Student Directed Learning Communities

live • learn  serve


Student Directed Learning Communities (SDLCs) exist to develop engaged student leaders who are committed to a life of creating positive change through community, education, and service. SDLC team members work with with community partners (local organizations) and learning mentors (faculty and staff members) to identify community strengths, navigate community challenges, and serve the local community in ways that are empowering, collaborative, and sustainable.

Each SDLC team focuses on one or more service pathways: research, build (capacity-building), influence (advocacy), and act (direct service). These pathways are central to each of the three branches of the SDLC program, listed below.

SDLCs 1.0 | Beginning in their sophomore year, students have the opportunity to embrace the Educate for Service motto through dynamic collaborations with four community partners in the local area, each representing one of the four pathways of community-based learning and engagement. SDLC 1.0 team members complete 30 or more hours of meaningful community engagement throughout the academic year (about 1 hour per week). Each SDLC 1.0 student lives in suite-style housing (currently located in Brinser residence hall) and prepares a poster presentation for SCAD in April. Click here to access the 2018-2019 SDLC 1.0 Handbook.

SDLCs 2.0 | Each year, 40-50 upper-division students commit to meaningful and partnership-driven community engagement through the SDLC 2.0 program. This program aims to amplify the College's mission of providing transformative educational experiences that cultivate personal strengths and developing a passion for lifelong learning and purposeful life work. SDLCs 2.0 participants collaborate with community partners, faculty and staff mentors, and other SDLC teams as they engage in 32 or more hours of community-based learning and engagement through a full academic year. Each SDLC 2.0 team is housed in an on-campus house and prepares a poster presentation for SCAD in April. Click here to access the 2018-2019 SDLC 2.0 Handbook. 

SDLCs 3.0 | The SDLC 3.0 program is designed for groups of upper-division students who have successfully completed the SDLC 2.0 program, with a focus on extending, expanding, and deepening the service completed by SDLC team members during their 2.0 year. To supplement their year of service, SDLC 3.0 team members engage in research around their chosen community learning and engagement pathway, and each team presents the impacts of their service and the results of their research in a SCAD presentation in April. Click here to access the 2018-2019 SDLC 3.0 Handbook. 

Applying to serve as an SDLC team member begins early in the spring semester! All successful applications will be in good standing with the College, demonstrate a commitment to a full year of SDLC service, and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Most SDLC applicants will need to apply as a team of four (with a few exceptions for SDLC 2.0 applicants). SDLC 1.0 applicants must be rising sophomores. Students can apply for the SDLC 2.0 and 3.0 programs as rising juniors, seniors, 5th-year seniors, or graduate students. SDLC 3.0 applicants must have previously participated in the SDLC 2.0 program. Steps to apply are below!

Info sessions | Info sessions are opportunities to learn more about SDLCs. Currently, info sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, November 28, Tuesday, December 4, and Wednesday, January 16. Each info session takes place at 7pm in Hoover 212.

Application | There are two applications to complete! One is completed by each applicant, and one is completed by each aspiring SDLC team. Applications will be available beginning January 22.  Click here to peruse a list of recent service topics and community partners.   

Interview | Each aspiring SDLC team will meet with an application review team composed of faculty and staff members from the SDLC advisory committee. Interviews will occur from February 6- February 15.

Invitation | Residence Life will send invitations to successful SDLC teams in late February. Aspiring teams who are not invited into the SDLC program for the 2019-2020 academic year will have the opportunity to apply for Independent Living Unit Housing at that time.   

Housing for all successful SDLC applicant includes an Independent Living Unit. SDLC 1.0 team members live in suites in Brinser residence hall, and SDLC 2.0 and 3.0 team members live in on-campus houses. Please visit the Business Office Website for more information regarding housing costs. All SDLC applicants must register for a housing lottery number when they become available.