Community & Public Service Program

A University-Wide Community Service Initiative

For more than 35 years, the Community and Public Service Program (CPSP) has been central to community engagement efforts at the University at Albany. Born out of the highly turbulent student protests of the late 60s, the first community service project was completed by University at Albany students in 1970.

In 1971, UAlbany's community service project moved from the Office of Innovative Education to the School of Social Welfare. Dr. Charles O'Reilly and faculty member Hedi McKinley organized the structure of the Community Service Project. While the CPSP is administered differently now, the idea of student service to the community and civic responsibility is still a central feature of the Community and Public Service Program. organizations and students collaborate for an integrated field learning and work experience.

Community Service Courses:

RSSW 291

(2 credits) 60 hours of community service, a learning contract, a media reflection, a media project and the completion of 4 forms.  It requires a class permission number to register. S/U graded

RSSW 290

(3 credits) 100 hours of community service, a learning contract, 6 reflective journal assignments, and completion of 4 forms.  It requires a class permission number to register.  S/U graded

RSSW390

(3 Credits) 100 hours of community service, an introduction on Blackboard, a learning contract,  selected readings, completion of three Blackboard activities, completion of 4 forms and an advanced critical essay commensurate with an upper-division course.  It requires a class permission number to register. A-E graded
RSSW 290 or RSSW 291 are prerequisite to RSSW390

Community Service Today

Organization placements include working in homeless shelters, hospitals and healthcare facilities, schools and government organizations. Whether students are helping the homeless, helping people who are living in nursing homes, or working with computer databases in New York State departments, they are providing valuable service to the Capital Region. Many organizations are short-staffed and under-funded. Students supplement work activities in a variety of settings. Student volunteers provide valuable help in an age of diminished funding in both the public and non-profit sectors.

A student can earn up to six credits by completing 100 hours of volunteer service in courses RSSW-290 and RSSW-390; and they can earn an additional two credits by completing 60 hours in RSSW-291. All sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible without regard to their majors. Second semester freshmen can take RSSW-291.

Students may choose to volunteer at one of nearly 500 not-for-profit and public organizations in the Capital Region. To learn how to get credit for community service, review this website, stop by Social Sciences 112 or call 442-5683. The courses count for elective credits for students in all academic disciplines. The CPSP is a program of the School of Social Welfare. You can go directly to the School of Social Welfare site by clicking on the link  within the Related links to the left.

Career experience

CPSP experience helps students integrate classroom learning with future academic and career goals. CPSP staff are available to help students select appropriate placements. Each student is supervised, on-site and the field supervisors are encouraged to communicate regarding student progress directly to the CPSP Office.

The CPSP staff are available to help students select an appropriate placement and to assist students to satisfactorily complete the course requirements.