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Sophomore Service Learning Community

Freshmen Interested in Applying to SSLC

SSLC from the student prespective-It's worth it!

The Application


  • To live in SSLC housing, applications are due Friday February 24th

Service is an Act of LOVE!   

You are here because you are interested in belonging to  a community of sophomores committed to service and the common good. 
Without SLC, my understanding of medicine would have been unrealistic and naive. Instead, I received a real, genuine experience that prepared me, to get into medical school and for a challenging  profession where I will  care for patients with a robust and realistic understanding of the world that shapes and affects them.  Sara Vaughn '20  Drexel Medical School  SSLC Alum and student leader

As a member of SSLC you will think about why you serve, and why people do not have what they need to reach their potential.  

You will build friendships in the Community and relationships at your service site that will enrich your life and your future.

"Make someone feel loved today"

The Details

How will I learn, reflect, and serve in Community?

  • One three credit course each semester:  You will have the opportuntiy for advanced registration in highly desireable courses that fulfill core requirements.  A section of Ethics 2050 usually taken in sophomore year is designed for SSLC students.
  •  Integrating Seminar:  One hour a week , 1 credit each semester.  Students reflect on their service experience and examine issues affect the communities where they serve.
  • 3 hours of service each week (includes transportation):  Students choose from a variety of service.  Soup kitchens, schools, afterschool, literacy programs and working with ex-offenders.  Ruibal and Rays of Sunshing can be an SSLC service site.

Commitment to Community:  Sharing your life with others in class, in 4th hour, at service, Community dinners and social events run by the SSLC student council.  Games, picnics, competitions, off campus trips are planned for the community.

There is no GPA requirement for SSLC, however, if you are below a 2.5 the director may call you or your advisor or call you in to talk about how you will balance the 4 extra hours a week.

Study abroad during my time at SSLC?   You are not eligible for SLC housing if you are studying abroad in Fall 21.  There are often rooms available  in the spring because of students going abroad in Spring semester.

To get the full experience of SSL Community you can  choose to live in the designated residence hall space with other members of SLC.  This option  is not available after 3/2/22 

Students may belong to Service Learning Community and choose their own housing.  

January Housing Contract:  Indicate that you are interested in Sophomore Service Learning Community on your housing contract if you wish to consider living in the SL Community.  This is not binding, you will have until first week in March to finalize your decision about housing.

February 10    Applications due for students who want to live in SLC Communit .  You will indicate your housing preference on the SSLC application.  If you apply after February 10th you may not be eligible to live in community but you can be a non-resident member.  You may apply with a roommate or as a single.  Non SSLC roommates will be considered after all SSLC students are placed.

March 3rd    You have up until this date to change your housing preference that you selected on your  housing contract and SSLC application.  

After March 3, Residence Life will be unable to make any adjustments to your housing preferences.

 Students who do not want in live in the Communal space may apply through April 1st. 

While students who have been accepted into SSLC are given priority for SLC housing.  Residence Life  will work to accommodate non-SSLC roommate preferences as space permits.


Do I have to live in  designated housing to be in SSLC.
Members of SSLC are highly encouraged, though not required, to live with the community in its dedicated space.  (Honors students who live in Honors housing are welcome in SSLC)

Am I guaranteed a room SLC community housing?
Space will be assigned on a first come first serve basis. 

Do I have to apply with a roommate?
No.  If you do not request a roommate one will be assigned to you through residence life. If you choose a student who is not applying for SSLC they will be considered after all SSLC  studnets have been placed in communal housing.

Housing Summary:
When you apply to SSLC you choose whether you want to live in designated housing or find your own housing through the regular process. If you choose to live in SSLC housing your name will be removed from the regular housing lottery on March 3.

Roommate selection.  Students will have the opportunity to identify roommate preferences when the housing contract is available in January.  They will then have until mid-March to make any adjustments/changes to their roommate preferences.

Fourth Hour" One credit  Fall and Spring.  

Students often say that this is the most important hour of their week because they get to talk about current issues with people who are open to sharing different opinions and perspectives.  It is our hope that  you will learn to ask questions that matter in the world, to the people you serve and for yourself.


From the experiences I have had and the people who I have met throughout my time as a member of SSLC, I found myself, my purpose, and connected with some of the most inspirational and kind-hearted people I have ever met.  Crystal Brau '21

 As you have seen in our video students make lasting friendships through shared life, activities, and learning.  

It could be a van ride to service,  4th hour, volleyball tournament, an off campus adventure formal dinners and informal snacks, on campus treasure hunts or apple picking that make us feel connected to one another.


You will have the opportunity to choose highly desireable courses that meet core requirements prior to registration.  A section of Ethics 2050 (required for CLAS and option for SOE and VSB requirement is designed for SLC students)

Pre-requisites for upper-level themed Theology Courses are waived because of your service and 4th hour.

Courses approved for SSLC have a focus on issues relevant to the individuals or communities we serve.

Sample of courses available for pre-registration (first come first serve)

Ethics and Ethics for Honors students:  What it means to do good, live well, love rightly.  It is, above all, an examination of who we are, what we value, and how we come to share our lives with others.

