CUNY Service Corps Strengthens Communities
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.
Our Shared Problem
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.
Our Desired Outcomes
- Engineer a stable algorithm to match students with an employer based on a series of data points including type of role, location, work hours and more
- Develop a scalable, automation system that produces effective matches for students and continues to perform as CUNY rolls the program out across all campuses.
- Use domain-driven design principles to foster maintainability and supportability by accurately reflecting the domain concepts in the built system.
The system exceeded the goals of student satisfaction and created efficiencies that freed up CUNY employees to work on other initiatives for the Service Corps program.
"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."