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Complementary Learning

Due In:

 

Satisfying your Complementary Learning Requirement

 

Complementary Learning is due each year you are a student in the Honors Program, regardless of whether you are on campus or not.  Failure to submit results in a withdrawal from the program  Exceptions will be made for students that take a Leave of Absence from RIT.  Please notify the office if you will be on a leave.

 

When you are ready to submit your project:  Visit the submission form (log in required)

 

Spell-checking your submission and writing with developed language are expected from Honors students. Submissions should include a detailed description of the activities and specific dates and times that provide a clear log of hours completed. References are also requested for verification. 

 

Submissions are subject to verification. Anyone found providing false information on the submission will be automatically dismissed from the Honors Program in accordance with RIT’s Academic Dishonesty Policy. Therefore, please ensure that you have met all of the requirements before the annual deadline. By clicking "Submit", you acknowledge that the information provided in your submission is accurate and true.

 

Your Comp Learning submission must include at least 20 hours and can consist of multiple activities which total 20 hours. All Comp Learning activities must be related to citizenship or leadership. Examples are provided below.

 

Please note: All activities are subject to approval by the Complementary Learning Advisors and Program Directors.

 

 

Submission Deadline

Every honors student, even those on co-op or studying abroad, must complete at least 20 hours of complementary by their respective deadline. An automatic confirmation email is sent to the student’s RIT email account shortly after a submission is received. If you do not receive this email, please contact the Complementary Learning Advisors with ample time before the submission deadline.

 

Students who do not submit Complementary Learning activities of at least 20 hours by the deadline will be withdrawn from the Honors Program.

 

Regular Deadline (first-year & returning): first Friday in March by 11:59 pm.

Early Graduation Deadline: first Friday in November by 11:59 pm.

 

The Early Graduation deadline only applies to students graduating at the end of the fall semester and for students completing their degree program requirements during the intersession.

 

Note: For all returning Honors students, any activities begun after last year’s submission deadline date will count towards the current year’s submission. For incoming first year students, only activities begun after high school graduation will count toward the current year’s submission.

 

Role of the Complementary Learning Advisor

Complementary Learning Advisors —who are also Honors students— are hired by the office to provide guidance on how to complete the comp learning requirement. They also review every student’s comp learning hours after they are submitted to the Honors website.

 

Office hours are held every week to review submissions and answer questions. It is strongly encouraged that you stop by office hours or email rithonorscomplearning@gmail.com if you have any questions about your project’s acceptability.

 

The Comp Learning Advisors work to provide timely responses for questions. However, their workload increases exponentially as the deadline approaches. Patience regarding email responses and submission review is appreciated during this time.

Early Submission

Early submissions are encouraged to ensure enough time for review.

 

As an incentive for submitting Complementary Learning by January 1st, accepted submissions will be entered into a drawing for a prize (the prize is subject to change). The drawing will be opened only for students submitting all 20 hours by January 1st. Additionally, there may be more than one drawing before the annual deadline. The benefits of this incentive system are two-fold: by completing your annual requirement significantly before the deadline, you may win a prize if your project is accepted. It also gives the Complementary Learning Advisors time to respond faster than they would during the last-minute rush about any necessary changes to your submission.

 

Appeals Process

Students who have submitted an original Complementary Learning activity totaling 20 hours by the deadline and whose activity is not approved can appeal the Comp Learning decision.  If the activity is not approved, students can meet with the Program Director and Assistant Director to discuss the determination. Students whose Complementary Learning activities are not approved will be withdrawn from the Honors Program.  

 

 

Activities That Do Count for Complementary Learning

As a guide for Honors students, a list of projects/experiences/etc... that do count for Complementary Learning has been created.  This list is not exhaustive; if there is an activity that you would like to pursue which is not listed, you are expected to consult the Complementary Learning Advisors to verify its acceptability.

