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Community Engagement

Community engagement and service-learning are at the core of USF’s vision to educate “leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world.” Every undergraduate student at USF participates in at least one service-learning course. enabling them to access rich opportunities to apply knowledge and skills gained in the classroom and to produce practical outcomes that meet community-identified needs. In combination with guided reflection, the service experience provides a deeper understanding of course concepts, social justice issues, and the students’ own values and perspectives.

The Leo T. McCarthy Center serves as both a programmatic hub for community engagement and public service programs, and a resource for service-learning faculty, community partners, and students.  Our graduate programs include a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs, Master of Public Affairs, and dual degree in Law and Public Affairs.  Undergraduate students can participate in an array of academic and co-curricular public service programs that span local to global contexts, including the Public Service and Community Engagement Minor, Advocates for Community Engagement (ACE), McCarthy Fellows in Sacramento, USF in DC, and the Privett Global Service-Learning Program.  

Additionally, service-learning faculty and community partners form intentional, strategic partnerships through Engage San Francisco, a University-wide commitment to the surrounding Western Addition neighborhood. The McCarthy Center offers training seminars, curricular resources, course/project development consultations, and community partnership support.

The McCarthy Center is located within the Office of the Provost and plays a critical role in integrating academic excellence with authentic community engagement.  Our programs and services extend across the institution to support all five of the university’s colleges: Management, Nursing and Health Professions, Law, Education, and Arts and Sciences.

USF Statement on Community Engagement

Community Engagement at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic institution, is the development of sustained and authentic partnerships between the university and its diverse city, state, national, and global communities for the reciprocal exchange of knowledge, skills, and resources.

Community engagement can take many forms: service-learning, community service, participatory research and scholarship that makes the university relevant to the community, training and technical assistance, and other activities that promote the shared interests of community partners and lead to transformational experiences for faculty, staff, and students. Community engagement at the University of San Francisco prepares educated and committed women and men who are concerned about society at large and particularly those who are poor, unprotected, and neglected. By addressing critical societal issues at home and abroad, students, faculty, and staff contribute to the common good and to changing the world. 

Contact Info

Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Masonic, Room 106
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5662 (415) 422-5641