Special Programs and Experiential Learning

Special Programs

Academic Discovery Program (ADP)

The Academic Discovery Program (Pennsylvania ACT 101) is a specialized academic support program for students from Philadelphia whose admission applications indicate they meet certain criteria in terms of academic potential and financial need. Students are offered admission to the Academic Discovery Program after completing an extended application process including testing and an in-person interview with program staff. Students accepted through ADP must complete an intensive academic summer bridge program involving courses in mathematics, writing, study skills, and critical reading and thinking before the start of their first year. During the academic year, students take courses from the standard La Salle University curriculum, but they are provided with the service of a student success coach and tutors to support their efforts. The ADP provides intensive support across all four years to ensure students develop and maintain effective study habits, establish and pursue clear goals, earn strong grades, and graduate in a timely fashion. As much as possible, each student’s program is tailored to his or her individual needs.

View the Academic Discovery Program website for more information, including course descriptions and a breakdown of ADP requirements.

Additional questions or concerns may be addressed to:

Wendell Griffith, Ph.D.
Director, Academic Engagement Programs

De La Salle Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning: Community-Engaged Learning, Service Learning, Explorer Connection

The De La Salle Institute works to advance the mission of La Salle University by providing opportunities throughout the year for instructors and staff to ensure that high impact practices are incorporated throughout the teaching and learning continuum.

Service Learning, Community-Engaged Learning, and the Explorer Connection work together to provide enriched, robust learning experiences for students that take them beyond classroom walls. These programs specialize in building relationships with the community both on- and off-campus.

Community-Engaged Learning

Such programs at La Salle exist to create and support meaningful educational experiences for students through direct engagement with the city, its resources, and its residents. Our programs invite students to experience the many cultural assets of our community, as well as to witness, critically reflect upon, and respond to its challenges. We aim to foster the kind of education that is at the heart of La Salle’s mission: one that empowers students to live fuller and more thoughtful lives, while working for the common good. Community-Based courses incorporate community engagement as a significant portion of the course’s work. One example: Inside Out courses, which are held in local prisons with a student population composed of half La Salle students and half incarcerated students.

Community-Engaged Learning also encourages students and faculty to make use of Philadelphia as a learning venue through both the City as Classroom program, in which faculty can apply for funding for course-related opportunities in Philadelphia and the Cultural Passport program, in which first-year students receive discounts to cultural institutions throughout Philadelphia. These community-based learning activities are tied to course goals. They can range from museum admission, to theatre tickets, to reimbursement for travel costs to local sites and communities of academic interest.

Service Learning

Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that provides students with the opportunity to practice, perform, and observe the theories and practical applications of academic course content through service in the community.  The service learning experience is processed through structured and on-going reflection through a mix of writing, reading, speaking, and listening, individually and in groups.  Service learning is most effective when there is a sustained commitment throughout the semester and when the service experience addresses community-identified needs based in reciprocal relationships with community partners.

The Explorer Connection

The Explorer Connection offers co-curricular opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage with current events, social trends and justice issues through panel discussions, guest lectures, workshops and teach-ins. The Explorer Connection’s weekly Explorer Café event provides regular occasions for the campus community to engage each other in conversation on timely topics ranging from the impact of social media on student health, to the ethics of open source coding, to the role of higher education in preparing students for professions, and more.

View the Community Engaged website or the De La Salle Institute website for more information or contact Tara Carr-Lemke at 215.951.5120 or carrlemke@lasalle.edu

Higher Education Initiative at La Salle University

High school students attending partner high schools may be eligible to take dual-credit, or, college-credit only, coursework at La Salle University.  Dual-credit programs include the Community Scholar Program, the Diocesan Scholar Program, and the Transformation Scholar Program.  College-credit only programs include the Summer Scholars Program and the Travel Study Partners Program.

High school students in the above programs are advised by the Registrar’s office, in consultation with the program director.  Summer Scholars and Travel Study Partner students must pay all attendant registration and/or travel fees before attending classes.

High school students enrolled in college-level courses are subject to all policies regarding matriculated La Salle University students.  Students should refer to the Student Guide to Resources, Rights, and Responsibilities for policy details.

Grades earned by students in dual-credit courses become part of a student’s academic record at both La Salle University and the student’s high school, and, additionally, affect GPA at both institutions.  Grades earned by high school students enrolled in college-credit only courses are not reported to high schools by La Salle University.  Both dual-credit and college-credit only courses develop college transcripts.  Transcripts do not indicate that students took courses as high school students.  La Salle University does not guarantee that courses will transfer to other institutions.  Official La Salle University transcripts can be requested through the Registrar’s office.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students, parents and guardians certain rights and protections with respect to education records. FERPA-protects education records of minors in college credit or dual credit courses differently than High School courses.  La Salle University administrators may communicate with high school administrators regarding a student’s performance in a dual-credit course and the parents and guardians of minor students in a dual credit course may receive education records directly from the high school; however parents and guardians may not receive education records directly from La Salle unless the minor enrolled in the dual-credit or college-credit course gives express written permission.

