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OACS equips members of the Vanderbilt community to move beyond the physical boundaries of Vanderbilt’s campus in order to meaningfully and ethically engage with communities in the pursuit of a more just and compassionate world.

Core Guiding Principles

The following principles inform all work that OACS undertakes and focus both message and practice.

OACS expresses a commitment to the living-learning community through:

  • Humble service
  • Critical reflection
  • Action for global justice
  • Informed participation
  • Acknowledging personal privilege
  • Empathy and human dignity
  • Personal accountability


Primary Learning Outcomes

Led by these core guiding principles, the office developed primary learning outcomes in 2014-15. The outcomes are in place to drive programs and initiatives, ensuring that proper assessment practices are developed and followed.

  • Increase commitment to peace and social justice.
  • Understand that reflection leads to greater learning and continual improvement.
  • Critically examine one’s own values, beliefs, and personal ethics in an interconnected world.
  • Deepen respect for human dignity and inspire action with empathy.
  • Actively seek out knowledge to be an informed participant in society.
  • Challenge assumptions of personal privilege.
  • Respect diverse perspectives.
  • Broaden the depth of active listening.
  • Hold oneself accountable for actions and decisions.

OACS is housed within the Office of the Provost. More about the Office of the Provost can be found here