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Civic Leadership Fellows Program (CLF): FAQs

The Civic Leadership Fellows program matches Federal Work-Study eligible students at Miami Dade College (MDC) who will be Changemakers with an organization dedicated to improving the community and working for the public good.

FAQs

Overview

What is the Civic Leadership Fellows Program?

The Civic Leadership Fellows program is a Federal Work-Study program that connects students with local non-profits with the goal of creating leaders dedicated to improving the community and strengthening the partnership between community organizations and Miami Dade College. For a copy of the Civic Leadership Fellows Student Handbook (Contact Lilyana Lopez - clf@mdc.edu ).

How is this different from being a volunteer?

The key differences between the Civic Leadership Fellows and volunteering are the time commitment, pay, and tasks. Volunteers often commit a short period of time of service or do so to complete service-learning hours for a course. Civic Leadership Fellows instead make a longer-term commitment to non-profit organizations and work between 10-20 hours a week there. Also, volunteers are not paid for their service while Civic Leadership Fellows earn $14 an hour for their work. Lastly, the tasks Civic Leadership Fellows undertake resemble that of an apprenticeship or entry-level job rather than a normal volunteer opportunity.

What skills will I be developing?

As a Fellow, you will grow personally and professionally. Through their work with their assigned non-profit and the professional development workshops the students will complete as part of the program through iCED, they will gain skills such as leadership, communication, responsibility, non-profit management, community organizing, and change-making skills such as empathy, resilience, reflection, and action. In addition, the student will be able to earn the Civic Action Award, which will greatly enhance their resume.

Which community partners are hosting Fellows?

A detailed list of community organizations hosting Civic Leadership Fellows can be found on the Civic Leadership Fellows website. The general criteria for a Fellow host site is a non-profit organization that is addressing a community issue and combating poverty. All host sites need to meet our standards of service, provide general liability coverage to the Fellow, and be in consistent contact with iCED. Participating host organizations are located across the county and address a myriad of issues from youth development, to environmental awareness, to community well-being, to immigration rights.

Eligibility

Is receiving financial aid and Federal Work-Study a requirement?

Yes, applicants must qualify for Federal Work-Study and receive the Work-Study Grant as part of their Federal Student Aid package. 

How many hours will I need to work?

The number of hours a Fellow is able to work is determined by their Federal Work-Study grant. Fellows are expected to work between 10 and 20 hours at the partner site and 1 to 5 hours a week on campus/remotely.

Is there a GPA requirement?

To be eligible for Federal Work-Study positions, you must have at least a 2.0 GPA and be enrolled in at least 6 credits.

What if this is my first semester at MDC and I don’t have an official GPA?

First-semester students are encouraged to apply if they qualify for Federal Work-Study funding, can meet the time commitment, and want to make an impact on their community.

Will I need to travel outside of campus?

The majority of the Civic Leadership Fellows positions will require working at a site or office off-campus. Also, between 1 and 5 hours are required each week on-campus for training, workshops, and other activities, some of which can be done remotely.

Do I have to be a full-time student?

No, applicants need to be enrolled for at least 6 credits.

Can I do the Fellowship for one semester?

No. The Civic Leadership Fellows program is requiring at least a two-semester commitment for this term. This commitment is designed to maximize the Fellow’s impact at their host organization and provide a worthwhile professional experience that will assist them in looking for similar social impact jobs in the future. 

Can I work from home?

The Fellow host organization will determine whether the Fellow position will be remote, in-person, or hybrid. Also, it is possible that some of the 1-5 hours that are required to be completed on campus may be completed remotely. Each host site has its own COVID-19 protocols and if selected, Fellows are expected to follow these guidelines.

Application Process

How do I apply?

Students seeking to learn more about the program should fill out the interest form, located here  under the Civic Leadership Fellows tab on iCED’s “Students” page. Applicants will then be contacted by an iCED staff member within 3 to 4 days through phone or email.

The iCED staff member will have assessed the applicants' eligibility and, if they are qualified, will schedule an interview. If selected, iCED will refer the applicant to one or more community partners for an interview. An applicant being hired is contingent on qualifying for Federal Work-Study, and interviewing and being accepted by the host site.

How long is the application process?

From filling out the student interest form to beginning work at a Fellow host organization, it could take between two weeks to a month. It depends on how quickly all the steps of the process can be completed by you, by MDC, and by the host organization.

Can I choose which non-profit to work with?

The iCED office has a list of all participating Fellow host sites that applicants can review here. During interviews, the iCED staff will recommend certain positions based on the Fellow job description and location of the host site, and the applicant’s schedule, interests, and preferences. iCED is committed to ensuring Fellow host sites receive applicants who are interested in the work of the organization and can commute to the workplace on a consistent basis.

Do I need to undergo a background check?

Each host site has its own internal onboarding process, and the applicant must abide by all of the host agency’s requirements. A Level 1 background check is required by MDC’s financial aid office for any Federal Work-Study position. If there are any questions or concerns related to this, applicants should contact their campus iCED staff.

Do I need a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation from a teacher, a community leader, or a past supervisor will be requested when formally applying through the Federal Work-Study website.

Working as a Fellow

How much will I be making an hour?

$14.00 per hour.

How do I submit my hours?

Digital timesheets will be due to iCED every 2nd Friday of the month by 4:00 p.m. Fellows must email their timesheets to their home campus iCED director, the Civic Leadership Fellows Coordinator clf@mdc.edu AND Yasmine Solito ysolito@mdc.edu. Timesheets that are turned in late or that are not emailed to all three recipients may not be approved on time, resulting in a fellow being paid late. All fellows are responsible for remembering to turn in their timesheets on time and following the correct processes. 

What kind of duties will I be responsible for?

Duties and responsibilities will vary depending on the partner and role. Fellows are expected to do work akin to an undergraduate internship.

Will I be earning credits for my Fellowship?

No. As a Federal Work-Study position, Fellows will be earning a wage but not credits nor community service hours.

Who do I call if I’m late or can’t show up to work?

The Fellow will contact their host site supervisor.

How do I get paid?

Paychecks will be distributed through direct deposit. If the Fellow does not have a bank account, a check will be distributed.

Who will be my supervisor?

The immediate supervisor will be the site host coordinator. The Civic Leadership Fellows Coordinator also supervises CLF's as does the iCED Director of a Fellows home campus. 

Will I be compensated for my commute?

No, Fellows are only paid through their Federal Work-Study grant for the work they do on and off-campus.

Will I be paid for my break?

Fellows working between four and five hours in one day are entitled to a paid 15-minute break. Fellows working five or more hours in one day are entitled to a paid 30-minute break. Fellows will not be paid for all other breaks. Unless a Fellow is entitled to a 30-minute break, they will not be paid for lunch.

Who do I talk to about my concerns on the job?

Fellows should first contact their immediate supervisor at their assigned organization. Feel free, however, to contact the local iCED department or the Civic Leadership Fellows Coordinator for any concerns.

Is there a uniform policy?

There is no official uniform policy. However, students will need to use personal discretion and discuss this with the site supervisor. Business casual is recommended.