View the Higher Education Initiative website for more information.  Alternately, call (215)951-1840, or email landis@lasalle.edu

Community Scholars Program

Junior and senior high school students with GPAs of at least 3.5 and no history of serious disciplinary violations are eligible for this program.  To apply, students must attend School District of Philadelphia high schools; students are selected through a District selection process.

Diocesan Scholar Program

Seniors attending Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Catholic private schools are eligible for this program.  Applications and selections are managed by The Archdiocese.

Summer Scholars Program

Junior and senior high school students with GPAs of at least 3.5 and no history of serious disciplinary violations are eligible to take an accelerated summer course through this program. Students are selected through a La Salle University selection process.

Transformation Scholar Program

Junior high school students with GPAs of at least 3.5 and no history of serious disciplinary violations are eligible for this program.  Students from any official partner high school are eligible to apply to this program; students are selected through a La Salle University selection process.

Travel Study Partners Program

Junior and senior high school students with GPAs of at least 3.5 and no history of serious disciplinary violations are eligible for this program.  Students attend courses and travel in cohorts from official partner high schools.

Honors Program


La Salle University emphasizes the need for a strong basis in the humanities and the development of specific skills for all undergraduates. For this reason, all students are required to complete a core curriculum which fulfills the University’s institutional learning objectives, along with intensive study in a specific discipline. The curricular structure of the University Honors Program follows the general University model, but with modifications that recognize the needs and abilities of the highly motivated and intellectually gifted student.

Professors teaching in the first-year Honors Program “triple” coordinate their courses so that, at any particular time during the academic year, the students will be viewing the same period of civilization through the perspective of three different disciplines–literature, history and philosophy. Classroom instruction in the first-year “triple” is complemented by activities such as attendance at area performing arts organizations and visits to other cultural venues and sites of particular interest.


Each year approximately 70 to 80 students are admitted to the Honors Program.   Invitations are extended to students who have been accepted for admission by the University, who have combined SAT Critical Reading and Math scores of approximately 1260 or a composite ACT score of 26 and who have high school GPAs of 3.5 or higher.


14 courses designed specifically for the Honors Program are required. Other requirements include:

  • The Honors triple each semester in the first year of studies  (history, literature, philosophy)
  • An ethical issues seminar
  • An independent project
  • A cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 overall and in Honors courses must be maintained

Students who complete all of the requirements of the Honors Program are graduated from

La Salle with the special distinction of General University Honors. This distinction is noted on the official transcript, on the diploma, and in a special listing in the Commencement program.

The Honors Affiliate Program

The Honors Affiliate Program aims to attract talented students who have opted not to join the full Honors Program to Honors courses. It’s an opportunity for students to take advantage of the true spirit of a liberal arts education, and broaden their perspectives beyond their majors and minors.


In order to pursue the Honors Affiliate program, students must:

  • Have completed one full year of study at LaSalle,
  • Have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5, with no grade lower than a ‘B,’’
  • Complete the Honors Affiliate Scholars application,
  • Submit a recommendation from a member of LaSalle’s full-time faculty,
  • Receive a positive recommendation from an interview committee

Course of Study

To successfully complete this program and graduate as an Honors Affiliate Scholar, students will be required to:

  • Successfully complete two semesters of a university-level foreign language at the intermediate level,
  • Successfully complete one semester of undergraduate research,
  • Engage in two university service trips OR enroll in one LaSalle travel study course,
  • Successfully complete three Honors program elective courses.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.0

Completion of the Program

Upon completion of the Honors Affiliate Program, students will receive an Honors Affiliate Scholar Certificate and a special designation on the transcript. In addition, students will receive an invitation to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship program and personal mentoring by Honors Program staff members to prepare the Fulbright application.

Contact Information

The University Honors Program office is located in College Hall 304. The Director of the Program is Brother Michael McGinniss, F.S.C., and Ph.D. For additional information, call 215.951.1360 or email honors@lasalle.edu.

Experiential Learning

Internships, Externships, Co-ops, and More

Students have ample opportunity to find work related to their majors or career goals while simultaneously earning academic credit and gaining real world experience. In addition to internships, externships and cooperative education, there are a variety of clinical, practicum, and field experiences also available.

Typically available to juniors and seniors from any major, internships may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, and can range in length from three to six months. Students must be in good academic standing, having completed appropriate academic requirements.

