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SPOTLIGHT: Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement

CSLCE Grand Opening

Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement

On a warm day in August 2015, the official grand opening for the new Center for Service–Learning & Community Engagement kicked off expanded support for the community at APSU. The event included an open house, spotlights on programs, garden and chicken tours, and a tree planting to celebrate the milestone. 

A year of renovations to the space at 322 Home Ave.concluded in the spring of 2015, and the building now features office space, the campus food pantry, conference room, vegetable gardens and chicken coops. The completed renovations breathed new life into a property that has been on the fringe of campus for 50 years as a fraternity house.

Program focus for the Center comes from a growing momentum on campus to engage students within communities to connect their education in a hands-on setting while supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for others. Service–learning courses are a growing trend and combine an academic course with 15 hours of service connected to course content. Alternative break trips offer students the opportunity to travel domestically and internationally while volunteering. Our campus food pantry, with a focus on healthy food options and dietary education, is staffed by volunteer students and has consistently grown on campus for the past five years.

The new location increased space for the food by 150%. Chickens now provide fresh eggs available to students utilizing the pantry as well.

“I am very thankful to the Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement for giving me  direction on how to serve the community and for actually providing me with a platform to be out in the community and be a part of it.”

Navdeep Saini
Student volunteer and 2015 recipient of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award

About the Harold Love Award
This award was named for a late member of the Tennessee General Assembly, and recognizes five students and five faculty/staff for their public service work. Saini received a $1,000 cash prize, which he planned to donate to the APSU programs he served.




A student working at CSLCE during the Big Event.» Service-Learning supported 7 courses with 8 faculty, 171 students enrolled, completing 967 hours of volunteer service

» 5,535 food items from S.O.S. food pantry distributed to 198 people (students & family members), 52 student volunteers worked in the food pantry. Operating hours increased from 14 to 28 weekly, and usage almost doubled in new location over previous fall.

» 885 eggs were produced by 11 hens; 147 S.O.S. Food Pantry users received half-dozen egg cartons  

2015-16 VISTAS» In collaboration with AmeriCorps VISTA, the Center placed three VISTA members into community agencies to assist these organizations with long-term goals and capacity building, including Veterans Treatment Court, CMCSS Education Foundation and the S.O.S. Food Pantry/Victory Garden. The focus is on agenciesworking with veteran assistance and hunger insecurity.

» ENGAGE provides an opportunity for members to become student leaders through volunteer opportunities. Student  participants live on campus in the residence halls and meet regularly as a group for community building activities such as family-style dinners and service projects.

APSU students participate in a Alternative Break Trip to Guatemala. » 10 Alternative Break Trips offered, 73 student participants, 7 states and 2 countries served 2,057 hours of volunteer work

» CSLCE partnered with Public Safety to benefit from “Food for Fines” program, which provides food donations in lieu of citations



Hours of volunteer work
Volunteers recruited by VISTAS
Agencies served



Hours of volunteer work
Family-style dinners
Students involved 
Service projects