Public Service Internship Program (PSI)

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

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. 



Students will …

  • Strengthen skills and knowledge for working in the non-profit and public service sector.
  • Explore vocations through the lens of personal and professional development.
  • Review and discuss academic content related to public service and the specific organizations' work.

Community partners will …

  • Gain assistance for planning and implementation of programs (8-10hrs/wk, one semester).
  • Mentor young people into the benefits, challenges, and purposes of your work.
  • Expand your partnership with the College.

PSI Position Requirements

  • Provide substantive and meaningful work for the student that supports the goals of your organization. Projects may not be clerical, though they may require occasional clerical or administrative work.
  • Allow students to learn about the social issues facing the communities they serve and to participate in the change-making process.
  • Teach students necessary skills for non-profit and community-based work.
  • Be scaled for a 3-month timeframe. Students must be assigned about 8-10 hours of work per week in either the fall or spring semester.


What commitments does the host organization make?

  • PSI students serve 8-10 hours per week at their host sites for one semester.
  • Each PSI student will have a specific job description.
  • Work schedules are determined between the site supervisor and the student.
  • PSI students need a primary supervisor for weekly check-ins, ongoing coaching, and direction.
  • Your organization must have an active/updated MOU with Saint Mary's College.

What are the supervisor's responsibilities?

  • Conduct screening interviews during March.
  • Attend a PSI orientation in May.
  • Schedule weekly check-in meetings with the student; maintain open and frequent communication.
  • Provide the PSI student with a thorough orientation to the site and organizational staff.
  • Provide the PSI student with a suitable workspace and access to appropriate resources and supplies, such as computers, printers, and copy machines.
  • Communicate with the CILSA coordinator if any irregularities or issues emerge (with the student or the organization).
  • Complete mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluations of the student.