Whether you are for stopping climate change or accelerating economic opportunity - for racial justice or for education reform - College for Social Innovation gives you a chance to work on or discover your passion while earning college credit and building skills as a problem solver. We partner with colleges and social sector organizations to offer well-supported semester-long Social Innovation Fellowships in Boston - often referred to as "the Silicon Valley of social innovation."
Social Innovation Fellows will work four days per week with social sector organizations, under the guidance of a dedicated mentor. In addition, students will participate in a weekly foundation course, The Social Innovator's Tool Box, and in workshops for skill-building and reflection. Participating students will earn full credit from their home college with no additional tuition costs.
LEARN about our Curriculum Framework
Download the full PDF version of our curriculum framework here.
Learn About the components of a social innovation fellowship
SOCIAL SECTOR PLACEMENT
Social Innovation Fellows will serve with social sector organizations four days per week, for 14 weeks. Every fellowship will be a little different, but in each case the Fellow will have a dedicated mentor. Fellows will spend roughly 20 percent of their time shadowing staff and senior leaders, 40 percent of their time doing front-line service and/or the daily work of the organization, and 40 percent working on a special project, such as researching a potential new initiative or organizing an event. Social Innovation Fellows will gain 400+ hours of work-based learning, allowing them to learn more about themselves and their passions while also building their skills and their networks.
The Social Innovator's Tool Box
One evening per week Fellows will be enrolled in a foundation course, the Social Innovator's Tool Box, which will introduce them to different approaches to social change and social innovation. Have you ever wondered how impact investing, advocacy, social mission businesses, action tanking, social entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, scale or spread, or movement building can advance progress on the issues you care about? This course will use case studies and discussions with leading change-makers - as well as the emerging academic literature on social innovation - to illuminate different pathways to change.
WORKSHOPS FOR SKILL-BUILDING AND REFLECTION
For 14 Fridays - as well as orientation at the beginning of the semester and a student showcase at the end - Social Innovation Fellows will participate in skill-building and reflection workshops designed to accelerate understanding of themselves, the Boston community, and the larger societal issues they and their peers are grappling with in their social sector placements. As part of the Friday workshops, Fellows will engage in team-based community research projects and will meet with leading social innovators from diverse fields and backgrounds. Fellows will also participate in workshops designed to build proficiency in four core skills of communication (written and oral); data analysis and synthesis; teamwork and interpersonal skills, including giving and getting feedback; and creative problem-solving and design-thinking.
A digital portfolio
Every student who participates in College for Social Innovation for a semester or more will develop their own digital portfolio that showcases their best work. Social Innovation Fellows can link to their digital portfolios from their resume and potential employers will be able see real work product and a letter of support from their mentor, not just "same old" summaries of self-identified strengths.