FWSP Off-Campus Community Service
The Rutgers University Student Employment Office (SEO) administers the Off-Campus Community Service Program (OCCSP), which is a part of the FWSP. Qualified public and nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to employ Rutgers University students at minimal cost. Interested in participating in the program? Please complete the OCCSP Employer Inquiry Form.
OCCSP Employer Eligibility
Employer eligibility is determined by the SEO. Eligible employers include nonprofits and public agencies, such as municipal agencies, county offices, state government agencies, and federal departments (other than the U.S. Department of Education).
Complete the OCCSP Employer Inquiry Form to see if you are eligible.
Benefits of Participating in the Program
The OCCSP has proven to be beneficial to both employers and students. By participating in the program, employers will gain motivated and conscientious workers. In addition, employers can provide students with the opportunity to serve the community, as well as help them obtain valuable work experience and needed income.
In order to participate, the employing organization must receive approval from the SEO and enter into a FWSP contractual agreement with Rutgers. Most of each student’s salary is paid by the federal government; the organization pays a small percentage of the student’s salary. The employer’s portion of the salary may be waived for those employers who hire reading or math tutors. All employers are responsible for FICA payments.
The contract is effective for one year. The organization has the option of signing an amendment that renews the contract for an additional year, provided that there has been compliance with all contractual requirements. View a sample contract.
Hiring FWSP-Eligible Students
Students will contact participating organizations directly to express interest in their FWSP position(s). When the organization determines that they wish to hire a student, they contact SEO.
The SEO determines that the student meets the eligibility requirements for employment under the FWSP and assigns students to work for the organization. Before beginning work, students who have been assigned to an OCCSP position receive an Employment Authorization Form (EAF). The organization also receives a copy of this form, which spells out how much the student is allowed to earn and other important information.
Students arrange their work schedules with their immediate supervisor. They may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and 35 hours per week during breaks, if Rutgers determines that the program will run during breaks.
Type of work performed under the OCCSP
Work performed by students must be in the public interest, nonsectarian, and cannot involve partisan politics. Through the OCCSP, students may be employed in positions that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals; or to solve problems related to their needs, in such fields as:
- health care, child care, literacy training, education, mentoring, welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, recreation, and community improvement; and
- service opportunities or youth corps as defined in Section 101 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990; and service in the agencies, institutions, and activities designated in Section 124(a) of the National and Community Service Act of 1990.
Literacy and Math Tutoring Programs
This program provides opportunities for FWSP students to serve as reading and family literacy tutors to pre-K through elementary school-age children. FWSP students can also be employed as math tutors in K through ninth grade. Tutoring need not be held in a school setting; it could, for example, take place at a public library or community center. Programs may take place during the children’s school hours or after school, on weekends, or during the summer.
Payment to Students
Students are paid by Rutgers University and the participating agency is billed monthly by the SEO for their portion of student wages. Students can either elect to sign up for direct deposit through the university or they can receive a paycheck, which they must pick up from the SEO.
Supervisors must instruct their student employees to schedule an appointment with the appropriate staff member below for payroll registration.
Students cannot begin working until supervisors have received an email confirmation that the student has completed payroll registration.
Supervisors must fax students’ time sheets following the deadlines provided by the campus office they work with. Students may not be paid on-time if time sheets are submitted after the deadlines.
- New Brunswick/Piscataway – (732) 932-0524
- Newark – (973) 353-5057
- Camden – (856) 225-6074
Students are paid by the hour. Pay rates are determined by Rutgers and are based on each job description. Each student’s pay rate is listed on their EAF.
Under FWSP regulations, students must be paid for all hours worked and may not exceed the FWSP award amount specified on their EAFs.
It is recommended that students are allowed to take an unpaid break after 5 consecutive hours of work. However, students cannot be paid for breaks.
Students may be paid for travel time if they spend at least a half hour (one-way) commuting to their community-service job. Travel time is paid with wages and counts as earnings. Travel time must be approved by the SEO. Any student requesting to be paid for travel time must visit the SEO to complete a travel form.