Rooted in a faith that does justice, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education partners with local community organizations whose members and clients serve as co-educators for Santa Clara University students. Informed by and in conversation with Catholic social tradition, the Center facilitates community-based learning opportunities that underscore commitments to the common good, universal human dignity, justice as participation, and solidarity with marginalized communities.

Arrupe Weekly Engagement Programmatic Values

  • Reflecting a commitment to solidarity, SCU-community partnerships (and students’ encounters in the community) are marked by mutuality and reciprocal relationships.
  • Community partners support student learning regarding dimensions of power and privilege from their own experiences of resilience in the face of struggle or vulnerability.
  • Participating faculty guide students in identifying and probing integral connections between course content and community context.
  • Students’ experiences and assignments from various disciplines prompt reflection about their citizenship in local and global communities, moral development and vocational discernment.
  • ICJE staff supports all participants in drawing deeper connections with key intellectual resources of the distinctively Jesuit, Catholic tradition of education.
Criteria for Support

The Arrupe Weekly Engagement Program of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education provides support to undergraduate courses that integrate best practices of community-based learning pedagogy, in alignment with the values of our program. While many of the courses supported fulfill the Experiential Learning for Social Justice requirement (ELSJ) of the undergraduate core curriculum, the program provides support to undergraduate courses that meet the following criteria:

1.    Community engagement

  • is integrated into the course with clear learning objectives and expectations noted in the syllabus

  • informs and enhances course content and addresses issues of social justice

  • highlights the principle of reciprocity - the engagement meets both community needs and the learning needs of students.

2.    Meaningful, structured reflection to help students make the connection between community engagement and course content is an on-going part of the course.

3.    Meaningful and relevant assignments assess the impact of community engagement relative to course learning.

Program Capacity

Current capacity through the Weekly Engagement Program is 520 students per quarter engaged across all community partners.  Efforts are made to provide a well-rounded menu of opportunities for engagement to meet student learning needs (e.g. population, activity, day/times of engagement). Requests to engage with particular populations may affect the total number of students who can be supported through the program (e.g. there are limited opportunities with health-related placements).

Supporting more than 520 students per quarter in alignment with our programmatic values is not feasible with the current staffing and model of support provided to students, faculty, and community partners.

Procedure for Requesting CBL Course Support
  • Requests for support are generally made in the academic year prior to the one in which the course will be offered.

  • Faculty inform department chairs of their intent to teach a CBL course as part of University academic planning.

  • The Ignatian Center reviews these requests, depending on capacity, it either confirms the ability to support or works with the Director of Undergraduate Education, the Colleges, Department Chairs, and Faculty to propose adjustments to timing of course offerings or course enrollment caps.

  • The Ignatian Center will provide advanced notice to all parties in the event it is unable to provide the support requested.

  • The Arrupe Weekly Engagement Program supports courses taught during the fall, winter and spring academic quarters; it does not provide support during the summer sessions.

Expansion of Community Partners

The Ignatian Center will entertain expansion of community partners in a limited way based on the following criteria:

  • Community organization offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates not currently offered through existing community partners

  • Community organization offers a learning experience that is in great demand for academic courses and helps address an unmet need for student learning

  • Community organization could be a strategic partner due to its location (e.g. within the place-based initiative geographic area), relationship with the broader university, or social issue it addresses

The SCU Experience

Jesuit Education at SCU


Caring for the whole person.
An important principle of Jesuit education is care for the whole person. The Jesuit philosophy places a student’s humanity first, creating a personalized educational environment where thoughtful questions can be considered. Read More


Experiential Learning for Social Justice


The Experiential Learning for Social Justice component of Santa Clara's core curriculum cultivates social justice, civic life, perspective, and civic engagement. Read More