• VITA Program 2015
    Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

    The Business Department at Lee University partnered with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program once again to offer free tax preparation during this spring semester. The VITA program at Lee, now in its eighth year, is a tax return preparation service for any qualified individuals or families whose maximum gross annual income does not exceed $50,000. IRS-certified junior and senior accounting students provide assistance by appointment.

    The VITA program is a great example of how Lee integrates service learning experiences into the academic discipline. Learn more about Lee’s commitment to service learning below and what you can expect as a student.

    What is Service Learning?

    Service Learning is a highly successful program that launched in 2002 along with the Service Learning hub known as the Leonard Center. Our students complete more than 74,000 hours of community service every year, and Lee has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll for Service since 2006. As a Lee student, you will complete 10 hours of service per semester with partnering clubs, organizations, and courses such as Benevolence and Gateway classes. Academic departments also offer major-specific service opportunities targeting your specific skills and talents. Service learning is designed to prepare you for responsible Christian citizenship through reflective community interactions that encourage a commitment to the ideals of service, benevolence, civic virtue, and social justice.

    The goals of the Service Learning program are to ensure that you:

    • Understand the biblical mandate for service.
    • Recognize that serving others is part of God's purpose for you and that it flows from His design of your uniqueness.
    • Have insight into appropriate service—its source, its meaning, and its impact on both the performer and the recipient.
    • Understand how you can use your vocation to serve God and others.

    Why Serve?

    Studies of Service Learning document the benefits of community service for students in a wide range of disciplines. These studies show that Service Learning:

    • Offers a positive influence on students’ personal and professional developments
    • Cultivates leadership and communication skills
    • Develops intercultural understanding
    • Offers a sense of community responsibility
    • Cultivates critical thinking skills
    • Applies classroom learning to real-world settings

    Not only do you have the opportunity to minister and develop these skills and qualities, but Service Learning can also open the door for future internships and networking opportunities as well as polish your professional resume. Most importantly, service learning allows you to serve those in need and to reflect on their experiences in ways that encourage emotional and spiritual development.

    How do I get Involved?

    If you’re a new or prospective student, rest assured that our professors and clubs offer a wide variety of opportunities to serve and get involved in the community in a way that fits your schedule and interests. New students get to participate in Deke Day which is a whole day dedicated to serving the community and getting to know fellow students. Benevolence, Gateway, and Capstone courses offer embedded Service Learning opportunities that accompany the class curriculums. The Leonard Center is the hub of Service Learning where students submit their hours and can find service opportunity resources for the future. Service-learning hours are due by November 1 and/or April 1 of the respective semester.

    Don’t miss out on the unique purpose you were created for – to serve and minister those in a way that only you can! Your skills and talents are needed to make a difference in the community, beginning at Lee, and for the rest of your life – with hopes to reach the world.

    By Kaitlin Andrews

    #LeeExperience #ServiceLearning #VITA #LeeU