 

Service:

  • Providing basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing, medical supplies or services.
  • Teaching, Tutoring, Training:
    • Positions should be unpaid or significantly below minimum wage with an established organization (high school, RIT, Mary's Place, etc.)
    • Leading or organizing training sessions (pizza sales, mentoring) counts as comp learning. However, attending training sessions will NOT qualify as comp learning.
  • Involvement in the Honors Program:
    • Active Honors Committee membership (see the section on Honors Council & Committee Comp Learning for a detailed definition of "active membership")
    • assisting Honors Committees (hanging posters, organizing events, etc.) and volunteering at events
    • Service events held by Service Committee (see committees page!)
  • Miscellaneous volunteering:
    • Animal shelters, Nursing homes, Margaret's House
    • SWE & WE overnights (not including time spent asleep)
    • Fundraising walks (time spent raising money, helping at the event and walking)
    • Career Fairs, Open Houses, Commencement, Move-In Day, Zero Waste
    • Volunteering at a public institution or non-profit organization.  
  • Imagine RIT Volunteer or Exhibitor:  This activity includes time spent as an official Imagine RIT Volunteer and/or time spent at the event demonstrating your exhibit.  If you receive academic credit for your exhibit or are paid for the work related to the exhibit, then it does not count.

 

Leadership:

  • Within Honors:  Honors Mentor or member of Honors Council (Officer, College Representative, Committee Chair, or Stand-In).
  • Mentoring and Eboard Positions: RA, OL and mentor for other pre-orientation programs, SG Cabinet, Varsity Sport Captain, e-board member of a club or major student organization (unpaid) and/or planning a service event.

 

The aforementioned activities include community service organizations that students have previously used for their Complementary Learning activities. More service organizations can be found here. Alternatively, you can go to the RIT Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement, which is located at:

 

RIT Campus Center

Building 3

Suite A610

 

For any service or leadership experience that does not fit in these categories, seek pre-approval from your Complementary Learning Advisors at rithonorscomplearning@gmail.com.

 

 

Activities That Do Not Count for Complementary Learning

As a guide for Honors students, a list of projects/experiences/etc… that do not count for Complementary Learning has been created. This list is not exhaustive, and a student with questions about his or her project is expected to consult a Complementary Learning Advisor.

 

  • Paid positions:
    • Jobs, co-ops, research positions, SG Senator, paid camp counseling
    • Exceptions include Honors Mentor, Orientation Leader, Resident Advisor.
  • Paid Volunteering on Co-op:
    • Time spent volunteering while still being paid by your employer will not count
    • Time spent volunteering FOR your employer (e.g. company picnics) will not count
  • Simple Membership in a group or club:
    • Activities whose purpose is to benefit the club
      • Tabling/promoting your club
      • Participating in club recruitment activities
    • Exceptions include active membership in service groups, such as Habitat for Humanity, Rotary Club, Dumbledore’s Army, etc.
  • Professional or Academic Development:
    • Non-paid positions whose purpose is to further your academic knowledge.
      • Internships or research – even if not done for credit
      • Speaking/presenting at an academic conference
      • Studying abroad
      • IdeaLab
    • Exceptions include going to a school and teaching students about college or your major
  • Any activity that counts for Honors points
  • An activity that benefits students and their families and friends rather than the community at large:
    • Independent tutoring of friends or family members
    • Planning a trip for friends
    • Participating in a musical or theatrical performance
    • Donating blood at a blood drive
    • Running a charity 5K
    • Captain of an intramural team
    • Helping a stranger change a tire
  • Travel time to and from Comp Learning activities. Carpool drivers can count the following time: or every hour spent volunteering at an event, the driver can count an additional 20 minutes maximum of driving for comp learning.

 

Active Honors Committee and Council Members

For time with Honors Committees to be eligible for Complementary Learning, students must meet the requirements of active committee membership.  Active committee membership is defined as follows:

  • 2 hours in Official Committee Meetings
  • 2 hours of additional, out-of-meeting work
  • 5 hours total

Active membership is retained for the full academic year but must be re-achieved each academic year of committee participation.

