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Student Leadership Opportunities

Smith students take on leadership roles through the CCC in a variety of ways.

Community Fellows Program

The Community Fellows program is designed for students who are interested in deepening their commitment to a particular long-term community partnership by acting as the liaison between the Smith community and the host agency. Fellows contribute significant hours of work to their community host organization, and collaborate with their community host organization and CCC staff to support and facilitate increased and quality Smith student involvement. Community Fellows serve as the primary contact person for partnering community-based organization.


CCC STRIDE Fellows assume leadership roles in community service projects, assist faculty and CCC staff in community-based learning courses and research projects, and work in a wide variety of outreach programs for children, teachers and families. They also serve as liaisons to local schools and community organizations, attend meetings in the community and help the center staff and faculty to identify and implement projects with community partners. For more information, see the STRIDE web page.

Graduate Mentoring Program

As part of the School for Social Work-Smith College mentoring partnership, SSW graduate students mentor undergraduates who are working in a variety of community placements.

CSO Executive Board

Being a member of the Community Service Office (CSO) Executive Board offers students a voice in the scope and direction of community service projects throughout the year. Board Members learn the basics of operating a small non-profit organization, attend weekly one-hour board meetings, and spend two hours per week in the office. The Board develops policies, coordinates events, recruits volunteers, and organizes educational gatherings on community needs and volunteering. Ten students are appointed to the Board each academic year, and each member assumes leadership for a specific programming area (e.g., Community Education, Publicity/Newsletter, Outreach, Blood Drive, Short-Term Service Projects). A CSO board position is a one-year commitment.

First Link Team Leaders

First Link is a specialized community service orientation program that engages incoming Smith students in short-term, hands-on community service projects. As facilitators, First Link team leaders play an important role by supporting new students’ adjustment to college and linking them with community service projects and pathways. Team Leaders attend an eight- to ten-hour training program on leadership.

Science Center STRIDE Fellow

The Science Center STRIDE Fellow assumes a leadership role by assisting the Science Outreach Coordinator in research, development, and coordination of Science Outreach activities. The goal of outreach programming is to create opportunities for Smith students to explore and enhance science education in the region; undergraduates work with K-12 schools and a number of GED programs. The Science Center STRIDE Fellow is involved in all aspects of outreach work: from research and development of activities to assessment of how activities actually work in the community. For more information, see the STRIDE web page.

January Science Teaching Fellowship Program

In the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded Science Teaching Fellowship, undergraduates are introduced to educational pedagogy, lesson planning, classroom management and standards, in preparation for an intensive one-week program during January Interterm. Selected undergraduates work in pairs, with guidance from the Science Center Outreach Coordinator, Smith Science faculty, and K-12 teachers. They research, develop, practice, and teach lessons in a range of fields: life science, chemistry, physics, earth science, space science, and engineering.

Science Center Early Research Associate

Undergraduates in Early Research Associate positions research the best ways to deliver science and engineering lessons/activities for specific grade levels. The need may derive from a request from a local teacher or arise from an area of student interest. The Early Research Associate develops lessons and activities to test in local schools or in GED programs. Once the activity is refined, the Associate works to develop a classroom loaner kit that can be used in the community or with a group visiting campus.

Science Outreach Volunteer

Smith undergraduates looking for short-term leadership opportunities can sign up to deliver science and engineering activities for single or multiple sessions. Throughout the year, local schools, after-school programs, and adult education centers request Smith visits to their institutions or STEM field trips to the Smith campus. Science Outreach Volunteers, with some guidance from the Science Outreach Coordinator, work in teams to plan and develop specific activities that respond to requests by community partners.

Other Smith Leadership Programs and Fellowships

With busy schedules, other students choose to get involved in leadership programs and fellowships during school breaks in the summer and January, as well as during the academic year.

Summer Science and Engineering Program

Undergraduate students work as summer interns for the Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP). The SSEP is a four-week residential program for exceptional high school girls with strong interests in science, engineering, and medicine. Each July, select students from across the country and abroad do hands-on research with Smith faculty in the life and physical sciences and in engineering, and Smith students act as teaching assistants and mentors.

Praxis Internships

The Praxis program allows every Smith student the opportunity to elect an internship funded by the college. Administered by the Career Development Office, the program gives each Smith sophomore or junior access to a one-time stipend that ensures that each student can afford to participate in a summer internship. Some students choose summer work with a community organization for their Praxis internship.

Urban Education Initiative

The Urban Education Initiative is an innovative service learning program that brings Smith students to partner elementary, middle and high schools. For more information, go to the Urban Education Initiative web page.

Project Coach

Project Coach bridges economic, educational, and social divisions facing Springfield's youth by providing under-resourced teens with support and paid employment as sport coaches and teachers of elementary-aged children. For more information, go to the Project Coach page.

Lewis Leadership Program

The Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership Program is a highly acclaimed, innovative program that provides undergraduate women with hands-on learning experiences and training in practical leadership skills. For more information, go to the Lewis Leadership Program page.