Community Work Study

Service Learning

Become a member of the CWS program!

The Community Work Study (CWS) program places undergraduate students at nonprofit and public organizations in the Greater New Haven area. The students are compensated through Federal Work Study funds, allowing students to have regular income at no cost to the community organization. Students in the CWS program are given the opportunity to make a positive change within their community, while also exploring their own career interests and goals through real-world experiences.

Students are able to gain real world experience while still having a support system at the University of New Haven. The program offers a professional development aspect not found in many on-campus work study jobs. Students are able to take advantage of professional development workshops that respond directly to the areas they feel they need to enhance. Students are encouraged to reflect on their experience through monthly reflection sessions.

This is also an opportunity to make valuable contacts within the Greater New Haven area. In a few instances, students have been hired as  employees at their work site. To participate in the CWS program you must be an undergraduate student, be eligible for Federal Work Study, and you must be committed to working at a nonprofit or public organization for one full academic year.

Check out the Community Work Study Brochure which can be found here or picked up in the International and Experiential Education office located in Kaplan 210. 


Click the tabs to read  stories about past CWS participants and the impact they made in the New Haven community.

Elicia worked as a case management assistant with No Closed Doors (NCD).

NCD, which is part of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project and is run primarily by volunteer college students, offers case management services to low-income and homeless persons. Elicia helped individuals find employment, update their resumes, and prepare for job interviews. Elicia's eyes were opened to the prevalence of homelessness in Greater New Haven through her work with NCD. She worked with Randy, an unemployed client who was searching for a job when he found NCD. Randy came into the organization every day for two weeks and received assistance developing computer skills and applying to jobs. Randy eventually got called for an interview. When he was accepted to a job position, he came back and told Elicia the following day! All of his hard work paid off, and Elicia witnessed his success first-hand. 

Patricia has been extensively involved with the Community Work Study program. She began her CWS journey at The West Haven Community House, where she worked with a kindergarten after-school program. The West Haven Community House assists in the development of healthy and productive lives for children, adolescents, families, and individuals with disabilities. Through the CWS program, Patricia was able to play an influential role in this organization and the population that it serves.

When asked about the value of working within the community, Patricia said "The real world is more than just assignments and GPAs, in fact, these hardly matter in the bigger picture. What will leave an impression is how you apply your knowledge and talents to real contexts, and how you made people feel through your actions. Nobody remembers all the papers they wrote throughout college. But experiential education is a powerful form of learning that stays with you after school is out.".

Jessica worked at Common Ground as an After-School Program Assistant.

Jessica has been involved in Sustainability projects on the University of New Haven campus, and through the Community Work Study program, was able to find a position at Common Ground working toward new sustainability projects and goals. About her experience at Common Ground, Jessica stated "Common Ground reflects in its mission statement/organizational goals all the same goals I have for my own career work (environmental stewardship, social justice, education, and community-building for a better future). Being a part of the efforts at Common Ground is very fulfilling personally and professionally."


Please contact us at with inquiries about the program!