La Salle University has been selected to participate in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement, one of only 73 colleges and universities in the nation designated as a Lead Institution by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, an organization for the student affairs profession.
As a participating institution in NASPA’s Lead Initiative, La Salle will continue to encourage students’ civic development through thoughtful community partnerships, engaging leadership opportunities, and democratic participation.
“NASPA’s designation of Lead Institution for La Salle University recognizes the rich history that we have, along with the quality of our programs in the area of civic learning and democratic engagement,” said Brother Robert Kinzler, F.S.C., Director of University Ministry and Service at La Salle. “It will help the campus understand the link of civic learning and engagement to our mission and explore ways of strengthening what already exists and develop new models of civic learning and engagement. La Salle has always been a leader in civic and democratic learning and engagement, and this designation will allow us to work with likeminded institutions of higher learning throughout the country, enhancing and expanding what already is a rich tapestry.”
To learn more about NASPA’s Lead Initiative, visit: http://www.naspa.org/clde/lead_initiative.cfm.
The NASPA designation is another honor La Salle has received for its commitment to community. The University has been recognized by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with its Community Engagement Classification for colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement.
In 2012–13, La Salle students performed more than 67,000 hours of community service. La Salle programs that benefit the community include:
- AIDS Outreach—volunteers visit and build relationships with individuals living with HIV in North Philadelphia at Calcutta House and at Serenity Court. They engage in therapeutic social activities and sponsor on-campus educational programs.
- Neighborhood Tutoring—a free, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring program that serves children in grades K–8 from Philadelphia schools. Each child comes to La Salle’s campus twice a week and spends time with his or her assigned La Salle tutor doing homework and playing educational games.
- Pheed Philadelphia—a soup kitchen program that addresses food security issues in Philadelphia with three partners each week: St. Francis Soup Kitchen, the Face-to-Face program at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, and the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.
- Neighbor to Neighbor—volunteers perform home-improvement projects on weekends for neighbors who are elderly and or disabled. Neighbor to Neighbor focuses on serving the area directly surrounding La Salle’s campus.
- Circle K—an international community service organization (affiliated with Kiwanis) that works to meet the needs of local communities through a wide variety of service activities that go beyond University-based programs. Students in La Salle’s chapter currently participate in three projects: hosting a bingo night for the elderly at Maplewood Manor? and volunteering at the Philadelphia headquarters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Philabundance Food Bank, which serves all of Philadelphia.
- LOCK (La Salle Organization Caring for Kids)—volunteers work with youngsters from Ronald McDonald House and the Germantown Y Child Care Center to provide educational and recreational activities. LOCK also organizes the annual Christmas Toy Drive on campus.
- Police Athletic League (PAL)—students volunteer at the Logan PAL Center to help support the overall mission of providing free educational, athletic, recreational, and cultural after-school programs in a safe environment.
- Team Lasallians—volunteers provide free tutoring and mentoring every week through a partnership with three schools in Philadelphia: the DePaul School and two specialized Lasallian middle schools, La Salle Academy and Brother Rousseau Academy.
- St. Raymond—volunteers provide structured recreational activities for the students at St. Raymond Elementary School.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.