To educate and inspire the next generation of problem solvers.
We bring together colleges and social sector organizations to create fully-credited hands-on learning experiences that are meaningful, accessible, and life-changing.
Over the next 3 years, our flagship Semester in the City (SITC) program will recruit and place more than 600 college students in our fully-credited, semester-long internship experiences at 100+ leading social impact organizations in Boston. Our program is comprised of a 400+ hour internship and 160 hours of complementary classroom learning, workshops, and reflections. We serve a full range of college students with a focus on students who are low-to moderate-income, from underrepresented minority groups, and/or first generation college students.
College for Social Innovation seeks to address three urgent and inter-related challenges:
The Uncertain Value Proposition of a College Education. Colleges and universities are charging students more and more (since World War II college costs have grown at 4x the rate of inflation), leaving students with burdensome debt. Yet 91 percent of employers say students don’t graduate with the workplace skills they need;
Growing Achievement and Opportunity Gaps based on family income and race threaten the growth of our economy and the stability of our democracy. Among those who complete college, these gaps get bigger during college because of growing gaps between elite and non-elite colleges and dramatically unequal access within colleges to mentors, structured internships, and other “high-impact learning experiences”;
Inadequate Social Sector Talent. The social impact sector (nonprofits, social mission businesses, and government) pays too little attention to talent sourcing and development; as a result, thousands of organizations don’t reach their potential or achieve their mission.
WE AIM TO ENROLL DIVERSE COHORTS TO ADDRESS A SERIOUS ACCESS CHALLENGE...
Students are twice as likely to succeed in the workplace if they have a meaningful internship while in college. However, by senior year only half of college students get an internship or field experience. There is unequal access to structured internships and other high-impact learning experiences adding to the growing achievement and opportunity gaps based on family income and race.
We can change that.
We partner with colleges and universities to allow students to participate in our 15-week Semester in the City program while staying enrolled in their institution and earning a full semester of college credit. This often makes for a more accessible and affordable study away experience.
We match students with a social impact organization— a nonprofit, government agency, or social mission business to intern at for 30 hours per week. We take a holistic approach to experiential learning, and students get to take two classes with us in addition to their internship. These classes allow students to deepen their understanding of social justice and innovation, and reflect on their internship experience.
Our host organizations and the mentoring relationship students gain are what truly make these internships unique.