Students volunteer for the American Cancer Society. Students volunteer for the American Cancer Society.

Community & Public Service Program

A University-Wide Community Service Initiative

Fostering Community Engagement

Community engagement in the United States, and indeed across the globe, is more important than ever. Social welfare retrenchments, globalization, economic insecurity and changing levels of social capital have challenged the most marginalized people to have their voices heard and needs met. Community engagement is one of the central mechanisms for fulfilling the promises of a democratic society.

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Mark your calendar for the Spring 2024 CPSP Community Service Fair!

Two students clear a garden bed during a community service event

At the Community Service Fair, you can meet representatives from 50+ of our partner organizations to learn how you can engage in meaningful service for academic credit!

Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Partners may arrive after 9:15 a.m.)
Location: LC Concourse
RSVP for the fair before February 21

Partner organizations that join us at the CPSP Fair know it's a great way to recruit new talent by providing community service opportunities. Each organization is provided a complimentary 6 foot table and 2 chairs, plus coffee and pastries, and is encouraged to bring promotional materials, candy or small give-aways to share with prospective volunteers. If your organization wishes to attend, please fill out the RSVP form.

Contact Sheri Stevens, Director of CPSP, or Jenny Leighty Horn, Assistant Director of CPSP at [email protected] or 518-442-5683 to reserve a table at the Fair or for answers to your questions.

About CPSP

For more than 50 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, University at Albany'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 its central feature. Organizations and students collaborate for an integrated field learning and work experience.

Earn Credit While Serving Your Community

You can register for RSSW community service courses and earn credit either by volunteering in-person in Albany or in your hometown, or volunteering virtually for RSSW credit.


Community Service Courses

Help Your Community, Help Yourself

CPSP experience helps students integrate classroom learning with future academic and career goals. CPSP staff are available to help students select appropriate placements. Students may choose to volunteer at one of nearly 500 not-for-profit and public organizations in the Capital Region. Each student is supervised on-site and the field supervisors are encouraged to communicate regarding student progress directly to the CPSP Office.

Organization placements include working in homeless shelters, hospitals and healthcare facilities, schools and government organizations. Whether students help the homeless, assist those living in nursing homes, or work with computer databases in New York State departments, they're providing valuable service to the Capital Region.

To learn how to get credit for community service, review this website, stop by Social Sciences 112 or call 518-442-5683. The courses count for elective credits for students in all academic disciplines. The CPSP is a program of the School of Social Welfare.

Service-Based Courses

For more information about the courses listed below visit the UAlbany undergraduate bulletin.

  • R SSW 190 Community Engagement (1) S/U Graded
  • R SSW 290 Community and Public Service Program (3) S/U Graded
  • R SSW 291 Human Service in the Community (2) S/U Graded
  • R SSW 390 Community and Public Service Program II (3) A-E Graded


Things to Consider
  • All RSSW courses are open to all undergraduate students
  • All courses have corresponding written assignments on Brightspace
  • All courses require a Permission Number to enroll
  • Each course can be taken once for credit

See What You Can Do

Organizations and Opportunities

Student Testimonials

Alumna Testimonial

Community and Public Service Program
Social Sciences Building Room 112

1400 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment.