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
- 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 approximately 11 hours per week
- Corps members are enrolled at eight CUNY colleges, including Borough of Manhattan Community College, City College of New York, College of Staten Island, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Lehman College, Medgar Evers College, New York City College of Technology, and Queens College
- Faculty supervisors should 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
In 2015-2016, 10 faculty members are participating in the CUNY Service Corps. Corps members’ activities include:
- Conducting environmental research, including estimating environmental impacts, sampling solid waste, analyzing renewable energy sources and related technologies, and performing laboratory work.
- Organizing and facilitating activities for children with autism and their siblings, performing research in a Queens College lab during the week, presenting findings at a conference, and enrolling in a Psychology course.
- Learning about youth participatory action research methods; planning and implementing lessons and activities in an after school seminar for high school students; and participating in research-at the campus, including conducting literature reviews, transcribing interviews and class audio-recordings, writing field notes, and managing the data for the project.
- Work in housing related placements (e.g. New York City Council, Community Board 4, New York City Housing Authority, tenant advocacy organizations), enrolling in a Housing and Community Problem Solving Internship course at John Jay College, and participating in an action-based research project.
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 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 monthly 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.