Community Engagement


Community Engagement at SFU

Our students, faculty, and staff collaborate with the community to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources of the University for the common good. Through community-engaged courses, our faculty encourage students to address societal needs in the community. Our SFUServes Ambassadors program employs students to assist faculty with large community service projects. SFU also sponsors domestic and international service mission trips. 

Community-Engaged (CE) Courses Reflect the Carnegie Foundation's Tenants of Community Engagement...

the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their large communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. In CE courses, students apply what they are learning in class to meet a community need, guided by their professor and collaborating with a community partner. All students are also required to take Franciscan Values for Today which has a 10 hour service-learning requirement.

Alternative Spring Break

Many students choose to spend their spring break serving others, both internationally and domestically.  The HUGS (Helping the Underprivileged by Giving our Service) program welcomes volunteers from all academic disciplines. Health science majors provide medical care and rehabilitation therapy in rural clinics. Spanish minors provide medical translations services. Business majors conduct a micro-lending program. Science majors restore wetlands and assist at a camp for Bahamian children. Education majors assist at a special needs school. Since 2006, HUGS volunteers have traveled to the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica,  Nicaragua, and St. Lucia.

A Simple House

The mission trip joins us with the missionaries of A Simple House, a Catholic community of men and women who live and serve the poor in Southeast DC.  


Our time with the missionaries of Simple House would see us jumping into their everyday work: doing anything from getting to know the homeless to catching up with the poor of the neighborhood that they have come to know over the last decade.  We'll also be jumping into their routine of prayer as we express our faith by action, and reflect on how God has spoken to us in what we've done.  The interest meeting will expand on what happens on a trip, the background of the area we're stepping into, and will give you a chance to hear from some present students who were just down at Simple House a month ago.  Also, as a note: you do not need to be Catholic to go on this trip -- and not everyone who has gone has been Catholic.

Contact Us

The University welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the community, including non-profits, schools and government agencies who have volunteer and internship needs. 

Learn more about becoming a member of the Saint Francis University Community Engaged Learning Network.


Ms. Leona M Horner, Director
Scotus Hall 306

Phone#: 814-472-3245