Office of Student Engagement

Community Service

The Office of Student Engagement increases student access to community 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 and the broader world. 

To see what we're up to, come see us in Kanbar Campus Center Suite 301, contact Shay Gillespie, Assistant Director for Community Service at with any questions or visit the Jefferson Community Service Website.


SERVE 101 is a hybrid course that provides an innovative approach to promoting civic engagement.  This course promulgates the mission and values of Thomas Jefferson University by improving lives through community engagement, putting people first, and doing the right thing.

SERVE 101 is designed to create an opportunity to understand the reciprocal nature of meaningful service through both practical applications and critical reflection.  Students will have the opportunity to work with a community partner and explore the impact of service on the community through The Social Change Model.  This experiential education course is designed to help students evolve from volunteers to ethically responsible citizens.

Students have two enrollment options: earn a free-standing credit or use the course to satisfy one or both PE graduation requirements. SERVE-101 meets in class for approximately five one-hour sessions. Instructors are expected to hold individual meetings with each student twice a semester, review Canvas journaling assignments, and oversee a 10-15 hour service project.

If you have any questions regarding SERVE 101, please contact Shay Gillespie, Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Community Service at or 215-951-2802.

Employment Opportunities

The Community Service Federal Work Study Program partners Thomas Jefferson University students who are awarded Federal Work Study funds with local non-profit agencies seeking support on various projects.  Students work off-campus within these organizations to support the mission of these community partners.

Community Service Coordinators are selected to help support on-campus educational programs and off-campus service events.  Community Service Coordinators act as a resource to their peers who are interested in getting involved in community service.

Community Partners

Thomas Jefferson University views community agencies as critical partners in the learning process.  Community partners are essential in guiding the experience of a successful service activity, course, or internship, adding informed expertise and exposure to the theories about which students are learning. Check out the Community Service Site to learn more about the organizations we partner with! 

Community Service Events

Ramily Day of Service: Before classes begin, incoming first-year students get the opportunity to experience Philadelphia by participating in Ramily Day of Service, a highlight of the Welcome Week program in August.  Student leaders travel with new students to sites across the city to participate in various half-day service activities, helping to better their city while making new friends in the process.

Local Business & Volunteer Fair: In collaboration with Career Services, we invite our community partners to campus to provide the Thomas Jefferson community an opportunity to find out about the many volunteer opportunities available throughout the city.

Alternative Spring Break: We partner with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program to coordinate the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) service trip. Students apply and interview to be selected for the team starting in November and commit to fundraising leading up to the trip in March, when team members devote their spring break to meaningful service and team-building.

Blood Drives: Each semester, we provide students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to donate blood to the American Red Cross on campus. Students can sign up for appointments online, giving a small part of themselves to save a life.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: Each year, Jefferson students participate in various volunteer projects throughout Philadelphia in honor of  Martin Luther King Day of Service.  Information on service sites is usually available by the end of the fall semester or the start of the spring semester each year.