SSLC Frequently Asked Questions

What is Service Learning?

The actual work you do may not be different from what others on campus are doing in service. However, the approach to the work should be different from that of a volunteer. It is your responsibility as a scholar to look more deeply at the issues that affect the people with whom you serve and to integrate that experience with the knowledge you gain in your course so that your opinions, judgments and solutions are based on information. The learning is a process facilitated by the class, the action of service, and reflection.

  • Service Learning The integration of the development of academic skills and meaningful service to the community.
  • Volunteerism Action on behalf of the community in a way which benefits the recipient. There is no connection to academic credit.
  • Community Service Primary focus is the service and the benefits to the person involved in service.

Back to Top

What courses are available to SLC participants?

The courses available to SLC participants change every semester, although we aim to provide dynamic courses that also satisfy students' general sophomore year requirements, social science electives or free electives that are usually Peace and Justice Courses..  Previous courses have ranged from Ethical Traditions & Contemporary Life, Introduction to Sociology, , Perspectives on US Poverty, Christian Ethics, Urban Education, Option for the Poor, African American History.  Please check our complete offering of courses.

Back to Top

What are the service placements?

You can choose to be a classroom assistant/tutor/mentor  at an urban school Jay Cooke Elementary School, High School of the Future or  Cristo Rey High School Other sites LIFT, the nation’s only year-round, student-led volunteer service organization that links people in need with the resources and opportunities necessary to become self-sufficient.  DELCO a program for adult literacy,, DREAMCAMP a non-profit community based organization that offers after school and summer programs to school-age children, Soup Kitchens, Shelters and Street Outreach as well as on campus work with Villanova students who have a disabilities  see  Community Parntership  for descriptions.  If students have served with Ruibal and have been accepted into leadership they may continue their service with Ruibal Program.

Back to Top

How much time will service take?

You will be asked to leave time in your schedule before registration for service. Expect 4 hours per week including transportation. See Site Registration

Back to Top

How do I get to my service site?

You will go by school van. Sophomores will volunteer to drive.  You will be assigned a meeting time and place by the driver of the van. Please consider being a driver.  

Back to Top

Can I ever be absent?

To be part of the service learning community, you should be an individual who is making a commitment to a place of work and to people. You are committed to an organization a school, more importantly you are committed to those you serve. Your absence will be felt. Please plan school work, papers and studying so that your service will not interfere with your academic obligation. If you are sick or there is an emergency, you must contact your van driver to tell them you are not going to be there before the meeting time and fill out excused absence form. This form must be turned into Mrs. Aiello in SAC 386. If you have anticipated absence due to illness or crisis you must drop off the form to Mrs. Mary Aiello in SAC room 386.  You are excused from service during schedules school breaks.

Back to Top

What is the 4th hour?

This is the reflection piece of your service learning commitment. It is a time for reflection, to ask questions and to share your feelings about what you encounter in your service. This is time to talk about the connections you are making between your class and your service. This is time to give back to the community you are serving by thinking in terms of the bigger picture. Are the services offered to the children at Cooke Middle School equal to the services you received as a child? Who is coming to LIFT, why are they coming? How do you feel about the answers to those questions? What questions does it raise for you about compulsory education, inequality, race, privilege?? Do you want to know more?? Can you bring questions back to the classroom, to your academic work that might help you answer some of the questions you have. Caution!!! Do not form answers to your questions based on assumptions, previously held stereotypes or what you think you know. That is disrespectful to a community. Do your homework, find facts and continue to ask questions, because what you find might not seem like justice.

  • Sessions are taught by one instructor and two student facilitators
  • You will be assigned readings for the fourth hour  and graded on the quality of discussion and your participation.

Back to Top

Will I be safe if I go off campus?

Although we have never heard of a crime occurring to a service learning student while he/she was performing service in the central city, the possibility is certainly there. The Service Learning staff is very concerned about your safety, so we are recommending the following steps to decrease the likelihood of problems:

  • Never go alone to your service site
  • Do not leave the building during service hours unless on official business with a member of the community
  • Be aware of your surroundings and make smart decisions
  • Drive Safely and do not stop until you are back at Villanova

Back to Top

What type of housing is available for members of the Service Learning Community?

  • Students apply to be a member of SLC
  • Students choose their own housing or are assigned to Alumni, Fedigan or St. Rita’s through SLC
  • For Fall 2013 Roommate decisions will be made on line through residence life.

Back to Top

Can I study abroad and be a member of SLC

If you are studying abroad fall semester you are not eligible to live in Alumni Hall.  There are no issues if you are abroad in the spring.

Can I continue to be a part of SLC after Sophomore year

Yes, through leadership (co-chair or facilitator for 4th hour seminar) or continue with your service so that you can mentor new students at the site.

Alumni Hall

What is Service Learning Community

Service: You will mentor a child or teen, tutor in classroom and after school programs, teach adult literacy, teach in local high schools, and teach Peer Mediation to elementary school children or high school students for 3-4 hours per week.

There are soup kitchen and homeless shelter service sites available.

Learning: You are required to take one course fall and spring semester that are designated for the Sophomore Service Learning Community. You are also required to register for a 1 credit integrating seminar.

Community: You will live with students who share values and desire to serve the poor and examine the causes and structures in society which keep people poor. You will enjoy Community nights, evenings of reflection celebration dinners, orientation in August and January and day of service in September and opportunities to choose some weekends of service.