Community Overview

The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) pushes the boundaries of the classroom into the neighborhoods of South Bend and beyond. Through collaboration, partnership, and participation the Center serves as a transformative agent in the South Bend-Michiana area. This occurs in many ways.

The CSC works with University partners and more than 60 local community partners facilitating volunteer opportunities and providing transportation to and from partner sites and connecting faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students to social service organizations for community-based courses and community-based research. The Center has formalized relationships with seven of those community organizations in which a Community-Based Learning Coordinator (CBLC) works closely with the CSC. The Center also helps students, faculty, and other University constituents find non-curricular service, advocacy, community organizing, and other opportunities to become engaged locally in addressing social concerns.

The Center participates in local coalitions which have included The St. Joe Valley Project, Bridges Out of Poverty, 4 Community, the Lead Alliance, and the South Bend Food Security Coalition. 

Nationally, the Center works with community partners and alumni clubs placing students through the Summer Service Learning Program, Urban Plunge, and other Social Concerns Seminars. Internationally, the International Summer Service Learning Program works with partners in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The Center enjoys membership in community, professional and academic organizations, associations, collaboratives, and networks. These include Indiana Campus Compact, The International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, Forum on Education Abroad, National Society for Experiential Education, and The Research University Civic Engagement Network.