Beyond rent-free housing, SSF is a living and learning community. The cooperative living program fosters leadership and instills essential life skills. Residents maintain individual household responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning common areas, managing the house’s finances, budgeting weekly expenses, and organizing socials. SSF also offers focused workshops to help students grow and become community leaders.  Examples of workshops facilitated throughout the year include best practice study skills, financial literacy, and conflict resolution workshops.

Collaborative Community Framework of Applied Leadership Development

The Collaborative Community Framework of Applied Leadership Development approaches leadership as a purposeful, collective process that results in a peer-led community.[1] The framework incorporates the following assumptions:

  • Community living is a powerful vehicle for leadership.
  • Leadership impacts growth of others
  • Leadership is collaborative.
  • Leadership is a process, not a position.
  • Leadership is inclusive and accessible to all residents.
  • Leadership is values-based.

Who is a leader at Southern Scholarship Foundation?

A “leader” is any resident who wants to work with others to make a difference. Southern Scholarship Foundation views leadership as a purposeful, collective process available to all residents. Residents commit to improving the quality of life in their houses, and in the larger SSF community. This collaborative process means that residents must have trust and requires that they act in ways that are consistent with the group’s well-being.

Any resident can journey the applied leadership development pathway. The leadership pathway begins as a resident and is developed as a minor house officer, major house officer, ambassador, and can culminate as a House Manager.

The Collaborative Community Framework of Applied Leadership Development is adapted from these sources:

Astin, H.S. and Astin, A.W.. A Social Change Model of Leadership Development Guidebook Version III. The National Clearinghouse of Leadership Programs, 1996. Blueprint Leadership Development Program at UC Berkeley.

Dickinson College. Social Change Model of Leadership Development. The Collaborative Community Framework of Applied Leadership Development.

Skendall, K.C.; Ostick, D.T.; Komives, S.R.; Wagner, W. & Associates. The Social Change Model, Facilitating Leadership Development. National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs, 2017. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

What qualities foster growth at Southern Scholarship Foundation?


  • Thinking, feeling, and behaving with consistency, genuineness, authenticity, and honesty towards others and Southern Scholarship Foundation programming.


  • The energy that motivates a resident to serve the collective effort. Commitment implies passion, intensity, and duration directed toward both the group and its intended outcomes.

Cooperative Collaboration

  • Working with others in a common effort empowers a resident and housemates through trust. Cooperative collaboration encourages residents to transcend individual interests and behaviors. Cooperative collaboration is best achieved when all residents share in the goal and participate actively.

Conflict Resolution with Civility

  • Conflict resolution recognizes realities of community living: that differences in viewpoints are inevitable, that differences must be openly addressed with civility, and that bridging differences will foster growth.
  • Civility implies respect for others, a willingness to hear each other’s views, and restraint in criticizing the views and actions of others. Conflicts need to be resolved and also integrated into the common purpose.


  • The process whereby a resident becomes responsibly connected to the SSF community through applied leadership development. The practice of connectedness happens at every point during their scholarship years through shared meals, community living, accountability, and participation.

Consciousness of Self

  • Awareness of personal beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions.