Davidson students are as committed to service as they are to their academic pursuits. Service at Davidson addresses what it means to be civically minded in the ways we create and sustain communities. The college's Center for Civic Engagement offers programs and resources supporting direct service, advocacy and educational programs. Many service-oriented programs are funded through stipends, grants, or scholarships.
The Bonner Scholars Program is a four-year scholarship program that centers on a strong team of students working to bring about positive community change through service, research, and action. The program continually explores ways that scholars can use their service as an extension of the learning on and off the Davidson campus.
Community-Based Learning is an experiential pedagogy that combines direct service with course study goals to meet a community-defined need. Courses such as Environmentalism on Film, Medical Anthropology and Mathematical Modeling receive support from the Center for Civic Engagement allowing classes to work as a team in and out of the classroom with a community entity.
The Center for Civic Engagement offers several opportunities for summers of service in the local community. Community Engagement Summer Fellows are placed with nonprofit organizations and live with other summer fellows. Servant Leader Interns work with young children at Davidson's Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools and develop a range of civic skills in teaching, teambuilding, social action, and community building.
Davidson College encourages students to explore their beliefs and express their faith through service and mission. Faith-based international experiences, summer internships, and grants for independent service, study and mission are offered through the Chaplain's Office.
Davidson provides opportunities to perform service off-campus with trips through Service Odyssey, Alternative Breaks and Service Saturdays. Service Odyssey and Service Saturdays are planned and led by upperclass students for incoming students to volunteer in the Greater Charlotte area on projects such as Habitat for Humanity, Davidson Farmers Market and other community hosts. Alternative Breaks are trips scheduled during spring break and involve travel to locations such as the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington D.C. and Living Lands and Water in Tennessee.
Organizing around social change provides students with an incredible opportunity to assume leadership roles. Many opportunities exist both on and off campus for students to take on such positions. The Civic Engagement Council is the student governing organization for 35 student-run service groups that offer events and direct service opportunities for the campus community in partnership with non-profit organizations and national chapters.