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The Vision

Building a Long-Term Partnership on Common Ground

The Dornsife Center is the cornerstone of Drexel's commitment to the community: it focuses our best features–experiential learning, research, service learning, and neighborhood investments–on making this a better environment for all. The Dornsife Center is being designed by participants at both Drexel and in the neighborhoods to support a comprehensive and holistic approach to community building. Designed as the first urban extension center run by a private university, it will provide a site for community residents and Drexel faculty, students and professional staff to learn together. It will house programming around new information, skills and services that community members have identified as needs, combining the expertise of Drexel faculty and students with the successful programs of local service providers. Programs and workshops for children, youth, and adults will be geared to match neighborhood interests, and will include health promotion activities, a law clinic offering free legal services, free tax services, financial education, resume writing and job skills, GED Test preparation, home maintenance and home energy efficiency, nutrition and cooking, digital literacy, and more. 


A unique "urban extension center" with offerings that combine Drexel University expertise and community knowledge to solve problems in West Philadelphia. The Dornsife Center will be an educational resource for children, youth, adults and senior citizens in Mantua, Powelton Village and West Philadelphia.


3509 Spring Garden, on the border of Mantua and Powelton Village, three historic buildings on a vacant 1.3 acre site in the heart of the neighborhood. Ideally situated close to campus the site is equally accessible to Drexel students, faculty, professional staff and community residents.


A collaboration of all 13 Drexel colleges and schools, Mantua and Powelton Village residents, and nonprofit partners. Residents will have access to expertise from across Drexel’s schools, colleges and centers. They will be able to come together with Drexel students and faculty–community and campus learning from one another–and the synergy sparked by this give and take will build trust and mutual respect. Together we become partners in creating better spaces to live and work.

Download the Dornsife Center fact sheet for more information.

Read more at the Dornsife Center Website