Founded by students in 1967 as the Community Projects Office and known until 2013 as Cal Corps, the UC Berkeley Public Service Center partners with the community, student leaders and faculty to engage approximately 6,000 students each year as volunteers, and through jobs, internships, and courses. The Center also supports faculty and graduate students in integrating community-based work into teaching and research.
The UC Berkeley Public Service Center connects people through shared learning and collaborative action for social justice.
The Center is guided by five core values that shape our approach to public service at UC Berkeley.
Experiential & Reflective Learning
We believe people learn best through hands-on learning coupled with intentional reflection. This “praxis” offers each of us -students, scholars and community members- an opportunity to explore social issues, grounded in our own communities, academic disciplines and personal experiences. Through this process we also learn about our own values and strengths, deepening our ability to take intentional action.
Collaboration & Commitment
We believe the challenges facing our communities are complex, and can only be addressed through long-term, sustainable relationships. Our work relies heavily on relationships with community partners, students, staff and faculty. These relationships take time to build and require continuous investment and renewal. We are committed to the process required for successful collaboration and seek to form mutually beneficial partnerships for long-term community impact.
We believe wisdom comes from lived experience and so community members can be some of our best teachers. We rely on our community partners’ strategic wisdom to help us identify community assets and needs, and we value our community partners as co-educators who support student learning in ways the classroom cannot.
We believe in the power and possibility of students taking action. Students can use their privileged position to serve others and contribute to wider movements for social justice. We value student passions, talents, ideas and experiences and believe in their capacity to be successful change agents and leaders.
Equity & Social Justice
We believe societal structures tend to privilege the powerful. Without the intentional actions of individuals, the needs of those with fewer resources are overlooked. We believe that there are enough resources to meet the basic needs of all, and to enable each person to live a full life with dignity. UC Berkeley has a responsibility to promote the general welfare and to challenge inequitable policies and systems.