Northeastern University

Community Service Learning Program (CSLP)


The Northeastern University Community Service Learning Project draws upon the strength of Northeastern as a large urban university and as a national and international center for the practice of a form of experiential learning called cooperative education. In establishing a deliberate link between service learning and career development, the Project compliments volunteer programs and curricula on campus in order to promote civic responsibility through career choice.

The Co-op Community Service Learning Project was initiated by the Student Government Association and is funded through the University. For close to almost two decades, Northeastern University has generously supported the Community Service Learning Project as a way of expanding cooperative education opportunities, utilizing concurrent group reflection meetings and visits, as well as supporting a connection between Northeastern and Boston-based community human service agencies and non-profit organizations.

The program has three key components:

  • The employment of quality students to work as full-time staff members in targeted community-based agencies with the goals of meeting educational, public safety, environmental, and human needs of Boston neighborhoods and citizens.

  • Provide students with quality supervision and work environments, which maximize student, professional, civic and personal development.

  • Participation in monthly reflection seminars that are integrated into the 40-hour work week for both unstructured personal reflection and group discussions.

    Concurrent Reflection is an integral part of the Project. Students who apply for the Project should understand that in addition to their assignment in a community-based agency, they are expected to participate in monthly reflection seminars.

    These positions have a $7,000 stipend for the 6 month period

    Students are asked to write and essay and attach it to their resume as a portfolio to apply - information is on each job description in COOL.

    AIDS Action Committee, Boston (available in Spring and Fall)

    This is a large multiservice agency, which has provided support services to over 6200 people with AIDS and symptomatic HIV disease.

    –Position Description: AIDS Hotline Counselor Staff the confidential AIDS and HIV information and referral Hotline. Answer questions and respond to concerns about HIV and AIDS and provide support to callers as they struggle with these issues. Assist with other related health education projects as needed.

    -Qualifications: Must be comfortable talking explicitly about sexuality and health issues and responding to people in crisis. Must be able to complete a required hotline training session on a weekend.

    The Food Project, Dorchester and Roxbury (available in Spring and Fall)

    We envision a world where youth are active leaders, diverse communities feel connected to the land and each other, and everyone has access to fresh, local, healthy, and affordable food. To fulfill this mission, we blend three program areas – youth development, community food access, and sustainable agriculture – into a synergistic model to achieve multiple, intertwining goals.

    -Position Description: Community Programs and Farm Assistant

    The Co-op position will provide an opportunity for the student to gain insight into the non-profit world and develop a full sense of the organization’s programs and operations. The primary responsibilities will fluctuate seasonally and reflect the organization’s changing needs by season. Overall, the student will gain a wide variety of skills and experience in everything from farming and teaching children to public speaking and administrative duties.

    In the Dudley neighborhood of Boston, The Food Project grows on two pieces of land, totaling 2 acres; manages a 10,000 square foot greenhouse; and runs a farmer’s market all within walking distance of each other. The Food Project also runs garden-based educational programming in partnership with three neighborhood elementary schools. The Co-op student will work closely with our Boston Farm Manager during the growing season (April-October), and our Dudley Greenhouse Manager and Community Programs team year-round in order to support its farm and greenhouse operations, markets, and school partnerships.

    During the winter months, the Co-op position will also provide support to The Food Project’s Development team. Working closely with the Development Director, Executive Director, and the Development team, the student will assist with all daily operations during a particularly busy time of year for this department.

    Pediatric Growth Clinic, Boston (available in Spring and Fall)

    This is a medical social service program which services over 150 children diagnosed with Failing to Thrive properly. It encompasses the Grow Clinic for Children and the Primary Care Enrichment Program (PEP) Clinic.

    -Position Description: Program Assistant

    Students will be asked to divide their time between assisting with day-to-day operations of these clinics and a long-term project which can be designed with one of the clinic's professional staff members covering a particular area of interest for the student. Projects can have research, clinical or fundraising components. Day to day assignments will include work in the food pantry, clothing closet, administrative, office and clinic waiting rooms. Other responsibilities may include:

    • Playing with children waiting for appointments in the Growth Clinic

    • Interviewing families

    • Assisting with the utero cocaine study

    • Assisting with fundraising projects, newsletters, and research

    Rosie's Place, Boston (available in Spring and Fall)

    Rosie’s Place provides shelter, meals and a variety of services for nearly 200 homeless and low-income women every day. The intern will split their time between the Childworks Program and the Advocacy Program.

    Childworks Program/Position Description (~25 hrs/week) Childworks provides educational activities and entertainment for the children who come to Rosie’s Place with their mothers. The intern will create and carry out a regular schedule of children’s activities each week and will be responsible for coordinating staff involvement, managing registration for activities, and oversee the activities of the volunteers recruited to assist them. The intern will plan craft activities which they do with the children at least twice a week. The intern will also plan field trips and other activities (storytellers, magicians, science fairs) that are designed to meet a range of educational and developmental goals.

    Advocacy Program/Position Description (~15 hrs/week) Advocacy is offered to guests at Rosie’s Place on an on-going or drop-in basis, helping women with a myriad of needs including preventing eviction, entering detox, writing a resume, furnishing a new apartment, or accessing medical care. The Drop-in Center logs approximately 1,500 guest visits each quarter. The intern will work closely with the advocates and front office staff and assist them in all aspects of their work. The tasks may include: assisting guests in creating resumes and/or teaching basic word processing skills, accompanying guests to off-site appointments, working with guests in the advocacy resource center, conducting initial interviews with new guests, filling requests for clothing and household items, answering phones and working at the front desk, and some light filing and data entry. Qualifications: Strong interpersonal skills, organizational ability, interest in community service/social justice issues. Flexible. Ability to work on own and handle multiple demands.