Public Service Internship Program (PSI)

The Public Service Internship (PSI) is a mutually beneficial program for both students and community partners.

PSI is postponed for Fall 2021. Check back in December 2021 for updates.

The Public Service Internship Program (PSI) is a credit-bearing learning experience coordinated by the Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action (CILSA) in collaboration with faculty.

In PSI, students are unpaid interns (8-10 hours/week for one semester) at Bay Area non-profits big and small, city governments, and any type of entity that would fall under the notion of "public service." The internship also includes an academic component during which students explore theories of change, organizational theory, vocational exploration, and topics related to each student's field of study.

Our aim is for students to contribute to serving low income and marginalized communities and/or to promote efforts of social justice and sustainability through direct service or capacity building while engaging in personal and professional development. 


Student Benefits

  • Join community-based organizations engaged in critical work
  • Connect with mentors who are experts in their field
  • Engage in dialogue and study with a community of students
  • Explore career pathways and vocation
  • Earn community engagement (CE) credit
  • Receive an upper-division credit (1.0) in the department of your faculty member
  • Receive $1,000 Educational Leadership Scholarship upon completion

Student Learning Outcomes

Through ongoing critical reflection, reading, writing, internship responsibilities, and seminar activities, students fully engaged in this course will:

  • Describe and apply theories of change to the specific work of their community partner organization.
  • Recognize and describe their growing sense of vocation and purpose related to public service.
  • Utilize discipline-based knowledge to explore the social justice issues evident in the community partner organization’s work.
  • Identify the personal and professional skills developed through the internship experience.
  • Express their understanding of the interconnections between their experience and their responsibilities as members of social or professional communities.

Three Components to the PSI 

  1. Interactive Seminar – This 90-minute bi-weekly interactive seminar is facilitated by Samantha Coon, MA, CILSA Coordinator of Civic Leadership. The seminar focuses theories of change, organizational theory, and vocational exploration. Assignments and course activities specifically link students’ internship experience with course content.
  2. Discipline-Based Study – Each PSI student will work with a faculty mentor/sponsor to devise readings and assignments that specifically link the student’s internship experience with the student’s major or minor field of study and provide knowledge about the social issues evident at the internship site. The faculty and student should plan to meet four (4) times throughout the semester.
  3. Engagement at Community Partner Site – The community partner site supervisor will provide direction, supervision, and mentoring to the PSI student. They will offer mid-term and final evaluations of students’ performance.