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. There are three tiers in the SDLC program.

SDLCs 1.0 | Sixteen second-year students have the opportunity each year to embrace the Educate for Service motto through dynamic collaborations with four community partners in the local area. SDLC 1.0 team members complete 30 or more hours of meaningful community engagement throughout the academic year (about 1 hour per week), focusing on the themes of direct service, capacity-building, advocacy, and research. Each SDLC 1.0 student lives in suite-style housing in Brinser residence hall. Click here to access the 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 develop 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 direct service, capacity-building initiatives, community-based research, or advocacy work in the local community through a full academic year. Each SDLC 2.0 team is housed in an on-campus house. Click here to access the 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. Click here to access the 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. 

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.