) Trips
    Travel far and wide for a week or weekend during the semester or during breaks to volunteer with a social cause. Sign up through the SharkHub portal

Serve with Intention

Give back to the community and earn ExEL units toward your degree. Choose your own service projects, or join one of NSU’s affiliated programs. From volunteer trips to teaching high school, there are tons of choices to meet your interests.

Behavioral Neuroscience Training Program

Earn one ExEL unit per experience.
Are you a neuroscience major? Mentor bourgeoning scientists at local high schools for two weeks. You might even learn a thing or two from those young minds.

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Civic Engagement Scorecard

Earn one or two ExEL units per experience.
The civic engagement scorecard is a list of social good actions you can take to increase your awareness of and involvement with the environment, community, politics, arts, and culture. Get to know your elected officials. Donate blood. Visit a museum. Attend a local government meeting. Choose from opportunities like these, or create your own civic action list.

Deliver the Dream

Earn one ExEL unit per experience.
Volunteer with Deliver the Dream—a nonprofit organization that works with families living with a disability, serious illness, or crisis. Through NSU’s affiliated program, spend a weekend as a volunteer with a family during the organization’s retreat program, themed to create awareness around certain illnesses and hardships (e.g., autism, epilepsy, grief, etc.).

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student volunteering with a family

Ongoing Service with a Community Partner and Volunteering

Earn one or two ExEL units per experience.
Serve the community any way you like. Find your own volunteer opportunities on social issues that interest you, and earn ExEL units. Meet with the assistant director of Student Leadership & Civic Engagement ahead of time to map out your plan.

Schooling Sharks

Earn one ExEL unit per experience.
If you’re a part of the Fischler Academy, a first-year Shark, and an education major, take advantage of this opportunity to gain experience as a teacher. Enrich the community by creating a memorable learning experience for students in local schools.

Student on alternative spring break

SAS Alternative Spring Break

Earn one ExEL unit per experience.
Travel and do good in places such as Key West, New Orleans, and Jamaica. Each trip centers on a social issue—hunger, homelessness, immigration, etc. You’ll get the opportunity to raise awareness and to help make an impact.

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

Volunteer with this program, which is run by the Internal Revenue Service, to help low- to moderate-income communities prepare their tax returns. You’ll get free tax law and tax preparation software training.

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How to Earn Professional Growth Units

Meet with SLCE

Schedule an appointment to discuss upcoming service opportunities you can get involved with.

Register on OrgSync

To earn ExEL units through community engagement, your experience must be intentional and designated as ExEL before you participate. Sign up for the project or service you’re interested in beforehand.

Get Your ExEL Community Engagement Experience Approved

SLCE will guide you through the steps you need to take to coordinate and get approval of your ExEL community engagement experience. You can combine as many ExEL community engagements as you want to earn the total 80 units.

Note: You’ll need to get each experience designated ExEL before you participate. Long-term opportunities that last the entire academic year are highly recommended.

Additional Requirements

Each ExEL opportunity has different prerequisites and conditions. Be sure to find out ahead of time what’s required for the pillar or program you’re interested in.

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Submit to Portfolium

Showcase your work and display your portfolio. Don’t forget to add relevant hashtags so others can easily find you!

Submit Your Work

Contact Information

Ready to dive in? We’re here to help!

Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement 

If you have any questions about a specific opportunity listed above, please email slce@nova.edu or call (954) 262-7195.


If you have any questions about the experiential learning program, please email exel@nova.edu or call (954) 262-2047.