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Scholarship, Sustainability and Civic Engagement


Tim Kelsey,
Emma Fivek,

About the Project

The Scholarship, Sustainability and Civic Engagement Program (SSCEP) was funded by Penn State's Sustainability Institute's Reinvention Fund at the University Park campus in the amount of $55,000.

SSCEP is an engaged scholarship program for Penn State undergraduate students. One of the main goals of SSCEP is to provide students with a rich, hands-on opportunity to explore the community development field.

Students will enroll in a 9-credit course sequence. During their time in SSCEP they will learn about and experience the professional practice of community development through in-class discussions, peer- to- peer learning, reflection and participation in a professional internship in a Pennsylvania community.

How does SSCEP work?
SSCEP is a partnership between Penn State students, faculty, staff, Pennsylvania communities and their members. It is about creating and maintaining sustainable relationships between all of these partners. Students will develop personal relationships with faculty who will help to further their understanding of community development practices in the classroom, as well as foster the students' reflections on their experiences working professionally in the community development field. Students will partner with a participating host community in Pennsylvania and will work closely with an identified community team and local champion organization during their first semester in SSCEP. Students will then spend a summer living in their host community and working as a professional with the community team and local champion organization on a sustainability-related project.

*Please see the timeline below to see the span and scope of SSCEP.

timeline chart

SSCEP is an innovative program combining traditional classroom learning with hands-on professional experience. Participating students have the opportunity to experience hands-on community development work in both scholarly and professional settings. Students will also have an excellent opportunity to network with community development professionals, professors and other students, as well as discover, explore and get to know a new community as a part of this program.

Such long-term sustainability-related partnerships will also be very beneficial to host communities. This program leads to stronger citizen engagement and improved well-being in the communities, as well as increased access to Penn State resources.  

Latest News

  • SSCEP will officially start during the Spring 2015 semester (January 2015).
    Students must apply to participate. Applications will be available at the beginning of the semester and will be due before the end of September

  • During the second week in September the SSCEP project team will host an open house for interested students to learn more about the program

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