What you can do, I cannot do and what I can do, you cannot do. But together we can do something beautiful for God.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Service Learning and Community Outreach

The mission of the Service Learning and Community Outreach Program is to engage students and faculty in community-centered learning which is grounded in the Catholic, Benedictine and liberal arts values of Saint Vincent College.

Facts About Outreach

Below are a few of the proven benefits from participation in Service Learning courses:

  • Increases student's ability to retain course information 
  • Increases student's understanding of course material 
  • Reduces stereotypes, facilitates racial and cultural understanding 
  • Increases analytical skills 
  • Fosters a deeper bond between professors and students 
  • Positive effect on spiritual growth 
  • Positive effect on moral development
  • Students participating in SL are more likely to graduate and become involved in community service after college
Community Involvementservice-learning-community-involvement
Community Involvement

The Saint Vincent College Office of Service-Learning and Community Outreach works to educate students through community-based learning experiences in preparation for lives as active citizens and community leaders in service to others. The office also coordinates one-day service activities for large numbers of students; facilitates the operation of ongoing, structured service programs; advises for student-led community service organizations; provides leadership opportunities for students to coordinate programs and develop outreach opportunities; advises and provides logistical support for alternative break trips.

Annual Events

There are a variety of ways to get involved with service during your time at Saint Vincent College and it's never too late to make volunteering a part of your SVC experience. Stop by the office and meet with our friendly and informed staff. We can assist you in navigating the variety of opportunities available.

  • Hunger Action Month

    September is Hunger Action Month (HAM) and we celebrate with 30 Ways for 30 Days! Take part and show your support by participating in some or all of our events! Check out the Hunger Action Month Calendar, share it with a friend or even print it out and hang it in your room! Help show you are taking an active role in fighting hunger here are home!

  • The Sept. 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance

    The 9/11 day of Service is the culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the nonprofit 9/11 Day with wide support by the 9/11 community and leading national service organizations. This effort first established the inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.

  • Giving Tree

    Each year The Office of Service Learning and Community Outreach works with the Student Government Association to plan, implement & distribute Christmas gifts to local children. We partner with our local chapter of Catholic Charities to help those in our community during the holiday season.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

    MLK Day is a chance to start the year off right by making an impact in your community. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.

    The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

  • Annual Westmoreland Earth Day Event

    Each year for Earth Day, Saint Vincent College students partner with the Winnie Palmer Nature reserve where students volunteer their time to help make the event a success!

Interested in a post graduate year of service? The Office of Service Learning and Community Outreach can help you find the program that is right for you. Whether you are looking for domestic or international, short-term or long-term, community-based or individual, or just at the beginning stages of your search, we are here to talk through your options.

Catholic Volunteer Network
The Catholic Volunteer Network is a non-profit membership organization of 215 domestic and international volunteer and lay mission programs. This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in service. Many students have found the Searchable Response Directory significantly helpful in their discernment to service.

AmeriCorps State and National supports a wide range of local service programs to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

AmeriCorps VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

Service Learningservice-learning
Service Learning

Service-Learning is your connection between community service and academic course credit.

Through Service-Learning you can:

  • Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Clarify your personal values and dedication to your degree program
  • Explore career options
  • Develop socially and personally
  • Create connections with civic and community partners
  • And earn college credit for coursework that includes a service component!
Apply Your Service-Learning Experience

A community partner is a co-educator who works directly with our students to provide high quality service- learning experiences at the community site. This entails providing training, orientation, and supervision for students who serve weekly per semester, or more.

Community Partners

Community partners are integral to the success of our service-learning students. They facilitate onsite learning students, resulting in an integrative teaching approach that provides a foundation for student learning.

Bendel Service Awardbendel-service-award
James D. Bendel Service Award

Do you volunteer in your community? Food pantry?
Animal shelter? Boy Scouts? Tutoring?

Award: A $500 award

Award Criteria: The Freshman, Sophomore or Junior who has demonstrated a commitment to working with vulnerable and marginalized populations, human or animal.

Nomination Process: Self nominate and fill out the brief application form. Applications will automatically be sent to the Director of Service Learning and Community Outreach, Kelly King, 3rd Floor Alfred Hall.

Timeline: Applications accepted until April 30, 2017.

The Awardee will be recognized at a luncheon in September 2017. A permanent display of the award will be in the hallway outside the Office of Service Learning and Community Outreach.


International Service Tripsservice-learning-international
International Service Trips

International service trips provide opportunities for students to expand their learning beyond the classroom and involve a combination of direct service and cultural immersion in a host community. Each year we sponsor a trip to Haiti and to Guatemala. The programs foster a respect for the people, history, and cultures present in the countries or areas we visit and a willingness to be challenged personally by the stories, the experiences, and the relationships that are encounter.

HaitiHaiti - Window on our Worlds

This International Service-Learning Course combines academic learning and critical reflection with relevant service in a rural Haitian community to enable students to identify critical, global issues affecting Haiti and to deepen their understanding of cross-cultural issues and the connections between the US and countries like Haiti. Through these experience students also grow in their awareness and understanding of self and contribute to building a global "culture of solidarity" and engaged citizenship at Saint Vincent College. This one credit course and service trip occur during spring break each year.

Student Experiences

Interested in a dynamic, fun, demanding experience?
Contact Jessica Parsons for information. jessica.parsons@stvincent.edu; 724-805-2288

GuatemalaLiving Theology in Guatemala

The Guatemala Service Learning Course provides students with the opportunity to interact with the population living in and around the garbage dump in Guatemala City, especially those students served at the San Francisco Coll School. As teacher aides, through informal recreational periods, and by assisting with various community improvement projects, students will participate in the life of a community struggling with extreme poverty and governmental neglect. Opportunities for prayer and reflection help to ground the trip as a gospel-centered project as students are invited to consider their own roles in global poverty and its alleviation.

Contact one of us for more information on this great experience: Kelly King at kelly.king@stvincent.edu or Dr. Christopher McMahon, Theology Department at christopher.mcmahon@stvincent.edu.