CUNY Service Corps has two program goals: for students to gain valuable real-world work experience and access to professional networks and opportunities while engaging in service, and for communities and partners to realize concrete benefits as a result of CUNY Service Corps projects. The program provides students at eight CUNY campuses with paid opportunities to gain work experience while serving city agencies and community-based organizations throughout New York City. This type of work experience is invaluable for students entering the labor market, and Service Corps recognizes the access to professional skill development and networking that its students receive as essential to improving employment outcomes among young people traditionally underrepresented in these careers. The program’s innovative model deploys students to work in a range of positions in the field while providing robust training and support. Students in the program benefit from one-on-one advisement from campus-based managers, pre-service training, ongoing monthly trainings, special program events, and peer-to-peer support from other Corps members. Additionally, Service Corps imparts direct benefits upon its partner organizations, increasing organizational capacity and highlighting CUNY students as a rich source of talent.
REPS partners with CUNY Service Corps to provide data collection and management, continuous monitoring of program progress, and regular evaluation of student and partner outcomes. Specifically, REPS assists with the collection of student data both during the program’s application process and throughout the academic year in the form of periodic surveys. REPS produces monthly reports tracking student engagement with program supports and hours worked, helping campus managers to monitor the progress of their students. Evaluation reports focus on several key program outcomes, including student and partner satisfaction, workplace skill development, and post-program employment.
Five evaluation questions guide this work.
- [Implementation/Monitoring] To what extent do students participate in key program activities, complete working hours at their placement sites, and engage with program staff?
- [Student Outcomes] What are the outcomes of participation in the CUNY Service Corps for students? Do students report improvements in key program outcomes (program satisfaction, workplace skill development, civic engagement, personal development, and social/professional network development) as a result of participation in Service Corps?
- [Student Outcomes] What are the post-program employment outcomes for Service Corps students?
- [Partner Outcomes] What are the outcomes of partnering with the CUNY Service Corps?
- [Student Impact – future research] What are the effects of participation in Service Corps on post-collegiate employment?