The Consortium’s GEAR UP provided college and career readiness services/workshops to approximately 1,000 students in grades 7-12 at Worcester East Middle and North High schools.
Discover How College Students Make a Difference in Greater Worcester!
We are pleased to present the 2011-12 Community Placements Survey (including contacts on each campus who can help place students at your organization). In this most recent survey, our college and university members tracked the engagement of students in the community, primarily in Greater Worcester. These experiences included: Internships, Pre-professional Experiences, Research, Service Learning, Volunteering and Work Study. The service took place in several settings: Social Services, Education, Health, Public Interest, Environment, Cultural, and Business. (For definitions of the types and settings, please see below.) Another resource is our list of Community Engagement Programs by Campus, which provides much more information on the types of community service each institution offers its students and the community.
- Approximately 21,600 placements of undergraduate and graduate students in some type of experiential learning in 2011-12. (Some students were placed more than once.)
- These students spent more than 1.4 million hours in the community.
- More than 1600 organizations welcomed students for a semester or full year; these included 740 nonprofits, 570 for-profits and some 300 municipal offices or public schools.
- Almost 1700 placements provided approximately 122,000 hours at 43 Worcester Public Schools.
These numbers tell only part of the story. The demand for experiential learning opportunities is on the rise. With more students engaged in volunteer work and service learning at the high school level, the demand at the college level is starting to explode.
Anecdotally, we know that many students are advised to take advantage of community placement opportunities as a means of testing a career field or industry and, as important, to enhance their resumes and maintain a competitive edge when applying for their first job or graduate school.
Employers consider internship programs among the most effective methods for helping them hire new college graduates. According to one National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) study, employers extended job offers to more than 70 percent of their interns. Even when students don’t receive, or accept, job offers from organizations where they’ve interned, their internship experiences prove valuable when the students pursue jobs with other employers. These findings were reaffirmed in a local study conducted by The Research Bureau which found that “Employers are seeking recent college graduates with prior experience, either through employment, internships or volunteer or community service.”
To assist with internship opportunities, the Consortium and its Career Services Committee launched an online database for internships which serves as a clearinghouse for both students and employers.
The Consortium will continue to play an integral role in matching the needs of our more than 30,000 students with local employers and the region’s workforce needs. If you have any questions about this survey or how the Consortium can work with you and/or your organization, please feel free to call us at 508.754.6829.
Using our online searchable database, you may view and search all 2011-12 student placements in the community. Call up all placements of students from a selected college, find the number of hours students at all colleges devoted to a certain agency, find the most popular placement setting, or sort in many other ways. You may also export all or selected parts of the data. To locate a contact person who can assist you in finding students to help your organization or business, go to our list of Campus Contacts.
Types of Service
Volunteer: Volunteerism and volunteer service projects done in the context of co-curricular activities - usually coordinated by student services and ministry offices. Common examples include one-day community service projects, ongoing community service programs organized by student groups, one-week immersion trips (such as service trips to Appalachia, Habitat for Humanity) and local tutoring programs for neighborhood children.
Work Study: Community service work performed as a work study activity. Federal requirements dictate that colleges dedicate a minimum of 7 percent of their annual federal work study budget to community service outside of the college. Work Study is part of a student’s financial aid package, and is performed as a paid position at a nonprofit, charitable organization. Examples include students working at local community service organizations, with fixed weekly hours and a job description. (Community agencies sometimes refer to these students as interns. However, for most colleges, internships refer to a different type of placement. See below.)
Internships: Internships, which include clinical and practicum experiences, can involve a credited course that includes a certain number of hours (weekly) dedicated to a placement in an external organization. Internships can also refer to paid positions at external organizations that include a stipend paid by funds raised by a college or agency. There are many variations on internship programs provided by colleges and universities. Internships provide job experience as part of career development and include a professional evaluation and ongoing faculty support/oversight.
Pre-professional Experience: This type of placement includes required practica, clinical rotations and field placements for a career in the professions. (This is different from an Internship.)
Service Learning: Service learning refers to a credited course that involves an experiential learning component anchored in a community setting where students perform a community service as part of their academic requirements for the course. Students and faculty dedicate some class time to the integration of the meaning of the field experience with the course syllabus. There is ongoing faculty support/oversight.
Research: Research placements refer to students who do coursework-affiliated research conducted in a community setting with faculty support/oversight.
Social Services: Services to youth and adults (including all human services, recreation, behavior workshops, domestic abuse, etc.) at placements such as Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., YOU Inc, Abby’s House, etc.
Education: Any academic-related service in a school, college or community setting, including work with youth or adults (e.g. teaching ESL to adults tutoring, SAT prep, etc.)
Health: Any health-related service, either educational in nature or medically oriented, to youth or adults – such as work in nursing homes, at AIDS workshops, dental clinics, etc.
Public Interest: Any placement that focuses on issues of public interest – such as hunger (food banks, policy planning/implementation, etc.), housing issues (homeless shelters, policy planning/implementation), Community Development Corps., crime prevention/education, municipal work, etc.
Environment: Any placement that has the physical environment as its focus – such as water quality, air, land use, etc.
Cultural: Any placement that focuses on the support/promotion of cultural opportunities (museums, performing arts, visual arts, etc.)
Business: Any placement that focuses on the corporate, for-profit sector, including placements to help meet organizational goals, bottom-lines, marketing objectives, etc.