Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office

The Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office at Mount St. Joseph University provides a comprehensive array of engaged experiences that help students to be prepared to lead in the workplace and in the community. The Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office values: 


  • Community impact through lifelong commitments and partnerships
  • Learning through reflection
  • Human rights and social justice
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Incorporating fun, hands-on experiences into the learning environment.

 

Nationally Recognized

Mount St. Joseph University is nationally recognized for service learning & civic engagement programs:

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Since 1994, our service learning students have contributed over $1,617,775 worth of in-kind service in Greater Cincinnati through our credit-bearing service learning program. The Mount was recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service with the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for our commitment to service learning and civic engagement. Mount St. Joseph University was awarded the 2008 Community Service Award by the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio for its contributions and support to senior citizens.

 

The Mount’s 2014 and 2018 student voter registration rates were the highest in Ohio (75.8% and 83.9%). The Mount had the #1 student voting rate in Ohio in 2014, the #2 student voting rate in Ohio in 2016, and the #3 student voting rate in Ohio in 2018. Mount St. Joseph University was designated as a Voter Friendly Campus by NASPA (Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education) for 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 because of our commitment to civic education and student voting. The Mount was awarded the Silver Seal in 2016 for its student voting rate of 62.5% in 2016 by ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. In 2018, Mount St. Joseph University was awarded the Gold Seal for its voting rate of 45.3% by ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.

 

Since 2016, Mount students have contributed over $35,000 to 20 local nonprofit organizations through the student philanthropy program. The Mount’s academic student philanthropy program was featured in the 2019 April/May edition of Cincy Magazine.

 

The Mount is also a respected member in good standing with the Ohio Campus Compact.


 

Service Programs

The Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office provides a variety of curricular and co-curricular service experiences for the Mount community.

 

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Academic Service Learning

Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with valuable instruction and reflection. The service learning experience offers an irreplaceable enrichment to course curriculum, teaches civic responsibility, and strengthens community ties. Service learning is available to all graduate and undergraduate students of all majors. Service learning can be embedded into a course or it can be attached to a course as an additional credit. Credit-bearing service learning experiences are defined as placements of 30+ hours of community service with one of our nonprofit community partners over the course of a semester. Since 1994, our service learning students have contributed over $1,617,755 of in-kind service to Greater Cincinnati through our credit-bearing service learning program.

 

Featured Service Learning Courses


  • Service Learning: Global Human Rights: The Case for Women & Children
  • Service Learning: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Service Learning: Appalachian Culture & Spirit
  • Service Learning: Human Exceptionalities
  • Service Learning: International Sport Management

 

Service Events


  • The Welcome Week Service Day occurs in August just after the first week of classes has commenced. The event invites all students, faculty, staff, and alumni to begin the school year by serving the community. Mount St. Joseph University supports over 70 non-profit community partners through events like Welcome Week Service Day.
  • The University celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through its annual MLK Day of Service. The first option is for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to advocate for housing equality by serving with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati. The second opportunity on MLK Day is to attend the MLK Day Commemorative March, which occurs annually in downtown Cincinnati.

 

Service Clubs


  • Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter completes two housing builds per month alongside Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati. The chapter also completes a week-long, end-of-year service trip annually with the accompaniment of a Habitat affiliate. The Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter organizes the Habitat Shed Build portion of the University's MLK Day of Service.

 

Service Year Programs

Completing a year of service after graduation can be a great way to transition from school to career. Moreover, service year programs offer a variety of benefits, including: living allowances, health coverage, education awards, professional development opportunities, and childcare assistance. Students can work with the Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office to receive 1:1 assistance on applying for service year programs like: AmeriCorps, PeaceCorps, Public Allies, Teach for America, and Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati.

 

Student Philanthropy

Student philanthropy courses prepare student philanthropists to be able to make decisions about awarding funding to nonprofit organizations. Faculty develop the philanthropy requirements of the course and set parameters for students to research nonprofits and solicit proposals for grants of $1,000. The students then collaboratively decide on a nonprofit to invest in after researching the nonprofits and examining the proposals. The student philanthropy program is funded by the Cambridge Charitable Foundation. Since 2016, Mount students have contributed over $35,000 to 20 nonprofit organizations through the student philanthropy program.

 

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The following agencies have received student philanthropy grants:

  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Childhood Food Solutions
  • Churches Active in Northside
  • City Gospel Mission
  • IKRON Corporation
  • Melodic Connections
  • Mill Creek Alliance
  • Northern Kentucky Scholar House
  • Ohio Justice & Policy Center
  • Our Sam Foundation
  • Our Turning Point
  • People Working Cooperatively
  • ProKids
  • Sayler Park Recreation Center
  • Sober Living Ohio
  • Teen Challenge Cincinnati
  • Washington United Church of Christ
  • Welcome House of Northern Kentucky
  • Wells for Sudan
  • WordPlay Cincinnati 

Democracy Program 

The Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office facilitates a comprehensive democracy program that aims to register students to vote, educate students on voting issues, and to get out the student vote.

 

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Voter Registration


  • Ohio residents can register to vote online.
  • Kentucky residents can register to vote online.
  • Indiana residents can register to vote online.

 

Other Election Services

The Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office also provides assistance with the following:


  • absentee ballot requests
  • voter registration checks
  • residency letters for students living in the residence halls
  • nonpartisan issue and candidate lists
  • voter identification assistance
  • assistance identifying polling locations

 

Contact Information

Keith Lanser, M.A.
Associate Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement
Seton Center 122
keith.lanser@msj.edu
(513) 244-4634