Community Center Students

Welcome to The Center for Service in Action!

The Center for Service in Action at Cal Poly connects students with meaningful volunteer opportunities that complement their educational experience, strengthen their understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develop skills to become ethical and knowledgeable leaders who contribute to a global society. The Center for Service in Action cultivates reciprocal service and learning partnerships between the university and community partners. The Center for Service in Action also serves community-based organizations and governmental institutions seeking university support to address unmet community needs.

The Center for Service in Action includes Student Community Services (SCS), Service Learning, Alternative Breaks, and AmeriCorps VIP.

Make a Difference Day Awards

The Center for Service in Action just won one of 14 national awards from the
Make A Difference Day (MADD) organization. In receiving the award, Center
staff were asked to designate a participating community partner from MADD'16
to be the recipient of a $10,000 check from Tegna (the producers of MADD
nationally) and the Arby's Foundation.

Click on the link below to see a video from the big reveal ambush, when
we surprised the staff and board of directors of El Camino Homeless
Organization (ECHO) with the check.


Change the Status Quo: A Social Justice Conference is an annual conference hosted by the Center for Service in Action and Student Community Services every winter. The conference aims to challenge social norms to make lasting changes in our community and around the world. The mission of CSQ is to empower students to challenge stereotypes, demand solutions, and use education to make a lasting change. 

Student Community Services (SCS) offers eight student-run programs that organize on-going community service events ranging from helping the homeless to helping the environment. SCS provides the opportunity for students to act as vital members of the community, share their resources with others and develop skills and leadership abilities while creating meaningful social change. SCS hosts annual events such as See the Need Week, Homelessness Awareness Week, and Change the Status Quo, a two day conference designed to give students tangible tools to be effective advocates for social change.

Service Learning is an intentional and structured community service experience that enhances classroom learning. The Center for Service in Action supports faculty to develop service learning courses, identify appropriate community partners, and place students in local community partner agencies. These courses allow students to engage in service, typically 12-14 hours per quarter, and reflect on their social responsibility.

Alternative Breaks offers a chance to raise students' self-awareness, supplement their educational experience with the university, and demonstrate Cal Poly's enthusiasm to make a positive impact outside of the campus community. Students are immersed in another culture, which provides the opportunity to examine social issues and reflect on their own positions of power and privilege. Volunteer excursions give Cal Poly students a chance to make a lasting contribution and work together to positively affect other communities around the world.

AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Program (VIP) is a bridge between the university and the community. AmeriCorps, also known as the domestic Peace Corps, places members in local community agencies to develop the capacity of the agency by building and strengthening volunteer programs. AmeriCorps is not a job; it is a paid service experience. All members receive a living allowance throughout the term of service, an educational award upon completion, and invaluable training and experience.

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