Service Placement Questionnaire  Courses and Service Placement Catalogue

  • In line the Jesuit mission of Saint Joseph’s University, your service work will engage you with a particular marginalized population such as men and women who are homeless, people who are economically poor, adults with mental or physical disabilities, the elderly or children attending inner-city schools. All service work relates to your class content.
  • All Saint Joseph’s students are required to take a English, First Year Seminar, Philosophy and Social Science course. You can choose to take one of these courses as a service-learning class (in a small setting with lots of support) or without the service-learning requirement. There is also a special course section designated for Education majors.
  • Students attend class two or three times a week and volunteer weekly for three hours for both the fall and spring semesters.
  • Students volunteer with at least one other person in their class on the same day and at the same time, at the same site for the entire academic year, such as every Monday from 3:00pm-6:00pm at Project HOME’s Kairos House.
  • All service-learning placements are valuable learning experiences. Freshmen have the opportunity to review all possible placement sites and report three preferences. While we try to honor student preference, placement occurs with both agency and student’s scheduling compatibility.
  • Most of the placement sites are urban sites located in inner-city Philadelphia. Many of these agencies have worked with the Saint Joseph’s University Service-Learning Program for the past fifteen years and are committed to the care of our students.
  • We provide transportation to most placement sites through the student use of the university vehicle pool. Students can walk or take public transportation to placement sites close to campus and before the hours of 6pm. Bus tokens are provided.
  • Students travel to their sites in teams of two or three. Freshman students never travel alone.
  • Service time begins at the end of September, after you have received orientation, training and had time to ease into college life.
  • Service-Learning students engage in reflection dinners and community building activities with their classmates, professors and peer mentors.
  • Service-Learning students report that being involved with our program is the best experience they have had in college.

The students currently taking service-learning courses told us before classes started they were concerned about the time commitment. They asked us to pass some information on to you: it IS possible to fit in the three hours of required service each week. These freshmen loved their experience and want others to have the same opportunity they had. They want you to know that you can do it.

Something else they want us to pass on is that service-learning is hard work. It takes time and effort to learn about the lives and hear the stories of men, women, and children struggling with mental illness, homelessness and other circumstances keeping them living at the margins of society. Each week, you will encounter vulnerable people who may have difficulty trusting others. You have to put yourself out there. You have to be willing to take risks. You need initiative, motivation, energy and, most of all, compassion. The students working in service-learning courses at Saint Joseph’s are interested in learning what it means to be the “men and women for others” and “in solidarity with those most in need” as the Jesuits espouse.

Service-Learning Student Thoughts for Incoming First Year Students

When you come to campus, select one of the following Fall 2017 courses when you register at Orientation. For your information, the list below includes the follow-up Spring semester service-learning course associated with the Fall course. All courses fulfill a General Education Requirement or are noted as major specific.

ECN 150-SLR, Profits and Prophets in a Market Economy, Dr. Fox (Fall  2017)

and ECN 101-SLR, Introduction to Economics, Micro, TR 2:00-3:15pm (Spring 2018)

ENG 101-SL1, Craft of Language, TR 2:00-3:15pm, Dr. Gilman (Fall 2017)

and ENG 102-SLR, Texts in Context, (Spring 2018)

ENG 101-SL2, Craft of Language, TR 9:30-10:45pm, Dr. Patterson (Fall 2017)

and ENG 102-SLR, Texts in Context, (Spring 2018)

ENG 101-SL3, Craft of Language, MWF 1:25-2:15pm, Dr. Green (Fall 2017)

and ENG 102-SLR, Texts in Context, (Spring 2018)

PHL 150-SL1, Sweet Revenge and Its Alternatives, MWF 12:20-1:10pm, Dr. Linehan, (Fall 2017)

and PHL 154-SLR, Moral Philosophy, (Spring 2018)

PHL 150-SL2, Self and Selfishness, TR 12:30pm-1:45pm, Dr. Hoffman (Fall 2017)

and PHL 154-SLR, Moral Philosophy (Spring 2018)

POL 150-SLR, Diversity and Inequality in the US, MWF 10:10-11:00am (Fall 2017)

and THE 154-SLR, Faith, Justice and the Catholic Tradition, Dr. O’Sullivan (Spring 2018)

SOC 150-SL1, Social Problems and Social Change, TR 9:30-10:45am, Dr. Bergen (Fall 2017)

and SOC 202-SLR, Advanced Social Problems, Dr. Bergen (Spring 2018)

Education Major Specific:

EDU 150-SLR, Schools and Society, MWF 11:15am-12:05pm, Dr. Johnson, (Fall 2017)

and EDU 151-SLR, Development, Cognition and Learning (Spring 2018)


ENG 101-SL2, Craft of Language, TR 12:30-1:45pm, Dr. Patterson (Fall 2017)

and ENG 102-SLR, Texts in Context, (Spring 2018)

Student Perspectives

“In addition to being an incredible learning experience, service-learning has transformed me in so many ways. The phenomenal faculty combined with what is essentially a cultural experience in the Philadelphia community has allowed me to start to grasp what is important for me when defining success and achievement in my own life. I have seen so many new walks of life that I have never been exposed to, all the while being forced to look critically at my own life. Everyone at SJU, especially freshman, should participate in service-learning simply because it will define your journey here at Saint Joe’s and for the entirety of your life. The lessons, people and connections in the classroom and on site are nothing less than priceless.” – Dan S., 2018
“Incoming first year students should enroll in the service-learning program to become a more, well rounded individual. Sure, you have volunteered before, but, relationship-based service is so much more than that. Being able to find things in common with a variety of people, is something that really changes your outlook on everything around you.” – K.S., 2018
“My experience with Service-Learning has been truly amazing! Service never felt like a burden to me; it became something that I loved to do every week and looked forward to. Prior to signing up for service, I knew I was going to love whatever service I was placed in. However, I never expected to form the bonds and relationships I did while I was there. The two second grade girls that I work with were not only my students but I considered them to be like little sisters. Each week they came running up to me with huge smiles on their faces eager to work and learn! Their desire to learn and positive attitudes made the environment so special and helped all three of us grow! As the semester progressed, I can honestly say I learned not only a lot about myself but I learned so much about my girls as well. Each day we would start off with what they liked about school and I loved being able to connect with them and hearing about their families. After attending service I saw a change in myself. I was more patient, open to new experiences and recognized the importance of solidarity. Service became like an extra text for the class and something that I loved to do. As a first year student it exposed me to so many opportunities and opened my eyes to so many educational inequalities in our local city. I would recommend all freshmen sign up because you become friends with other SJU students at your service site and you also learn about the local community that you will be living in for the next four years!” -Jackie F., 2018