Getting Started

Getting Started with the 2020 SSLP​

What Will I Do in a Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP)?

You’ll serve at a vetted non-profit organization and can choose from a wide variety of categories, such as hospital clinics, parishes, schools, summer camps, and other community-based organizations. We have around 170 sites in 39 states, so take a look at our Site Directory. Students work at least 35 hours a week for 8 consecutive weeks at their organizations. 

What Do I Get From a SSLP?

Funding - A total of $3,000; $750 in cash and a $2,250 scholarship for Fall 2020;

Room and board - All housing and food costs are covered, travel assistance is also a possibility:

Credits - 3 credits in various majors/minors, either graded or S/U;

(Doesn’t count as second Theology requirement, but it does qualify you to take THEO 20625, “Discipleship,” which is only open to other service learning students and which does fulfill the second Theology requirement.)

The SSLP may count toward these Minors: 

  • AL - Catholic Social Teaching
  • AL - Education, School, Society
  • AL - Hesburgh Program in Public Service 
  • AL - Latino Studies
  • AL - Poverty Studies 
  • *AL - Theology (3 graded credits)
  • SC - Compassionate Care in Medicine
  • SC - Sustainability

The SSLP may counts toward these Majors:

  • *AL - Neuroscience and Behavior (3 graded credits - CSC33939)
  • *AL - Theology (3 graded credits -  THEO40642)

*additional requirements apply

What Should I Do Now?

Use the link below to start your 2020 SSLP application! Students must have experience in service to others, either formally or informally, be in academic and community good standing, and be available for eight consecutive weeks during the summer of 2020. The application window opens November 1, 2019. Students are placed at sites on a rolling basis, so it is to your advantage to apply ASAP so there are more placement options available to you.

Holy Cross and Saint Mary's students, please email Emily Garvey and she will send you a workable link.

SSLP 2020 Application

Come in for an interview! Interviews are 35-45 minutes and take place in Geddes Hall. You’ll receive a link to schedule an interview after you submit your application. Don’t worry - you’re not locked into an SSLP site unless you are made an offer. Also, the SSLP interviews are casual and low stress - you have nothing to lose by signing up for one of the interview spots. Even if you’re abroad, we can interview via FaceTime or Zoom. 

And after that? After the interview, you’ll be notified whether you’re invited to a placement meeting. Placement meetings are 45 minutes and where you discuss the nitty gritty details of the sites you’re interested in, whether they’ll work for you, how possible it may be, etc., and the next steps.

Nine Common Questions

1. Does the SSLP apply to my major or career goals? Yes! 2019 SSLP Participant Alex Lewis said, “The SSLP helped me determine what kind of job and work I want to participate in. It also helped me to envision what kind of studies and projects I hope to partake in while in undergraduate years.” The SSLP also counts towards several majors and minors.

2. I’m not Catholic and not really religious, is the SSLP for me? Absolutely! Students from all faith backgrounds, as well as students who aren’t religious participate every year. The SSLP is about engaging social justice issues through the lenses of human dignity, the common good, and solidarity - themes drawn from Catholic Social Teaching that resonate broadly. 

3. Where will I live during the SSLP placement? Housing is arranged by the Notre Dame Alumni Club sponsoring the placement and is at no cost to the student. Clubs may arrange for students to live “on site” at the organization where you’ll be working, or near the site with other students or community members, or with a Notre Dame alumni host family. Some sites give students the option to live at home and commute each day 

4. Are my meals be covered? Yes, your room and board is provided at no cost to you. Possible arrangements include eating meals with your host family or at your service organization, receiving a food stipend to prepare your own meals, or eating at your own home.   

5. Do I need a car to participate? It depends on the site. The SSLP site directory lists which sites require a student to have their own vehicle due to the living arrangements of each placement. 

6. Can I take time off during my SSLP for family vacations, conferences, or other events? Not really. Participating in the SSLP means you are committing to be as fully present as possible and gain the most from the experience. Schedule family vacations and other events before or after the SSLP. There are some exceptions, so if you have a question, please ask us. 

7. Will I be able to see my family over the summer? To some extent. We encourage families to visit and meet the people with whom students work. Some sites require working on weekends and evening hours, so time off may vary. Students serving in locations within driving distance of their hometowns may travel home to visit family occasionally during the summer.

8. Is the SSLP safe? The SSLP orientation covers general safety information, and site-specific information is given by the site upon the student’s arrival to his or her placement. The sites have developed relationships in the communities where they are located and are therefore able to advise students regarding appropriate safety precautions. If a student has concerns while at the site, he or she should discuss them with the site supervisor, and if further steps need to be taken, contact the SSLP office.

9. Tell me again about the funding? SSLP participants receive a stipend and scholarship totaling $3,000. You'll get $750 to offset incidental expenses over the summer. You'll also get a $2,250 academic scholarship for the Fall of 2020. Housing and food are provided for students living on site or with alumni host families. There is a $100 program fee, but a waiver may be available. Lastly, financial assistance to help you get to/from your site at the beginning and end of the summer may be possible for students with financial need. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have specific questions about your package and whether a SSLP would impact it.


Other questions? We'd love to hear from you. Contact SSLP Assistant Director Emily Garvey at 574.631.1040 or

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Upcoming Events

January 2020

2020 Social Concerns Fair
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Winter Career Fair 2020
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Leadership Formation Workshop: Organizing through the power of story
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

February 2020

Application Close: SSLP 2020
Saturday, February 1, 2020 (All day)
Color of Compromise: Why the History of the Church and Race Matters
Monday, February 3, 2020 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Application Close: Community-Impact Grants
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 4:30pm
Information Session: Catholic Social Tradition Minor
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Junior Parents Weekend Open House
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

March 2020