Community Work-Study Mentorship & Internship Program

Earn, Learn, and Service

The Community Work-Study program (CWS) offers students who have a Federal Work-Study award as part of their financial aid package opportunities to work with one of ICCE’s community partner organizations and/or be placed with ICCE. The program supports students in connecting their academic journeys with career exploration in nonprofit and public sectors to advance civic and career development.

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program was established as part of the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964, the goal of which was to combat poverty in the United States. The FWS program, as part of this EOA, was established to “stimulate and promote the part-time employment of students in institutions of higher education who are from low-income families and are in need of the earnings from such employment to pursue courses of study at such institutions” (Campus Compact, “A Brief History”). This evolved into the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was revised in 1972 to also include the Work Study for Community Service Learning Program (which is now more commonly known as Community Work-Study or CWS).

A subset of Federal Work Study, CWS provides the opportunity for eligible students to work in meaningful jobs that not only give them applied learning experiences but also contribute to meeting community-identified goals. 

The Community Work-Study Program is managed by ICCE, and is aimed at connecting students with their community through service and learning. Work-Study eligible students are matched with community organizations based on skills and interests. Organizations are enlisted to serve as mentor host sites that also benefit from the student’s service to the organization and its mission. The goal of this program is to form a mutually beneficial partnership between students and the community- one that offers meaningful service to the community organizations, as well as professional development, experience, and a deeper commitment to and understanding of their community for students. Both students and organizations are invited to apply on an annual basis to participate in this program.

Community Work-Study (CWS) assists students in earning cash while learning important job skills through on and off-campus opportunities. In addition to enhancing your job skills and gaining valuable on-the-job training, by participating in this program you will become better prepared for your careers after college. Cash earned through work-study does not count against you as a financial resource on your FAFSA.

  • Flexible work schedule 

  • Develop/enhance a professional work experience 

  • Networking opportunities 

  • FWS earnings are not required to report on FAFSA 

Participating in a work-study program comes with considerable benefits, including financial aid and the opportunity to gain relevant work experience. 

You keep what you earn 

While you have to pay student loans back with interest, work-study earnings are yours to keep. 

Your paycheck won't affect financial aid eligibility 

Like most financial aid, work-study awards are only guaranteed for the current school year, which means you'll have to fill out the FAFSA every year you attend college. Yet unlike other forms of income, your work-study job won't affect financial aid eligibility. You'll still have to report your work-study earnings on the FAFSA, but they won't count against you in the calculation that determines your award. 

Work Where You Learn 

Most work-study jobs are located on campus, but there are also some off-campus opportunities, such as ICCE's community work-study program opportunities. Regardless of where your job is located, you can usually schedule your work hours around your academic schedule. Many departments/program offer jobs that are flexible and accommodating to class schedules, work-study can be a great way for students to earn extra money while building a résumé. 

The reward can be more than just financial 

A work-study job in your academic field can offer a valuable experience that may even guide your future career choices. When the time comes to graduate and start applying to full-time positions, this job experience can help boost your resume. 

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federal need-based student employment program funded by the Department of Education in which students earn funds. The FAFSA determines a student’s financial need, and therefore, a student's eligibility.

A student must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Federal Work-Study:

  • Complete a FAFSA

  • Meet financial need as determined by FAFSA

  • Be enrolled at least half-time, per semester (6 units for undergrads, four units for grads)

  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress 

  • Have a Federal Work-Study Eligibility Notification Letter on your SF State Gateway portal

What if I was not awarded work-study but would like to work in a work-study position?

You should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if you meet work-study eligibility criteria. If you do, you will be placed on a work-study waiting list and as funds become available, you will be awarded and notified. (If you complete your FAFSA as early as possible and respond promptly to all requests for additional financial aid documentation, you will increase your chances of receiving a work-study award.)

Can I work more than one work-study job?

No, you may only have one work-study job per semester.  All other jobs will be regular student jobs. You must monitor your total earnings from the work-study job position to ensure that you do not exceed your work-study award amount. Students must not exceed a 20-hour work week.

If I earn my full work-study award, can I receive more?

You should conscientiously track your earnings and contact the Financial Aid office to determine if you have eligibility for additional work-study funding. If funds are available and you have unmet needs, your work-study award may be increased.

