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Minor in Service Learning and Leadership

The Minor in Service Learning and Leadership (SLL) is open to all students interested in issues of social and political justice in areas, such as healthcare and education, the development of business and economic opportunity among marginalized groups, and environmental conservation.

The SLL minor is open to all majors at the University of Mount Saint Vincent and complements both students’ liberal arts education and the mission of the University. Through interdisciplinary study and service experiences, students arrive to deeper understandings of social, cultural, and political problems from intellectual and practical standpoints.

The SLL minor is especially valuable for students who have a keen interest in developing the tools for making a difference in today’s ever-changing and dynamic world. Throughout the program, emphasis will be placed on how to make a difference in complex situations and the development of ethical and reciprocal partnerships.


The Service Learning and Leadership minor is a 6-course, 18-credit program of study. The following courses are required:

  1. Students choose 2 of the 4 following as foundational courses (6 credits):

    PBPL 200 Introduction to Public Policy

    SOC 301 Social Problems

    PHIL 369 Philosophy of Social Responsibility

    RELS 430 Contemporary Moral Issues

  1. Students complete 3 elective courses (3 credits per course) each with an added-on service learning practicum component. The service learning practicum component is a 40-hour hands-on service requirement that is attached to an existing course. To earn SLL minor credit for a course designated as a service learning practicum component option, students must have completed a minimum of 40-hours of service attached to a particular course within a given semester. Students work collaboratively with course instructors, the program coordinator, and/or a member of the faculty/staff SLL Leadership Team to select courses and appropriate service learning practicum components. For all service learning practicum components (domestic and international), students will have a site supervisor who will work collaboratively with the SLL program coordinator (and/or a designated member of the faculty/staff SLL Leadership Team) in the on-going supervision and evaluation of their service practicum work. Toward the end of each SLL minor-designated elective course, students will be required to submit a reflection paper and simple portfolio. The reflection paper and portfolio, along with course instructor and site supervisor input, will serve as the basis for final evaluation and a determination of whether or not a student receives SLL minor credit for a particular course.
  2. All students must take SOC 374 Service Reflection and Practicum (3 credits) concurrent with their first elective course chosen for the minor.
  3. Criteria for choosing minor courses. The three guiding criteria for choosing SLL minor courses are:
    1. Courses that promote an ethic of care and service;
    2. Courses that increase cross-cultural awareness and communication; and/or
    3. Courses that promote deeper understanding of how service work is embedded within broader social, cultural, environmental, and political contexts. There are many courses offered at the University of Mount Saint Vincent that meet these criteria. At the end of this section is a list of sample courses that students may choose toward the completion of their minor in addition to their required courses.

Approved Courses

Below is a list of possible elective courses students can add a service learning practicum component too.  Some courses may already have service components as part of the curriculum (i.e., ART 427). For those that do not, students will work collaboratively with the SLL program coordinator, the course instructor, and/or a member of the SLL faculty/staff Leadership Team to design a 40-hour (minimum) service learning practicum component that relates to the course content. In addition to the list below, special topics and other courses can be used if approved by the program coordinator. 

ART 427 Topics in Art: Art and Social Intervention
ART 428 Independent Study:  Art as Social Intervention
BUSN 240 Introduction to U.S. Healthcare Policy and Systems
BUSN 401 International Political Economy
BIOL 211 Microbiology and Human Disease
BIOL 221 Introductory Nutrition
BIOL 223 Ecology
BIOL 334 Pharmacophysiology
BIOL 340 Environmental Biology
COMM 344 Introduction to Public Relations
COMM 351 Intercultural Communication
COMM 353 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 356 Small Group Communication
COMM 370 Topics: Environmental Communication
COMM 413 Public Relations Project Management
HIST 201 Natural Rights and Civil Rights
HIST 390 Introduction to Political Science
HIST 463 Crossing International Borders: World Migration, 1800-Present
HIST 467 The United Nations and International Affairs
PHIL 110 Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 302 Philosophy of Human Nature
PHIL 314 Ethical Theory
PHIL 320 Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 353 Thought and Culture
PHIL 359 Meaning and Happiness
PHIL 369 (F) Philosophy of Social Responsibility
RELS 430 (F) Contemporary Moral Issues
PSYC 321 Social Psychology
PSYC 344 Group Dynamics
PSYC 365 Multicultural Psychology
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 202 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
SOC 203 Social Diversity
SOC 205 Culture
SOC 206 The Sociological Imagination
SOC 301 (F) Social Problems
SOC 302 Race and Ethnicity
SOC 304 Globalization and Inequality
SOC 305 Urban Sociology
SOC 321 Social Policy
SOC 335 Culture Health and Illness
SOC 374 Service Reflection and Practicum
SOC 399 Gender and Society
PBPL 100 (F) Public Service as a Career

No more than 6 credits of coursework taken for the minor can be used toward the completion of core or major requirements.


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