Co-op programs are available through the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Business. They typically involve full-time, paid work experiences lasting from three to six months.

Nursing, Communication Science Disorders, Education and Social Work are among the departments that require students to participate in hands-on experiences such as clinicals, practica, and field experiences. These may range from one to three semesters of work or service and are integrated into the curricula. (Check your academic department requirements for details.)

Externships usually include full-time, paid summer employment and are most common in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences

It is highly recommended that students investigate and prepare for internships, co-ops, etc., before completing the sophomore year. Early academic planning is critical in order to stay on track for graduation. The La Salle University Career Center can help you identify and apply for these opportunities and also will assist you with resume writing and interviewing skills.

View the La Salle University Career Center website for more information or contact 215.951.1075 or careers@lasalle.edu



Students at La Salle can participate in Army Reserve Officers’ Train­ing Corps (ROTC) through a partnership agreement with Drexel University. The program is open to all students who desire to earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard upon graduation.

Courses are offered at Drexel University, with transportation provided to and from training by La Salle university.  Freshman and Sophomore students who are not on scholarship do not incur a military service obligation by enrolling. Additionally, military science courses are applied toward graduation requirements.  Juniors and Seniors enrolled in the Advanced Course will commission as Army Officers upon graduation.

The primary purpose of ROTC is to commission the future officer leadership of the United States Army and motivate young people to be better citizens. Students enrolled in the ROTC program receive instruction in the fundamentals of leadership with emphasis on self-discipline, integrity, confidence, and responsibility. ROTC is the only college elective that teaches leadership and management skills that enhance your future success in either a military or civilian career.

ROTC scholarships worth up to full tuition and fees are available on a competitive basis. Advancing freshman and sopho­more students compete for two and three-year scholarships. All junior and senior students with a scholarship can receive a stipend for books and education fees and a non-taxable subsistence allowance per month while attending classes.

For more information on the program, scholarships, and career opportunities, contact ROTC at Drexel University.

La Salle/Military Science Courses Required for Army ROTC:

Air Force ROTC

The AFROTC program offered through Detachment 750 at Saint Joseph’s University offers college students a three- or four-year cur­riculum leading to a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Unit­ed States Air Force (USAF). In the four-year option, a student (cadet) takes General Military Course (GMC) classes during their freshmen and sophomore years, attends a 4-week summer training program between their sophomore and junior years, and then takes Profes­sional Officer Course (POC) classes during their junior and senior years. Cadets in the three-year option will be dual-enrolled in both GMC classes during their sophomore year, attend a summer train­ing program, and take POC classes during their junior and senior years. A cadet is under no contractual obligation with the USAF until entering the POC or accepting an AFROTC scholarship. The GMC curriculum focuses on the scope, structure, organization, and histo­ry of the USAF with an emphasis on the development of airpower and its relationship to current events. The POC curriculum concen­trates on the concepts and practices of leadership and management, and the role of national security forces in American society.

In addition to the academic portion of the curricula, each cadet par­ticipates in a two-hour Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) and two hours of Physical Training (PT) each week. Both LLAB and PT utilize the cadet organization designed for the practice of leadership and man­agement techniques.

For more information about the AFROTC program, contact ROTC at St. Joseph’s University located here.


La Salle offers semester-long courses with travel components included to enhance the educational experience. Past courses have included: The Lasallian World: View from United States and Guatemala; Comparative Business Practices—Germany or France and the United States; Education to Globalization in India; Conflict Resolution: Ireland; Narrative Versions of the Vietnam War; International Film in Prague; and Globalization and Tradition in 21st-Century China; between Globalization and Tradition in 21st-Century India; and The Political Economy of Latin America.

EXCHANGE PROGRAMS WITH LASALLIAN SCHOOLS La Salle is part of the “One La Salle” program. This allows students to study at selective Lasallian universities worldwide as part of a special exchange study abroad program. Each select program will require students to not only apply through La Salle’s study abroad application process but also the Lasallian institution abroad.

For more information about Study Abroad, Travel Study, or Exchange Programs with Lasallian Schools visit the Education Abroad website.

Undergraduate Student Research

Undergraduate Research is a program which provides opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct research in all fields with La Salle faculty members who are actively investigating and publishing and eager to mentor undergraduates in research projects.  Students can engage in personalized and professionally rewarding research in the arts and social sciences, in business, in nursing, and in the physical sciences. Such work, intellectually valuable in itself, can lead to conference papers and publications, which provide distinctive credentials for job-hunting and for further professional study.  The research normally occurs over one semester and the student receives three credits once the research is completed.  In addition, the student’s work is disseminated through a public poster session on campus and through Digital Commons, an online repository managed through the Connelly Library.

Visit the Undergraduate Student Research website for more information.