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OCSE Application Information

What is the Off-Campus Student Employment Program?

Off-Campus Student Employment (OCSE) is an opportunity for students to earn their financial aid awards (work study) while working with a local community partner. The focus of the program is to encourage students to serve as a bridge between the local organization and Macalester, enabling both to build on the varied resources of the other and foster reciprocal, long-term relationships. Students in the program learn about community issues and develop new skills while providing a needed service.  In addition, they share their insights with each other at monthly training workshops and a program reatreat. Community organizations receive assistance from a college student approximately 7-10 hours per week.

The program provides an opportunity to contribute to community change by dedicating a significant amount of time to a local project. Typically, 1-3 students work at the same community site. All of the students in the program attend a monthly training workshop on nonprofit issues, models of social change, and skill building techniques. Workshops are held one Monday evening each month, are mandatory, and considered paid time.

Who is eligible?

Macalester students who:

  • will be Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors and who have student employment as part of their financial aid
  • make a commitment to being reliable and responsible at their site
  • attend monthly training workshops on campus and a program retreat (details above)

Other details to note:

  • Students may have the option to participate in the program for more than one year if it is approved by their current community site and the Community Engagement Center
  • Preference will be given to students who can articulate how they will serve as a bridge between Macalester and the local organization where they will work. The Community Engagement Center can help students brainstorm ways to further develop a partnership between the two organizations.
  • Students are required to submit a resume with their application materials. Sample resumes are available in Career Exploration and on their website

Where do students work?

Local nonprofit organizations, schools, and governmental agencies apply to participate in the program. The Community Engagement Center selects sites where students can do significant and meaningful work that contributes to the organization. Due to the long-term partnership focus of the program, preference is given to organizations that have a history with Macalester and those with an emphasis on institutional collaboration. Sites must provide training, supervision, and evaluation of student workers.

Earning the financial aid award

  • Please note awards cannot be split between off-campus and on-campus positions. The entire award must be earned off-campus.
  • Students generally work 7-10 hours each week, depending on the amount of their financial aid award.
  • Macalester pays the students’ entire wage.
  • The program does not operate during the summer.
  • Preference is given to students who can work the entire academic year, however one-semester participants will be considered.
  • Students may earn up to, but not more than, their annual student employment award.
  • Participants are responsible for clocking in and and out from each work shift electronically.
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation to the sites and are encouraged to think through the logistics of transportation before applying to the program.

How to apply

Read through the available OCSE positions.

Complete an online application.  A resume is required; applications will not be considered without a resume.

The application deadline for the 2024-25 academic year is noon Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

If you are approved to participate in the program, you will be contacted by interested organizations to set up an interview.

After the interview, organizations will contact you to let you know if they would like to hire you.

Please contact the Community Engagement Center once you have accepted a position so that we may complete your hiring information within JobX.

Contact Derek Johnson at [email protected] or call 651-696-6363.