How have Service Corps members benefited our community partner organizations?

The CUNY Service Corps seeks community partners to offer hands-on projects and meaningful supervision for Corps members.

The 2019-2020 Partner Application is now open. Please see below for details regarding the application process.

Program Goals

The CUNY Service Corps is more than an internship program: students are building professional skills while also engaged in work that addresses the city’s most pressing needs.
The CUNY Service Corps has a focused set of goals for Corps members, the University, and the program’s community partners:

Goals for Corps Members
Civic responsibility
Students will identify as stewards of CUNY and their communities and practice service as a component of active citizenship, community engagement, and social responsibility.

Educational & career success
Students will demonstrate awareness of the connection between their academic learning at CUNY and real‐life experiences and gain workplace skills that will improve their employment prospects after graduation.

Goals for CUNY
CUNY will integrate more experiential learning into the student experience.

Community engagement
Faculty/staff will utilize their deep expertise to address New York City’s most pressing needs, enabling CUNY — its faculty, staff, and students — to contribute to the public good.

Goals for Community Partners
CUNY students will increase the capacity of Service Corps community partners to serve their communities’ needs.

Role of Community Partners

Community partners of the CUNY Service Corps:

  • Identify a pressing need in a local community
  • Work with Service Corps staff to design student projects
  • Host, train, and supervise a cohort of CUNY Service Corps members
  • Evaluate Corps members and communicate regularly with Service Corps staff

Past Projects

  • Providing administrative support to hospital Vice Presidents
  • Helping senior citizens use technology effectively
  • Designing promotional flyers to attract youth to a job training program
  • Teaching children about animals at a zoo
  • Promoting financial literacy among adults
  • Researching energy efficiency

About CUNY Service Corps Members

Students selected for the highly competitive CUNY Service Corps have demonstrated that they:

  • Are enrolled full-time at a participating CUNY college, have maintained at least a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5, and have earned at least 24 college credits
  • Want to be part of a special and important program that will make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers
  • Are interested in and dedicated to helping people, neighborhoods, and/or organizations
  • Can balance work in the CUNY Service Corps with college studies and other co-curricular commitments
  • Show promise as a leader and a problem-solver
  • Are able to work as a member of a team

Before placements begin, CUNY Service Corps members attend 13 hours of professional development training.

What Partners Say About the CUNY Service Corps

Service Corps members have added value to a myriad of activities at CEO while practicing service and building skills through support of multiple departments, including Human Resources and Operations.

The Corps members have shown excellent interpersonal and organizational skills while remaining enthusiastic and flexible.  The CUNY Service Corps experience has been invaluable.

Tara M. Hall, Manager of Staff Training, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)

The students we were assigned are intelligent, responsible, thoughtful, and diligent, allowing us—a small non-profit—to increase our capacity and be a more effective organization. Additionally, the administrators of the program have made participation easy, with friendly check-ins, reasonable reporting requirements, and excellent support.”

Arif Ullah, Director of Programs, Citizens Committee for New York City

My colleagues are so pleased with the partnership between CUNY Service Corps and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. There seems to be a kind of Service Corps persona – someone who holds a mission driven approach close to their heart, who offers their service and who wants to work alongside our staff to promote the health and well-being of patients and families in the home and community.” 

Michael Ambrosini, Director, Volunteer Services & Community Relations, Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

How many hours do students work? When do they start?

Corps members work approximately 12 hours per week for 24 weeks over two academic semesters. Placements begin in mid to late September.

FAQ About the CUNY Service Corps

What types of organizations may apply?
The program is open to non-profit organizations and government agencies that have offices in New York City’s five boroughs.

How many Corps members can each partner request?
Prospective partners may request a minimum of 5 and no more than 18 students per organization.

How many hours do students work? When do they start?
Corps members work approximately 10 hours per week for 24 weeks over two academic semesters. Placements begin mid-late September.

When do placements end?
After the program begins in September, Corps members and their placement supervisors are given some flexibility to design the 24-week program calendar. For example, some Corps members work during winter break while others do not.  Most students will end placements in April.

What type of work can students do?
Projects should include hands-on work that enhances student learning, such as accounting, community outreach, tutoring, writing, graphic design, or research.  Students should not work out in the field (e.g. going door-to-door) alone. Supervisors must train and support students. CUNY Service Corps encourages partners to provide additional learning opportunities (e.g. student attendance at staff meetings, off-site trainings, and informational interviews).

Are students paid?
Yes, students will be paid $15 per hour in 2019-20.

Are there any costs to partners?
For the 2019-2020 year, participating partners will be asked to contribute an annual partnership fee dependent on how many students they are requesting for placement:

  • $5,000: requesting 5-9 students (CUNY to guarantee placement of 5 students)
  • $10,000: requesting 10-18 students (CUNY to guarantee placement of 10 students)

This partnership fee contributes towards student wages and administrative costs, with CUNY still covering over 75% of the program costs.

What type of benefits and support do community partners receive from CUNY?

  • Access to a vetted pool of qualified CUNY students who have been identified after a vigorous selection process
  • Year-long professional development trainings for students based on partner feedback
  • Program orientation and supervisor training sessions
  • A highly responsive program staff to address partner organization concerns
  • Human resource management and payroll processing of student wages

Are partners allowed to interview students before they are placed?
The CUNY Service Corps program matches trained students to community partners through our matching process.  Partners will have the opportunity to meet students before placements begin at our two day Matching Fair in June and express preferences to CUNY Service Corps staff regarding potential matches.  Typically, a high percentage of initial placements are a “mutual match.” However, the CUNY Service Corps cannot guarantee that partners will receive the all of the students they request.

What are the expectations of supervisors?

  • Attend a CUNY Service Corps Partner Orientation before the program begins (online or in person)
  • Approve the students’ Learning Action Plans (e.g. list of goals) online in the Fall
  • Provide placement specific training and support to students. Meet with students at least biweekly.
  • Complete two evaluations of Corps members’ performance and discuss with students
  • Verify student time sheets

What types of projects are most successful?
The ideal placement for CUNY Service Corps members offers:

  • A variety of challenging tasks and projects. Corps members ideally complete more than one type of task to maximize learning opportunities.  For example, Corps members may be tutoring young people as a primary role while also creating outreach plans.
  • Additional projects to be completed during down time. Corps members are talented students who may complete tasks more quickly than expected.  Supervisors should offer additional projects students can work on if they finish work early.
  • Additional learning opportunities. Partners are encouraged to offer other chances for students to learn about the field, role, and service theme.  This might include informational interviews with other staff members and opportunities to attend existing professional development trainings and meetings.
  • A variety of program times.  Placements that have very specific time frames (e.g., 3pm-6pm, four days a week) have difficulty attracting students that can accommodate these hours given class schedules.  Ideally an after-school program would allow students to arrive at 1pm to complete planning tasks before tutoring begins at 3pm.

Contact Information and Application Instructions

The 2019-2020 Community Partner Application is now open to non-profit and government agencies.  The deadline to apply is Friday March 1, 2019.

Applying is a two-step process.

1) Register as an employer here:

2) Once your registration is approved, you will receive instructions on how to complete the application process by entering service placement descriptions.

Questions? Contact Noel Blanchet at or call 646-664-8066.