Community Engagement at Bellarmine
Bellarmine offers multiple venues for community engagement both on campus and in the local community, as well as nationally and internationally. The University views community engagement as a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community experiences with instruction and reflection to enrich knowledge and teach civic responsibility while strengthening the quality of life for people and communities.
How We Partner
All first year students will come together during their first few days as a new Knight for our annual Knights in Action, a day in which the entire first year class visits community non-profit partners, learns about the work they do here in Louisville, and assists with a hands on project. As a Knight, your community engagement experience begins in the first days!
Student Government Association works closely with the Office of Service and Leadership to host Bellarmine Volunteer Days throughout the year. These days are scheduled on Saturdays and provide students with the opportunity to connect with peers, visit with one of our community partners, and get their hands busy working on projects or spending time with community members. Students sign up, show up, and set about the work of creating positive impact together.
Impact Grants are created to encourage faculty and student collaboration to impact change in the community. These grants range from $50-500.00 dollars and demonstrate that with small financial contributions, time, and service incremental change can occur. Over 50 courses are offered with service-learning components. This number continues to grow and is a result of faculty and students demonstrating the value of service.
Compassion to Action is a collaboration between Residence Life and the Office of Service and Leadership to encourage learning, engagement, and leadership in our local community. This program partners each residence hall with a non-profit community organization with a specific social justice focus in Louisville. Students living in the residence halls will get to know the partner through on campus partner visits, educational programming, and site visits to the partner several times each semester to complete a project or spend time with community members. We expand the belonging students find in the halls to the greater community they live in.
Registered Student Organizations volunteer in the community a minimum of once a semester. Most student organizations are able to partner with community organizations that match the mission of their club/org. Students regularly spend time at partners like Uspiritus, Olmstead Parks, and Nazareth Home to name a few!
Students have the option of joining peers in learning and engaging in community during school breaks. Bellarmine's Alternative Break Program brings students to a community outside of Louisville for an intensive week focused on a particular social justice issue. Trips have gone to Charleston, South Carolina to focus on food security, New Orleans to focus on equity, and Appalachia to focus on rural development to name a few!
The mission of Bellarmine is realized through encouraging the community to engage. Before the initiative concluded in 2015, the President’s Higher Education Community Honor Roll recognized higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Bellarmine was recognized as a national service honor roll member in 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2009, and was selected by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation to be one of 64 member schools in 2013.