The CUNY Service Corps serves a vital mission: to connect CUNY students, faculty and staff with service projects that strengthen communities in New York City. Each project has a goal to improve the short and long-term civic, economic and/or environmental sustainability of New York City and of its residents and communities. The CUNY program enables students to make a meaningful difference through service while gaining valuable real-world work experience, earning a wage, and where appropriate, receiving college credit.
The Service Corps program at CUNY matches students with opportunities at one of their preferred community partners. Every year, the program office matches hundreds of students with hundreds of partner organizations. The manual system used for the first two years of the program meant the CUNY staff spent weeks finding the appropriate placement for each student. The process was stressful, inefficient, and error prone. CUNY needed a time and cost efficient automated process that would create accurate matches between students and prospective employers and make the program more scalable over time.
Stride met with the CUNY team and immediately began researching solutions for the Service Corps program. It was clear automating the process was critical. The question was how best to do that in a way that would produce good matches for the students and would easily scale as CUNY rolled the program out across all campuses. The answer was to create a stable matching algorithm that would automatically match students with an employer based on a series of data points including type of role, location, work hours and more. When we developed the algorithm we also made sure to incorporate domain-driven design ideas that ensured everything was named in such a way that the concepts would not overlap.
In 2015, the system identified mutual matches for approximately 75% of students in the Service Corps program. Manual matches were cut down dramatically.
Creating an automated system for matching students and employers allowed CUNY employees to work on other initiatives for the Service Corps program, rather than spending time on a manual process.
“In the past we spent over two weeks doing the matching. But with the software, the mutual matches were done in a matter of minutes and the unmatched students were matched in about 3 days,” said Rachel Stephenson, University Director, CUNY Service Corps at The City University of New York. “This allowed us to focus our time and energy on other programmatic aspects of the Service Corps.”
Stride was able to exceed the goals of student satisfaction by creating a precise algorithm that reduced legwork for CUNY.
“Stride was a pleasure to work with. The team understood our needs from day one and built a product that has set us up for true long-term success!”