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Academic Service-Learning

Academic service-learning at St. John’s University is a classroom/ experiential site- based program that involves students in some form of required community service that benefits the common (public) good and uses service as a means of understanding course concepts. The service activity meets course objectives, and through reflection students examine issues pertaining to social justice and responsibility.

“This experience overall has been one of deeper understanding and admiration for the Vincentian mission. It has also served to validate my devotion to wanting to help others and the need to help those who simply cannot help themselves. I feel humbled having been blessed with such an opportunity and impassioned to go that step further for the sake of others.” First Year Student 2017-2018

Community Service Sites 

GivePulse Information for Reporting Service Hours

GivePulse is the new Academic Service-Learning platform where students can find, sign up for, and report service hours connected to their course work. We are excited for this user friendly nature and practicality of this new system. Please see these videos below on how to get started, as well as, the steps to sign up for and report your service hours. 

How to access, please click here.

How to Register for Service on GivePulse, please click here.

How to Log Service, please click here

AS-L Faculty Program Calendar Fall 2018-Spring 2019

To view and register for our faculty programs, please click here.

Five Validating Factors of Academic Service-Learning

  1. Academic service-learning must be part of an academic course, with a designated number of service hours and specific learning objectives
  2. It must serve a real and existing need identified by the community agency
  3. It must be for course credit only; no financial reward for service
  4. There must be a reciprocal relationship – service reinforces learning and  learning strengthens service; benefits for both SJU students and the community site
  5. Academic service-learning must have a reflective component

AS-L Highlights from Spring 2018

Inside/Out Prison Exchange (SOC 2010) with Dr. Judith Ryder

Dr. Judith Ryder has helped to create a dynamic partnership between SJU and Queensboro State Prison with a course that brings our “outside” students together with those “inside” in order to gain a deep understanding of crime, justice and social inequality. This Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) project promotes the dignity and worth of all people, especially the poor and marginalized, which is at the heart of our SJU Mission. During the spring semester as part of the AS-L component of the course the students learned to build bridges from the inside out.


Introduction to Hearing Science (CSD 1740) with Dr. Shruti Deshpande

Dr. Deshpande's students conducted Hearing Loss Awareness Workshops at the Immaculate Conception School with the 5th and 6th grade students. The group of 24 Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology majors in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders participated in an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) project during the Spring 2018 semester to spread awareness about hearing conservation and combat an increase in hearing loss among young people due to the rise of smartphone technology. St. John’s students taught children about the anatomy and physiology behind hearing, enlightened the students on the impact of hearing loss on speech perception and quality of life, as well as on the effects of noise on hearing conservation.


Read more about this event here.

Multidisciplinary STEM AS-L Project (Scientific Inquiry 1000C; Chemistry 1321L & 1323L; Calculus 11730; Physics 1940)

A 100-student cohort enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related classes collaborated on making solar cells that power cell phones and computers. Students who participated in this project merged STEM and service readiness in an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) activity. The students learned the basic skills necessary to create solar-powered cell phone chargers and then constructed them. The students then worked in groups to test and package the chargers, created an instruction sheet, and a final video reflection. This project provided students a research experience while serving our greater community to increase student retention through a collaborative effort and demonstrate the value of STEM to improve the human condition. The solar cells were sent to Escuela Botijas #1, in Orocovis Puerto Rico, a school attended by 200 children grades K- 9. 


Click here to view the news clip and here to read the magazine article. 

Management of Pediatric Dysphagia (CSD 341) with Dr. Nancy Colodny

Dr. Colodny’s Management of Pediatric Dysphagia class traveled to Antigua, Guatemala to serve medically fragile children with cleft lips, cleft palates, cerebral palsy, and other medical comorbidities whom have difficulty swallowing.  The group aimed to assist in making appropriate diet recommendations, appropriate bottle flow and spoon sizes, and positioning adjustments to ensure safe and adequate nutrition while reducing the risk of aspiration. Additionally, Dr. Colodny held workshops to educate the staff members at the facilities on the safe and appropriate feeding techniques that the group continued to implement.This year, marked the 10th year since Dr. Colodny began bringing her students to serve in Guatemala. Dr. Colodny's commitment and dedication to service is valued by all at St. John's University and of course by our community partner in Guatemala.


Click here to view the Summer 2017 program video. 

Tobin College of Business Management Project (MGT 2301 and MGT 4329)

Students in Sophomore and Senior level Management courses in the Tobin College of Business work with one community service site per semester; based on an organizational need identified by the site at the beginning of the semester (e.g. Human Resource issues, client retention, and organizational growth), the sophomore students propose solutions in the form of a managment plan.  The following semester the senior students continue working with that organization to develop a short term strategic plan to move forward or implement some of the  recommendations proposed by the sophomores.  To date the students have worked with organizations  The Variety Boys and Girls Club, Northshore Learning Center, YWCA of Queens, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Ronald McDonald House of New York, Ortlieb Foundation, New Life Community Development Corporation and Momma’s House to name a few.


Copywriting II (ADV 3301) with Prof. Neil Feinstein

Students in Prof. Feinstein’s Copywriting II course created unique electronic advertising portfolios for Habitat for Humanity - a global non-profit housing organization that works toward building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home. Representatives from Habitat for Humanity visited the classroom and students presented their creative content to them as well as gave them electronic portfolios they can review, build on and use. 

Principles of Marketing (MKT 2301) & Marketing of Financial Service (MKT 3321) with Prof. Maggiore

Prof. Maggiore’s Principles of Marketing classes and Marketing of Financial Service class worked on a marketing and development plan for Mission Take Heart, Life of Hope and Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Catholic School. At the end of the semester each organization attended student presentations and received unique marketing and development plans ready for implementation. Life of Hope, one of the community partners - is a  non-profit organization that supports immigrants in the Central Brooklyn community co-founded by Porez Luxama an alumnus of St. John's University who took the Vincentian Mission to heart and is serving his community even long after graduation.

To read further about Porez Luxama and how he founded Life of Hope, click here

Watch the Video Below to Learn More About AS-L at SJU

Contact Us

Office of Academic Service-Learning
Vincentian Institute for Social Action

Queens:                                                                                                                Lourdes Hall                                                                                                                    718-990-8331                                                                                                   [email protected]

Staten Island:                                                                                                        Loretta Library                                                                                                                718-990-4189

Office Hours
Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.