Center for Social Concerns launches new pre-orientation program

May 13, 2022

The Center for Social Concerns is launching a new pre-orientation program that matches incoming first-year students with communities and community organizations working to address social challenges. Students will be able to participate in one of two versions of the program. RISE: Hometown takes place in student hometowns for about six weeks over the summer; RISE: South Bend takes place in South Bend the week before fall classes begin. 

RISE: Hometown requires students to collaborate with an organization in their home community for at least 100 hours of virtual engagement on a project over the summer. They will also participate in a virtual orientation and training session on the principles and ethics of community engagement together with other students doing RISE: Hometown. And they will attend reflection workshops led by Notre Dame faculty and have weekly conversations with Notre Dame partner organizations and others exploring questions of citizenship. 

RISE: South Bend will experience some of the culture, history, food, and arts of South Bend while also addressing some of its challenges, working with community partners to make the City more just, humane, and equitable. Students will meet with local leaders and faculty community experts, hear from alumni, and see different models of social change in action.

Center faculty and staff created RISE because moral development research shows it is critical for college age students to get engaged in work with and on behalf of others. Students who do community engagement work in college are happier, healthier, and more successful both during their undergraduate years and throughout their lives.

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Contact: Melissa Marley Bonnichsen ( or Adam Gustine (