Student Development Programs

The Office of Student Development Programs is located in the Kanbar Campus Center, Room 317.

Student Development Programs houses the First Year Experience Program and the offices of Community Service Learning and Spiritual Development. Collectively, our programs and services support the mission of Philadelphia University and promote and engage students’ thoughtful and creative contributions by: coordinating students’ transitions to the University and ensuring the highest-quality first-year experience possible; creating links between the curriculum and co-curriculum; focusing on student leadership development; promoting citizenship through community service initiatives; exploring one’s sense of purpose and meaning through spiritual development; and deepening students’ awareness of self, others and the wider world through intercultural exchanges.

First Year Experience (FYE): In partnership with Academic Affairs, Student Development Programs coordinates campus-wide efforts to ensure the highest-quality experience possible in the first year of college. The central theme of the FYE components is Finding Philadelphia, which helps students learn about the history, culture, diversity and wealth of activities in the city, our extended campus. Our comprehensive approach to your first-year experience begins with START and New Student Orientation, which includes the Summer Reading, integrates both your curricular and co-curricular experiences, includes faculty-oriented academic advising, and is centered on your residential community. The FYE Program at Philadelphia University is designed to provide support and encouragement for new students. FYE acknowledges that the first year in college is a major life step during which students face challenges in adjusting to a new place, managing time and workload, starting new relationships, clarifying values, establishing autonomy and addressing a host of other developmental issues. Philadelphia University has committed an extensive amount of time and resources to provide a sound foundation for success for each student.

Community Service Learning: Philadelphia University believes that community service initiatives are a central part of the undergraduate experience. Accordingly, the Office of Community Service Learning works to increase student access to service opportunities, serves as an informational resource about community agencies, supports students’ civic engagement, and promotes service as a tool for learning. Our goal is to develop students into community-conscious leaders who have an active and engaged relationship with the city of Philadelphia, surrounding neighborhoods and the broader context of society.

Spiritual Development: The Office of Spiritual Development offers opportunities for students as they seek to deepen and enhance their spiritual and religious lives. These include: counseling that addresses questions of spirituality and religious faith and its application to issues and challenges at school and home; small groups for students wanting to explore their spiritual lives; workshops on spiritual development, meditation and prayer; interfaith services and discussions; and holy day observances and special event celebrations. The Office provides a listing of places of worship offered by local faith communities. Information about different religious traditions and holy days is also available.