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Cal Corps Public Service Center can support you in finding a way to get involved in the community through volunteering, professional internships, or community-based research. We can also assist you in developing community-based courses, setting up partnerships, and determining the best ways to incorporate community-based work in your teaching and scholarship.
Getting involved in your local community provides a unique way to learn about the place you call home. Check out our programs and resources for finding local organizations and public service opportunities below.
Cal Corps Programs
Oakland Community Builders: Community Organizing
Shinnyo Fellowship: Funding to Pursue Social Change Projects
Magnolia Project: Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
Alternative Breaks: Immersion Experiences over Spring Break
BUILD: Literacy Tutoring Program
(All of the above opportunities are open to undergraduate and graduate students.)
VolunteerMatch: Search our database of local organizations and opportunities
City of Berkeley: Commission openings
Graduate Assembly: Community Outreach Working Group, City Advocacy Committee
Berkeley Law: Clinics
Science@Cal: Outreach opportunities around science and technology
Planning a One-Time Service Event
If you are planning a one-time service event, see these basic guidelines to set the foundation for a successful event.
Internships enable you to contribute specialized skills and knowledge to a community organization while gaining new expertise. Check out the existing internship programs and resources below, or contact Suzan Akin if you would like help identifying community organizations with whom you could design your own public service internship.
Public Service Internships
ACES Chancellor's Public Fellows: Engaged Scholarship and Course Development
Berkeley Board Fellows (GSPP, Public Health, and Haas students)
Career Center: Internship listings and resources for finding internships
DataCenter Internship Program: Social Justice Research Internships
Graduate Fellows Training Program at UC Berkeley's Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
VolunteerMatch: The Cal Corps Public Service Center's searchable database for internships and volunteer opportunities
Approaching Community Partners
If you are looking to design your own internship, consider these best practices for approaching community organizations with a proposal. Remember that community organization staff are often pressed for time; be thoughtful about your reasons for seeking an internship, be realistic about the amount of time you can commit, and have concrete ideas of the work you would like to contribute to the organization. Be open to listening to the community organization's needs and their capacity for hosting you as an intern. It is also important to approach the organization with humility, and respect for the expertise of their staff and constituents.
Community-Based Research is called different things in different disciplines, but regardless of the setting it involves co-creating and implementing research projects with community in order to achieve change. Cal Corps Public Service Center can help connect you to potential community partners, find current faculty and graduate students doing community-based work on campus, and offers workshops and resources to support graduate students in this area.
Community-Based Research Workshops
Planned by a group of graduate students called the Seminar Planning Committee, Cal Corps hosts 3 to 4 workshops per year exploring topics relevant to community-based research. Events are advertised on this website, the Public Service Calendar, the graduate student newsletter, and through graduate department listservs. To be added to the listserv or become a member of the Seminar Planning Committee, contact Suzan Akin.
Public Health 219C: CBPR in Public Health, taught by Meredith Minkler
A popular course on campus taught by a well-known scholar in the field of community-based participatory research. Open to students from all disciplines. The goal of the seminar is to provide doctoral and advanced master's degree students with an understanding of theories, principles, and strategies of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and related traditions.
Approaching Community Partners
If you are looking for a community partner with whom to design your community-based research, consider the following best practices for approaching community organizations:
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health offers many resources for conducting community-based research in an ethical way (across fields that extend beyond health).
We can help you connect to research, best practices and campus colleagues in the fields of service-learning, engaged scholarship, civic engagement and community-based participatory research (CBPR). See below for places to start, and contact Suzan Akin if you have specific requests.