Service-learning reflects the mission of USD, which embraces the Catholic moral and social tradition by its commitment to serve with compassion, to foster peace and to work for justice, and prepare leaders dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service. The Center for Community Service-Learning engages USD students, faculty, staff, and alumni to learn in partnership with the community, and make life-long commitments to promote social change and justice.
The USD program includes course-based service-learning, student run co-curricular service, America Reads/Counts work-study tutoring, and a campus-wide Social Issues Committee which sponsors an annual conference as well as speakers and special events. All projects and programs depend on student leadership.
Throughout San Diego, hundreds of USD students participate each semester in course-based programs to help others. Each semester approximately 40 USD courses incorporate community service-learning, supported by faculty/student leader teams. Currently 75 courses from 48 faculty members include such a component, and the program continues to grow. Examples of community partnerships include assistance to detainees in juvenile hall, new immigrants and refugees, and the homeless, among many other types of opportunities and organizations seeking help.