CUNY Service Corps mobilizes CUNY students, faculty and staff to work on projects

The CUNY Service Corps presents an opportunity for CUNY faculty members to engage students to work on service-oriented projects.   The Service Corps aims to meaningfully connect Corps members’ academic learning to their service work in the community, and faculty engagement is a key component to accomplishing this goal. 
Faculty members have flexibility to design and lead their own projects for the Service Corps.  Faculty-led projects will enable faculty members to:

  • Apply their expertise to the city’s most pressing needs
  • Nurture a small cohort of CUNY Service Corps students
  • Identify potential community partners
  • Integrate experiential learning into the student experience

Faculty-led projects should seek to impact the short and long-term civic, economic or environmental sustainability of New York City and its residents and communities.  Sample faculty-led projects may include conducting ethnographic field studies regarding New York City residents’ accessibility to affordable, healthy food options, researching the environmental effects of Hurricane Sandy on New York City’s shorelines, drafting concept papers on equity and access to higher education for New York City public school students, or analyzing the economic effects of affordable housing on certain New York City neighborhoods.

Important facts about faculty-led service projects:

  • Priority will be given to projects that will enable Corps members to obtain academic credit, either through an existing course, an independent study, or some other arrangement
    • Corps members are permitted to receive both their hourly wage and academic credit for their Service Corps experiences
  • Each faculty-led service project should involve a minimum of 3 Corps members
  • Corps members are committed to work for a period of 24 weeks (over the fall and spring semesters) for 12 hours per week
  • Corps members are enrolled at eight CUNY colleges, including Borough of Manhattan Community College, College of Staten Island, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Kingsborough Community College, Lehman College, Medgar Evers College, New York City College of Technology, and Queens College
    • Faculty supervisors do not have to be based at one of the eight participating CUNY colleges; Corps members are expected to commute to the faculty supervisor’s home college for project-related work
  • Faculty supervisors will be asked to:
    • Participate in a CUNY Service Corps supervisor orientation session
    • Provide meaningful and satisfying work relevant to the skills and interests of Corps members, and connect the project to students’ academic learning
    • Provide adequate supervision, including frequent supervision meetings with Corps members and timely completion and submission of performance evaluations and electronic timesheets
    • Provide appropriate space (desks, computers, etc.) and project-specific training, as needed
    • Participate in evaluation of the Service Corps, potentially including surveys and interviews
    • Maintain communication with Service Corps staff
    • Provide a safe and supportive environment for Corps members

Selection and training of Service Corps members:

Corps members are selected through a highly competitive process, and applicants must submit a written application with a recommendation and participate in a rigorous group interview activity. 

Corps members will be matched to their placement sites or faculty-led projects through a matching event in early June, where there will be an opportunity for faculty and placement site supervisors to meet with and interview Corps members.

Corps members are required to successfully complete a pre-service training program prior to the beginning of service placements.  Corps members are also required to participate in an ongoing support program throughout the academic year, which includes biweekly workshops and meetings with their campus program manager.  The pre-service training and ongoing support program curricula integrate a civic engagement and a workplace strand, such that students can begin to connect the two and identify civic engagement as the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to make a difference in the community.

2014-15 Applications

The 2014-15 application has now closed.   Please feel free to contact Valerie Chow, Associate Director of the CUNY Service Corps, at valerie.chow@cuny.edu or 646-664-8066 with any questions about faculty-led projects.