Theology Ethics and Criminal Justice: What is true justice and to what extent does our criminal justice system implement it? This course engages Scripture, theology, and ethical theories of justice and punishment to examine the realities of criminal justice in America.  This course will allow you access serve at the prison which requires permission from Instructor and Director of Service Learning.

Education and Social Justice: We will explore how the content, context, and structure of education and how is serves.

Nature of Genocide: Genocide is perhaps the darkest of all human endeavors. This course is an attempt to shine an analytical light onto this modern phenomenon by tracing the causes of genocide through their historical, sociological, political, neurological, colonial, and religious roots.

Liberation Theology: This course is Liberation Theology calls us to see how the poor are marginalized by society, describes how to work among them to advocate on their behalf, and most importantly to use what we have in order for the poor to find their power so they can advocate for themselves.

Race, Class, and Gender:  What is oppression? Do our public policies and current legislation suggest that it is a crime to be poor? What is structural racism? Does one’s socio-economic location and embodied difference (whether gendered or raced) really matter, or are one’s life chances and opportunities merely a matter of “individual responsibility” and “hard-work”?

Politics of Whiteness: Examination of scholarship addressing the structure, function, & manifestations of "whiteness," primarily in U.S. culture, & its relationship to issues of diversity. Topics also include white supremacy, white identity, & the future of critical white studies.

History of Homelessness:  The History of Homelessness will offer an examination of the diverse societal perceptions of homelessness and poverty, and how those perceptions have shifted over time. Students will also study changes in government policy and how changing policy has affected people experiencing homelessness.

Agitating for Justice:  In movement-building work, to agitate is to hold individuals and institutions accountable to our highest values and noblest aspirations. How can we agitate Christian theologies, re-reading the Jesus tradition for communal liberation? How can Christian theologies agitate society, supporting public action for social and political change?

Growing into Justice through Agriculture

Stewardship of Creation: Sustainability and Environmental Justice:  This course presents Catholic Social Teaching on the environment, centering on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si, “On Care for our Common Home”.  

Ethics 3010 001 Ethics of Political Action:  This course seeks to explore and critically reflect on the diverse forms of political participating and civic engagement through which political change might be pursued.  Introduces students to classic forms of political participating such as voting, constituent lobbying and town hall meetings.  Students will, then, examine alternative forms of political participating by studying contemporary efforts around educational equity, agriculture labor, indigenous rights, and racial justice.


Inter-Group Relations This innovative program teaches students, faculty, and staff to create meaningful relationships and dialogue among people from different social, economic, racial, and ethnic groups.   IGR is developed on the core belief that it is only through a process of sustained and meaningful dialogue that people will understand one another better through cultural misunderstandings and personal differences. Topics examined as part of IGR programming include gender, socioeconomic status, religion/faith, race, sexual orientation, and ability. 

 SSLC Students may take 2 IGR courses to fulfill requirement.  

You will choose a service site based on your interests and academic schedules.  SLC has developed community partners over the  years who value the presence of committed volunteers who are also learning about the communities.

Please view the descriptions of service sites.

Ruibal:  Sophomores who participated in Ruibal as freshman may continue as leaders in the program.  Sites and hours will be determined by Campus Ministry.

Rays of Sunshine: If you are a member of Rays of Sunshine and wish to continue your service in  your sophmore year you may use that as your SLC sevice committment.

Some of our service sites

CCATE: Center for Culture, Art, Training  and Education
This Center based in Norristown has a wide variety of opportunities for volunteers.  From Community based research to afterschool programs, girl’s empowerment, college readiness and English Language Learning Programs.

Poverty and Homelessness: (Clearances are not necessary for these sites.)

  • Back on My Feet (running buddies with people experiencing homelessness)
  • Face to Face (dining room meal service)
  • Families Forward (family shelter)
  • Hub of Hope (working with Muslim Serve to provide food, shower, and services to people experiencing homelessness)

Domestic Abuse:

  • Laurel House (shelter times TBD, training required, Norristown) 

Adult Literacy:

  • ACLAMO (ESL and computer literacy)

Education: (Will need criminal, child abuse and FBI clearances.)

  • Boys and Girls club of Wissahickon 
  • ACCLAMO: Afterschool program in Norristown PA (Latino/Hispanic Afterschool Program) 
  • CurrentlyTrending Saturday (school for high school students who desire college and do not get the guidance at t heir schools) 
  • CCATE  see above variety of programming with children, teens, and adults
  • McClure Elementary Philadelphia (classroom aide)
  • Mighty Writers (project-based writing projects) 
  • St. Francis deSales Elementary (English language tutoring or computer coding)


  • Level: SLC students will be matched with Villanova students on campus who have differing abilities. Leveling the playing field, socially, academically, spiritually, and physically.
  • Special Olympics Athlete Practices


  • Sisters Returning HOME: Women ex-offenders returning to Society (GED, literacy, resume writing)

Prison Literacy:

  • Students in Sociology of Deviance, justice and Society and Punishment and Society or Race Crim and Justice are eligible to tutor in Phoenix Prison or be a part of a book club   


  • Vested  (Spring only):  Science, Engineering and Technology Camp (on campus program)

Office of Service Learning

Noreen Cameron, M.S., Director
Mary Aiello, Administrative Assistant

SAC 386