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.

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. There are multiple job opportunities to 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. Final placement will be based on student's preferences, skills, and overall fit with what each organization is looking for. 

CWS Positions

SF State students are hired to provide academic support in SF Unified School District K-4th grade classrooms. America Reads is a great opportunity for those interested in pursuing a teaching career and gaining important skills during their participation in the program. Partnering with the Graduate College of Education, America Reads participants gain insight into the teaching credential pathways provided by the Department of Elementary Education. America Reads is a program attached to the E ED 645 Early Field Experiences course. Only students enrolled in E ED 645 are eligible for this position.

Compensation: $18.07 per hour (effective Aug. 2023)

SF State students are hired to provide STEAM academic support and facilitate activities for youth in K-12 public after-school programs, and non-profit organizations, with an intentional university-community partnership that will achieve community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth, and families throughout San Francisco. STEAM programs integrate Artistic practices and Technology into the teaching of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM with an A!).

  • Compensation: $18.07 per hour (effective Aug. 2023)

  • Must be available to work a minimum of 6-8 hours a week, during after-school hours (~2-6 pm) and for the duration of the academic year 

  • Must be able to work in person. Students will be assigned to a host organization site.

Civic & Community Engagement (CCE) Interns serve as peer leaders, 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 6-8 hours per week and are paid $18.07 per hour. 

This paid internship places undergraduates and graduates in nonprofit and public sector organizations. 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

  • 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

  • Earn $18.07 per hour 

What to expect

  • Work with host organizations for an average of 6-8 hours per week (varies pending on student's work-study allocation, needs of the host organization, etc.)

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. Interns receive coaching and support from a site supervisor.

Apply Now

Prospective Community Partners

Community and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply to become designated host sites for the program. As a designated CWS Site, organizations host and mentor a student who can contribute to the organization through tasks or project-oriented work. Students are matched with organizations based on skills, interests, and project goals. 

For the 2023-2024 academic school year, more information to come as to how to apply and information sessions.

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