 

Honors Council is broken up into two segments:

  • Official Meeting & Agenda
    • Only elected officials (officers, reps, committee chairs, and stand-ins) can count the official meeting for complementary learning. Anyone attending council voluntarily without being an elected member cannot count the meeting portion.
  • Working Groups
    • Anyone attending working groups can count time spent in a working group.

 

Time allocated to the official meeting is determined by the complementary learning advisors and council officers at the beginning of each academic year and may vary.    

Comp Learning Examples

English Language Teaching Assistant in China

“With the recent set up of English corner and some English teaching resources, China Care Fund Ltd. aims to further develop students’ interest and ability in English. The school has qualified English teachers giving them regular English lessons to prepare them for the university entrance public examination. Yet, in the face of China’s booming economy and its increasing need of fluent English speakers, China Care Fund Ltd. believes that English oral courses will open them up to better job opportunities. As an English language teaching assistant, I interacted with students from Teng Xian High School on an academic and social level using English and Chinese and assisted multiple teachers in teaching different subject matters including etiquette, phonetics and social awareness.

 

“As a TA, my job was not only to teach the high school-aged students concepts and words, but also to provide them with a comfortable and non-judgemental environment in which they could practice spoken English. I had to adapt to their culture and play to their individual strengths, and instill in them the will to be confident. I have done this for three years, and through the years have gotten to know the best ways to teach basic English and encourage speaking. They, in turn, had to learn to open up and discipline themselves to practice, and to talk to us whenever possible in order to take advantage of all English-speaking opportunities.”

 

Volunteer Rescue Horse Caretaker

“Volunteering at Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue. This included doing barn chores such as feeding and turning out horses, mucking stalls, cleaning water buckets and general barn cleaning. This also included interacting with the horses and giving them positive human interaction. Many of the horses there come from situations of abuse or neglect, so they can be aggressive or wary of humans. Volunteers help to groom them and try to provide enjoyable human interaction with them to make them more adoptable.

“My volunteering has impacted the Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue and it's residents very positively. This rescue is has a very small staff, so they rely largely on volunteers to help take care of the horses and get chores done. Thus, my volunteering was very beneficial to them. I helped them to finish the many chores involved in running a horse farm, including feeding, mucking stalls, cleaning water buckets, and many more. However, the biggest impact of my volunteer hours is on the horses themselves. Many of them come from situations of neglect or abuse, and so they are fearful of or aggressive towards humans. Every positive human interaction they have helps them to not only become happier at the rescue, but ultimately more adoptable so they can find their permanent home.”

 

Volunteer Men's Varsity Soccer Assistant Coach

“I was the volunteer varsity assistance coach for the men's varsity soccer team. I coached at practices and games to help the team improve and get better. I scouted other teams in video sessions and review our games in video sessions with the fellow coaches. I met with players to talk about how they were performing as soccer players and to see how their personal lives and school was going

“Coaching allowed me to share my knowledge and experiences with the players. It helped me to become a mentor and guide to younger students. I have been looking for opportunities to be a mentor and this gave me great experience. I am excited to look for more mentoring and counseling positions in the future. I really enjoyed listening to their problems and giving my advice with school and with life in general. It helped me understand the great difficulties that come along with coaching a team. I believe I helped the players out and certainly grew a lot myself from the experience.”

 

Restoration & Maintenance of the USS Slater

“Volunteering on the USS Slater: This activity involved general volunteer work on the USS Slater. The USS Slater is a WW2 era destroyer escort located in the port of Albany, NY. The ship was sold to Greece after the war and then bought back, having lost most of its functionality. The Slater is maintained solely by a volunteer organization (comprised mostly of former veterans) who work to restore the ship to its immediate post-war conditions. Since I worked in disjointed intervals due to being in Poughkeepsie on co-op and not Albany for the majority of the summer, the work that I did on the ship was general restoration. I stripped old paint off of devices such that they could be repainted, I replaced wires that were frayed, and cleaned out air vents or ducts what had become clogged or dirty. I also worked in part to clean out one of the engine rooms below deck that had fallen into use as a general storage room so that, eventually, work could be done on restoring the engines. This was actually where I spent the majority of my time, as it required a fair amount of labor moving things up hatches on the ship and rearranging the room so that their was functional floorspace took far more time than I had originally imagined.

