Public and Community Service Studies
Public and Community Service Studies at Providence College
Are you an idealist who wants to change the world? Want to be part of a dynamic, engaging learning community that connects your classes with real-world problem-solving? Hope to have a career that serves society? Then the public and community service studies (PSP) major is right for you. PSP offers an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on solving real-world problems. PSP students work closely with faculty and community partners to research and address complex issues and then reflect on this shared work to develop the leadership skills necessary for making positive social change. The department’s innovative curriculum, the first of its kind in the country, continues to make it a pioneer and leader in community-engaged, experiential learning.
Bachelor of Arts in Public and Community Service Studies
The public and community service studies major is built on six core classes that examine service in democratic communities, ethics and best practices in community partnerships, community organizing, diversity in service, and community-engaged research. Students also complete an internship, complete a three-course area of concentration, and take a two-semester senior capstone seminar. A thematic concentration of three classes is built into the curriculum to provide the opportunity to choose a specific area of study. Students create their tracks based on their passion, with support from faculty advisors, to demonstrate expertise in an area related to public and community engagement. Examples of tracks include topics such as youth studies, environmental sustainability, and nonprofit management.
Public and Community Service Studies:
A minor in public and community service studies is a useful complement to many other major programs of study, enabling students to connect their major areas of study with intensive, real-world engagement. The minor consists of the four core courses, as well as a public service capstone seminar and an elective of any public and community service studies course at the 300 level or higher.
Community Health Track:
A minor program of study developed specifically for students interested in community health or in public health professions or policy is also offered. The community health track includes core courses focused on the healthcare system and biomedical ethics.
Statement of Purpose
Public and Community Service Studies offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages real-world social issues through an ongoing process of action, reflection, and formal study that we call “reflective practice”. Public and Community Service students work closely with faculty and community partners to research, address complex issues, and reflect on this shared work to develop the leadership skills necessary for making positive social change. The curriculum addresses fundamental building blocks of community, the public good, and service in a democratic society. Grounding the study of these concepts in experience, stories, data, and formal analysis, PSP develops the capacities of students, community partners, and faculty to contribute to community building, racial and economic equity, and organizing for social justice.
The academic program is built on a collaborative teaching model in which all courses integrate community engaged learning in an intentional way. Some of the skills developed are community building, working across cultural boundaries, organizational development, public speaking, policy analysis, and community-engaged research.
of 2018-2022 public and community service graduates are employed and/or attending graduate school
are employed only
are attending school only
are employed and attending school
Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond with the sum of the separate figures.
Selected Places of Employment/Service
Barcelona En Comú
CEIP Las Acacias
Cristo Rey Dallas
Jean D’Arc Union
Monomoy Regional High School
Providence Public Library
The Food Project
United States Senate
Selected Graduate Schools
American International College
Johns Hopkins University
Teachers College Columbia University
University of Massachusetts Boston
University of Notre Dame
University of Rhode Island