Northeastern University

BCIC - Boston Community Impact Co-ops - (formerly the CSLP)

Summer2/Fall 2019 BCIC cohort during a visit to the Food Project in August.


The Northeastern University (BCIC) Boston Community Impact Co-ops (formerly the 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 BCIC compliments volunteer programs and curricula on campus in order to promote civic responsibility through career choice.

The BCIC (formerly the 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 BCIC 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 Program. Students who apply for the Program 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.

    See some student reflection projects from students who worked for these organizations.

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

    This is a large multi-service agency, which has provided support services to over 6200 people with AIDS and symptomatic HIV disease. Housing Search & Advocacy, part of a broader Housing Department at AIDS Action Committee, is a program for clients searching for stable, affordable housing in Massachusetts. We research affordable housing resources and work directly with clients to assist them with navigating the complex affordable housing system.

    –Position Description: Housing Services Associate

    Co-op will provide support to Housing Department by focusing on special projects that will expand the housing search system and financial resources available to clients; and support to the residential program as needed.

    At AIDS Action Committee, our mission is: “To stop the epidemic and related health inequities by eliminating new infections, maximizing healthier outcomes for those infected and at risk, and tackling the root causes of HIV/AIDS.” Access to safe, stable, affordable housing is a significant need among our clients and an important determinant of improving health outcomes.

    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.

    Prisoners’ Legal Services, Boston (available in Spring and Fall)

    Prisoners’ Legal Services promotes the safe, humane and lawful treatment of Massachusetts prisoners through civil rights litigation, administrative advocacy, client counseling, and outreach to policy makers and the public.

    -Position Description: Intern

    Legal interns have the opportunity for an extraordinary amount of hands-on legal experience at PLS. You will have the opportunity to research federal and state legal questions relevant to prisoners' issues and participate in the preparation of legal memoranda. Students also participate directly in the investigation of prisoners' complaints. You will have the opportunity to:

  • do prisoner visits and interviews as part of your regular work here. (Many students find prison visits the most rewarding part of the job; like many other aspects of the job, it is an experience not often afforded to law students in traditional legal intern positions.)

  • do direct advocacy on behalf of prisoners through conducting record reviews and summaries, drafting letters to clients and to correctional administrators, drafting letters to prison medical providers, and, at times, working with the prisoners’ family members.

  • In addition, you will also likely work to support our policy and legislative reform efforts through attending coalition meetings, preparing legislative materials and assisting in research and writing of policy papers used to advocate with state administrators such as the Parole Board, the DOC Commissioner, facility superintendents, the Governor’s office, Governor’s council and others.

    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. Activities Coordinator/Direct Service


    Rosie’s Place mission is to support and empower poor and homeless women. The co-op student works with several departments to organize and carry out creative and fun activities for our guests. They also provide services directly to our guests in several different areas including the Dining Room, Food Pantry and Outreach Program and assist with administrative duties as needed.


  • Activities Coordinator - The co-op creates and carries out regularly scheduled recreational activities each week in our sitting room or dining room. They are responsible for planning and carrying out the activities as well as working with any volunteers who may be recruited to assist with them. Activities may include weekly bingo, playing song requests with our guests in the sitting room, doing games and arts and crafts with guests in other shelters and leading guest walking groups.
  • Direct Service – Working in many different departments, the co-op gains valuable experience working directly with poor and homeless women. They may escort shoppers in the food pantry, help prepare and serve lunch, answer questions at the front desk and work in other areas as needed.
  • Outreach - This program reaches out to poor women in the community in their homes, housing projects, public schools and on the streets. For example, co-op students meet weekly with a woman in the community to converse or do an activity together. They assist program directors with administrative tasks and research or special events.