 

“Working to repair and maintain the USS Slater ensures that the museum of which the Slater is a part of will continue to exist and will improve in teaching effectiveness. The Slater is a relic of WW2, and on it is a memorial and museum that teaches people young and old about what life on the ship was like during the war. The ship contains many original components and the museum on it is filled with pictures and WW2 artifacts. Regularly, boy scout troops from the area camp out on it and engineering students study it. It also plays a role in events occurring on patriotic holidays. Maintaining the ship, therefore, allows more people to learn of the history and science behind it. Furthermore, repairing the ship and increasing its functionality toward that of what it could do before it was sold allows these people to better learn from it.”

 

FAQs

Q: I'm graduating this year - do I still need to do Comp Learning?

A: Yes - in order to graduate from the Honors Program, you have to finish your required 20 hours. If you are graduating in December, submission is due by the first Friday in November. If you are graduating in May, submission is due the first Friday in March.

 

Q: The form asks for a reference. Who should I put down?

A: For each activity, the reference should be someone in charge of the activity, who either witnessed you participating in the activity or checked you in. It is preferred that family members are not used as references unless they are in charge of the organization or activity. Eboard members and volunteer coordinators are examples of appropriate references.

 

Q: I've been on co-op this whole year - do I still have to do my Comp Learning?

A: You still have to do it! You can do your leadership/community service anywhere - even if you aren't in the U.S.!

 

Q: Does volunteering through my co-op company count?

A: Volunteering while on co-op is encouraged. However, time spent volunteering while being paid by your employer will not count. If your company hosts a “Volunteer Day” during the work week, and you’re still paid, it will not count. Additionally, time spent volunteering FOR your employer will not count. This includes company picnics.

  

Q: I don't think I'll be able to pull my GPA up, so I don't need to do Comp Learning, right?

A: Do it anyway! Sometimes GPAs can be higher than expected. If you don't do it, you are guaranteeing that you won't remain in Honors!

 

Q: Since the school year is only 2/3 done, can I turn in 2/3 of my Comp Learning and do the rest in Spring?

A: All 20 hours of Complementary Learning must be completed by the first Friday in November (for December graduates) or March (for May or Summer graduates). Students have from the previous submission due date until the new due date (1 year) to complete this requirement. Freshmen have from the time they graduate from high school until the new due date, which is about 9 months.

 

Q: I’m in a 5-year program. Do I still need to complete 5 years of comp learning?

A: Yes! As long as you are a member of the Honors Program and are receiving the benefits of the program, you must fulfill your complementary learning requirement.

  

The Service Committee organizes eligible activities throughout the year! Visit them on our committees page!

 

Complementary Learning Questions? Please send any questions about Complementary Learning to rithonorscomplearning@gmail.com.

 

Your Complementary Learning Advisors for the year are:  Laura Discavage, Ben Palmer, and Becky Jasen. You can find their hours and locations at the bottom of our staff page.

 

About Complementary Learning

 

Complementary Learning provides Honors students with opportunities to grow through out-of-class experiences in leadership, service, volunteerism, and critical thinking. By participating in activities within the larger community, students develop integrated knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and leadership skills that are needed in their future careers. More importantly, these experiences teach civic responsibility and citizenship. Service projects and leadership roles complement and enrich the academic program of every Honors student.

 

Comp learning submissions are due the first Friday of November for students graduating at the end of Fall semester or completing their degree program requirements during the intersession.  Comp Learning is due the first Friday of March for all other students