Report Card Review with St. Thomas University volunteer mentors at Carol City Middle School, Fall 2016

Bobcats Learning & Working with the Community for the Common Good

Mimi Dooner Hall, Room 210A  |  16401 NW 37th Avenue, Miami, FL  33054  |  305.628.6717  |


Happening Now  |  Happening Soon

Hurricane Dorian Relief for the Bahamas
  • St. Thomas University will be collecting/facilitating financial donations for Bahamas hurricane relief on behalf of the Archdiocese of Miami and Catholic Charities-Miami this Saturday, Sept. 7th, from 9:30am-12noon by the Cascia Hall Gate (the entrance to the football game) prior to our inaugural football game.
    • The link to donate is
    • Checks can be made out to Catholic Charities-Miami.
    • 100% of the donations will be used for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.
    • More information can be found at the Catholic Charities Miami Disaster Relief link here.
    • We are not organizing the collection or delivery of canned goods at this time because of the anticipated slowdown in infrastructure and possible delay in getting those items to people in need.  For now, we’ve been advised to focus on financial donations until delivery systems are in a better condition to receive other kinds of donations.
  • Campus Ministry and Student Leaders have designed a card (poster) representing our love and prayers for the people of the Bahamas which our STU students, faculty, and staff can sign.  It is located in the Campus Ministry office of Dooner Hall, 1st floor.
  • Maria Garavito-Bedoya, the University Counselor and Director of Health Services, is available to assist our Bahamian students and others in our campus community affected by the hurricane or its aftermath.  For more information about student support, please contact Maria directly, Matthew Roche, or one of the team members in Student Affairs.

As the days and weeks progress, we will be in touch with Catholic Charities Miami and the Archdiocese to see how St. Thomas can further stand in solidarity with the people of the Bahamas and lend our help, as needed.  We will post updates here on additional opportunities as they present themselves.    Thank you for your willingness to share your time, talents, and treasure, and for the prayers and support you so generously give to our students and their families!


Who We Are  |  What We Do

St. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement seeks to create opportunities for St. Thomas students to experience learning outside the classroom, working on real-world problems with community partners.  Faculty and community partners work together to develop course-specific activities that serve to benefit both the students and the partner/community stakeholders.  These activities, engagements, or immersion experiences can be curricular (class-required activity, research, or internship), co-curricular (service learning), or community work-study.


Engaging and retaining students through high-impact experiential learning opportunities

Not only can Bobcats feel good about learning and working with fellow community members for the common good, but they are more likely to persist and excel in college because of it!  Research shows that the high-impact practices of undergraduate research, collaborative projects, internships, and service-learning (among others) correlate with gains in deep learning and have greatest impact on retention in the first year and in the major field of study (Kuh 2009, 2012).  Furthermore, leadership experience and community service also correlate positively with GPA for first-generation students of color (Ting, 2003).  The Center for Community Engagement aims to create community-based learning experiences that engage students in these educational practices as often as possible.


How is community-engaged learning different than volunteerism?

Community-engaged learning is rooted in engaged scholarship (e.g. civic engagement, community engagement, service learning, experiential learning) and is a pedagogical approach that integrates classroom learning with real world community leaders and change agents on issues of social concern.  It is founded on the premise that “the most profound learning comes from experience that is supported by broad academic knowledge, intellectual analysis blended with thoughtful reflection which informs future action.”  ( 

The Center for Community Engagement supports faculty in the development and teaching of all courses related to engaged scholarship. While volunteerism has multiple benefits to the individual and community and is included in some of what the Center coordinates with its long-term partners, deeper learning occurs when students combine thoughtful knowledge, personal observation, and community interaction with reflection on a course’s themes.  The Center seeks to partner with campus leaders to develop of a variety of experiences– locally, regionally, and globally–  that support Bobcats’ academic, vocational, civic, and personal growth.