Service & Outreach
Princeton offers all members of its community a wide range of opportunities for volunteerism, outreach and work in public service. In addition to the programs listed below, individual graduate and undergraduate organizations, residential colleges, eating clubs, academic departments and alumni classes promote service through various activities. Here is a sampling of some programs (listed in alphabetical order):
Breakout Princeton. The Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s student-led immersion program Breakout Princeton provides opportunities for students during fall and spring breaks to learn about and take action on important issues in communities around the United States.
Bridge Year. Launched in 2009, Bridge Year is a nine-month, tuition-free program that allows incoming students the opportunity to defer their enrollment for a year to engage in community service work in another country. While abroad, Bridge Year participants volunteer in nongovernmental organizations, schools, clinics and other institutions serving the needs of local communities. Participants also study the local language, live with local host families and engage in a variety of cultural enrichment activities. Bridge Year placements are currently offered in China, India, Peru and Senegal.
Community and Regional Affairs, Office of. Members of the Community and Regional Affairs staff serve as liaisons between the University and the communities in which it resides on a wide variety of local and regional issues. Community and Regional Affairs staff members participate in the creation of special events such as Communiversity, Community and Staff Day, parades, workshops, symposiums, and other programs enjoyed by tens of thousands of campus and community members each year. The office partners with other campus and community organizations to provide service opportunities and initiatives. The Surplus Equipment Program, which helps charitable nonprofit organizations acquire furniture and equipment no longer used by the University, is coordinated by Community and Regional Affairs.
Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI). A collaborative effort of students, faculty, administrators, and community experts, Community-Based Learning Initiative facilitates community-driven research projects.
Community House. Part of the Pace Center, Community House works directly with Princeton Public Schools and other local nonprofit organizations to address educational achievement gaps. Princeton students volunteer throughout the school year to provide academic enrichment and educational, cultural and social opportunities to low-income and minority children through such activities as tutoring, test preparation and mentoring.
International Internship Program. Offering numerous summer internships abroad arranged especially for Princeton undergraduates, the International Internship Program places students in internships arranged especially for Princeton undergraduates at private companies and public interest and nongovernmental organizations.
Pace Center for Civic Engagement. The center is the University’s central resource for supporting efforts by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni to identify and act on the problems of society. Through its wide range of programs — including Community Action, Community House, Princeton Internships in Civic Service, Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice, the Student Volunteers Council, the Prison Teaching Initiative, Breakout Princeton and various postgraduate public interest fellowship programs — the Pace Center addresses issues of public concern through active citizenship and effective public leadership for the purpose of building stronger communities and societies throughout the world. The Pace Center annually offers more than 1,600 opportunities for civic engagement.
Princeton AlumniCorps. This independent, alumni-led nonprofit organization inspires and builds civic leadership among Princetonians by engaging them in public-interest initiatives that are driven by alumni of all ages. AlumniCorps’ programs include the flagship Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program for recent graduates, Emerging Leaders for aspiring nonprofit leaders and the Community Volunteers program for midcareer and retired alumni.
Princeton-Blairstown Center. This center, a not-for-profit support organization of the University, operates year-round adventure-based experiential educational programs for underserved urban youth in New Jersey and New York City. With the help of student leaders, the 263-acre Princeton-Blairstown Center runs summer programs that emphasize the development of skills for self-awareness, self-management and social awareness, resulting in responsible decision making. The center collaborates with the Pace Center, Community House, the Student Volunteers Council and the Outdoor Action program during freshman preorientation and seeks Princeton students for summer staff.
Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). Founded and supported by alumni and administered with the Pace Center, Princeton Internships in Civic Service places students mentored by Princeton alumni in summer internships in nonprofit organizations where they work in issue areas ranging from public policy, community development, and health and social services to education, sustainability and the arts. Established by the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund, PICS also involves other alumni classes and regional associations and alumni from other classes.
Princeton University Class of 1969 Community Service Fund. The fund established and administers, in partnership with the Pace Center, the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program. The fund also provides both financial and logistical support for service projects initiated by students and alumni, which have included Princeton in Africa, Princeton in Latin America, the Princeton student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program.
Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP). Founded in 2001 by the Princeton University Program in Teacher Preparation, the Princeton University Preparatory Program is a rigorous academic- and cultural-enrichment program that supports high-achieving, low-income high school students from local districts. The multiyear, tuition-free program prepares participants for admission to and ongoing success within selective colleges and universities.
Program in Teacher Preparation. Since 1967, this nationally accredited program has provided an opportunity for Princeton University undergraduates, graduate students and alumni to obtain a New Jersey teaching license through a combination of academic courses and field-based learning experiences. Teacher Prep also manages an academic-enrichment program that allows students who have completed their coursework and received permission from their high school to take University courses at no cost. In addition, it offers professional development for teachers in area schools.
Student Volunteers Council (SVC). As part of the Pace Center, the SVC is the largest student-run organization at Princeton. The council sponsors more than 40 weekly projects in partnership with community organizations. Student volunteers tutor children, restore houses, organize blood drives, feed the hungry and visit the elderly. The SVC also organizes Community Action, a preorientation service immersion program for incoming freshmen.