Public Service Center (PSC) to enable Cornell Federal Work-Study students to work for nonprofit organizations, schools, and municipalities in the Ithaca and Tompkins County region. Opportunities are offered in a variety of areas, including the arts, education, daycare, environmental programs, health services, legal services, programs for the elderly, public works and engineering departments, women's organizations, and youth programs.
Federal Work Study program (FWS), stipulates that colleges and universities must make students aware of community service opportunities by encouraging them to get involved in community service activities. The FWS program participation agreement also requires the college or university to work with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations to identify community service opportunities, and inform FWS students of these opportunities. The university must use at least 7% of its FWS allocation to employ students in community service jobs. At least one of the FWS students the university employs to fulfill this requirement must work:
Employing FWS students in these positions serves the needs of the community and gives the students an enriching and rewarding experience. To further encourage schools to employ FWS students in these positions and as mathematics tutors, the America Reads Challenge and America Counts Challenge (ARC/C) programs were created, through which FWS funds 100% of the students' wages. In order to organize and develop the ARC/C programs, the Public Service Center created the REACH program (Raising Education Attainment CHallenge) in 1998.
Each year an average of 300 students are placed in work-study positions in the local community. In addition to REACH, another 20 students are employed by the Public Service Center to implement student-run projects and programs, and assist with the other various services to students involved in community service efforts.