Can I transfer my fall/spring work-study award to the summer term if I did not use it during fall and/or spring semester(s)?

No, work-study awards for the fall and spring semesters expire on the last day of the spring semester. Any unused awards or portions of awards are invalid after this day.

Should I report my work-study earnings on my tax return?

Yes, all work-study earnings are taxable income and must be reported as such.

How do I report my work-study earnings on my FAFSA?

You will be asked to report work-study earnings on Worksheet C of your FAFSA. This allows your work-study earnings to be excluded when determining your financial need. This is a major benefit of having an award and using your work-study award.

If I decline my work-study award, will I receive some other form of financial aid?

If you decline your work-study award, you may be eligible for additional student loan funding.

*Please note that a Work-Study award is different from a Campus Job Opportunity award in that a Work-Study is a federal aid program and a portion of your earnings is subsidized by the federal government.

Students: Get Started. Get involved. Get Paid.

Community Work Study (CWS) positions with ICCE are paid positions. These opportunities support various areas of community engagement. This program provides meaningful professional development training, networking, skill-building, work experience, and civic and community engagement opportunities for SF State students. CWS students will have the opportunity to facilitate workshops, conduct presentations, develop new programs, support marketing campaigns, and plan civic and community engagement events. Once students are accepted into the community work-study program, they will have the opportunity to provide input on which position/placement they are most interested in. However, the final placement will be based on an overall fit with what the organization is looking for and available placement slots. 

We are looking for committed students who have:

  • Passion for working in partnership with diverse communities to make positive change;
  • Flexibility to work in different areas and adapt to changing circumstances;

  • Growth mindset and eagerness to try new things;

  • Enthusiasm, reliability, self-initiative, and commitment to active participation, engagement; 

  • Interest in connecting with and learning from other students in the program; and

  • Willingness to commute to host organization sites (this is an in-person opportunity). 

CWS Positions

This paid internship (must be work-study eligible) places undergraduates and graduates in nonprofit and public sector organizations, specifically in the afterschool programming setting. Students interested in public service get the chance to explore, contribute, and grow as they work in, with, and for local communities.

Why get involved

  • Take your learning off campus and (re)connect with communities.

  • Dive into a topic or issue you're passionate about and explore career opportunities. Although you might be placed in a youth development program, many of these organizations also address a multitude of areas, such as food insecurity, health, and wellness, economic development, etc.

  • Receive mentorship and coaching from experienced nonprofit/public sector leaders.

  • Engage in professional development opportunities and build your personal and professional network with your cohort and host organization.

What to expect

  • Must be available to work an average of 6-10 hours a week, specifically after-school hours (~2-6 pm) and for the academic year. This is an in-person opportunity. 

Who are our host organizations?

Host organizations are located throughout San Francisco. Our community partners work with a variety of populations and address a wide range of topics and issues. SF State students are hired to provide academic and social-emotional learning support and facilitate activities for youth in K-12 public after-school programs and nonprofit organizations, with an intentional university-community partnership aiming to achieve community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth, and families throughout San Francisco. Expected focus areas will range from expanded learning programs, behavioral and mental health, healthy communities, and youth workforce, etc.

Compensation: $18.67 per hour (effective Fall 2024) 

Civic & Community Engagement (CCE) Interns serve as peer leaders, and liaisons between ICCE, the student body, and staff for ICCE programs. This is an on-campus and in-person opportunity. There will be occasional off-campus activities/events that will take place in support of ICCE's programming. 

This yearlong, paid position offers the opportunity to:

  • Support the ICCE’s core student programs, including Gator Votes. 

  • Connect SF State students with civic and community engagement opportunities on campus and off campus in San Francisco.

  • Organize and facilitate service-learning projects, community engagement experiences, voter education and participation efforts, and more.


CCE interns receive training on civic and community engagement, collaborate alongside staff and faculty, and contribute to a culture of informed, active participation in civic life. In the process, interns develop concrete skills, including communication and presentation skills, organizing, and project management. CCE interns work an average of 6-10 hours per week (hours are dependent on student work-study allocation amount).

Compensation: $18.67 per hour (effective Fall 2024)

Students: Apply for AY 2024-2025

Applications for AY 2024-2025 are NOW OPEN! Use the link below to apply.

Get Started: Apply Now!