USC Upstate is a part of the greater community.

Service Learning and Community Engagement

Venn diagram: Students, Community, Faculty - with OSLCE as the center

The Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement (OSLCE) was established in 2015 as a forum that cultivates strong reciprocal relationships between USC Upstate faculty, students and community organizations. For faculty, the OSLCE builds individualized connections to viable community partners for service-learning course placements and offers learning opportunities in course development and implementation. For community partners, the OSLCE recruits and prepares students to participate in meaningful service-oriented activities. For students, the OSLCE provides information about service-learning courses and creates opportunities to engage the community through service-based organizations such as IMPACT and Alternative Break.                

Service Learning

Service learning at USC Upstate is defined as a method of teaching and learning that integrates student participation in organized service activities into credit-bearing courses. By collaboratively addressing identified community needs with a community partner, the service experience enhances student learning by providing an opportunity to observe, test and apply discipline-based theories, concepts and skills. The academic context enriches the service experience by raising questions about real world issues and by providing a forum to reflect upon them. Further, service-learning is a mechanism to achieve a broader appreciation of the discipline, to sharpen problem solving skills and to develop an enhanced sense of civic responsibility (Approved by Faculty Senate, 02/20/2015).

Community Engagement

Community Engagement is described as the collaborative relationship between institutions of higher education and their broader communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources, in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

The University's metropolitan mission rests upon a foundation of partnerships with the education, corporate, and service organizations of the Upstate, through which our students gain extensive experiential learning opportunities.

Opportunities to learn and serve together reflect the University's aim to prepare its students to participate as responsible citizens in a diverse, global and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life.

The University recognizes that promoting civic engagement by its faculty, staff, and students strengthens the fabric of the community we serve, while enriching faculty scholarship and the student learning experience beyond the classroom. We welcome you to explore service-learning and community engagement at USC Upstate.

Student organizations


IMPACT is the student-led service organization at the University of South Carolina Upstate. We connect students, faculty and staff to the Upstate community through monthly service projects and fundraisers that address local issues.

IMPACT offers the opportunity for its members to participate in direct service, explore diverse societal needs and develop leadership skills

USC Upstate students, faculty and staff are invited to all IMPACT events. If you want to do more, help plan events. If there's a cause you are passionate about, consider becoming a project leader. 

For more information, contact Megan Clary, VP for Membership, at

Alternative Breaks

Travel, Serve, and Change Lives-including yours!
The Alternative Break (AB) program provides USC Upstate students with an opportunity to participate in volunteer and educational trips to culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged communities throughout the United States. Alternative Break groups travel to locations all across the United States. They provide service-learning opportunities working with important issues such as the environment, education, immigration, poverty and other unmet human needs. The AB program exposes students to communities and immersion experiences that cannot be replicated on the USC Upstate campus.

We currently offer Alternative Fall Break (AFB) and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips. Trips are open to all USC Upstate students and are student-led! For more information about the AB program and how to get involved, contact the Alternative Break Board at

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