Appalachia Seminar - Fall

Social Concerns Seminar
CSC 33950
THEO 33950

Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. beginning September 12

A service-learning and community-based learning course, this seminar involves experiential learning at a variety of different sites in the Appalachia region of the United States. Coupled with on campus class sessions providing preparation, team formation, and follow up, students will spend their midterm break on a service-learning immersion with one of 15+ community partners in Appalachia. While learning about the communities in this region and the challenges they face and hopes they possess, students may focus on themes such as sustainability, food justice, housing, education, energy, or a combination thereof.

Things to note:

As part of participation in a seminar, we seek to live intentionally and simply during the immersion. This may look different at each site. Some sites, for example, allow fewer showers. Others may have simpler sleeping arrangements. Most do not have internet. We ask that you take the opportunity to invest fully and embrace the change of pace and amenities. Let us know if you are concerned about something.

  • You will receive more specific details from your site leader during preparation classes.
  • Most meals will be prepared by your team or in conjunction with your hosts. Meals are provided throughout travel to and from your immersion location. You will have a limited budget for meals which will be enough to eat simply and be well nourished.
  • Site leaders will be liaison with community partner contacts.
  • Lodging varies depending on the site – you will likely be responsible for your own bedding.
  • You must participate in all class sessions and entire immersion in order to complete requirements for the course.

During the last two semesters, the Seminars staff conducted a survey of Notre Dame students who participated in the Appalachia Seminar to help us determine which topics our students engaged and what activities took place at each site. We asked students returning from their immersions what their week primarily consisted of. The following list of all of the responses. We noted on each site web page the top three responses from the students who participated on those immersions. All of our partners offer an element of most of these characteristics, but we hope the top three results should give applicants a good idea of what they might expect to participate in at each site.

*Community engagement through cultural events such as religious services, community events, museums, etc.

*Community engagement by getting to know local residents

*Engaging energy issues in the Appalachia region

*Engaging healthcare issues in the Appalachia region

*Food justice

*Home repair and/or construction


*Engaging environmental issues by learning from local experts

*Engaging environmental issues through direct service

*Faith-based reflection in a Catholic tradition

*Faith-based reflection in a non-Catholic tradition

*Connecting with the natural beauty of the Appalachia region

Appalachia Sites


$300 charged to your student account upon completion of the seminar (please contact for inquiries regarding financial assistance). Full seminar fee will be charged for all withdrawals after the first day of class.
Application Process: 
  • Final application deadline: Thursday, August 24, 2017, 11:59 p.m. Acceptance for the Appalachia seminar will take place on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer. If we receive more applications than we have spots, early applicants will be given primary consideration.
  • You cannot register for the seminar until you receive registration information from Seminars staff.
  • Notification of Appalachia site placement will happen before September 12. 
  • If you are not selected for participation in your first choice of seminars, you will be given the opportunity to participate in another seminar if there is still availability.
  • No admittance into the seminar after the first class session
  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.


With questions about your application, email

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