Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

The Civics Fellows program is open to all Mason undergrads or graduate students.  

Can I participate if I am a transfer student? Or upperclassman?

Yes! The Civic Fellows program was specifically developed with you in mind. The one-year commitment allows students who are transfer students or upperclassmen to participate in an engaged service opportunity. 

Do I need to be eligible for work-study?

No. You do not need to be eligible for federal work-study to apply.  

What are the requirements for the program?

Civic Fellows are asked to commit to serving 8-10 hours per week during the academic year at their placement site.  Fellows are required to complete any trainings required by their community partner site. Fellows will also be required to participate in orientation training and bi-weekly cohort meetings led by CECiL. Cohort meetings will include workshops and activities that will enhance their understanding of social justice issues connected to issues in the community.  

When will I know if I have been selected?

All applicants will be notified of their acceptance to the program and their community placements by August 1st. 

How much time do I have to commit?

Civic Fellows are required to serve 8-10 hours at their community placement sites per week during the academic year and attend 2 hour bi-weekly cohort meetings. Civic Fellows will also participate in a 10-hour orientation workshop before their placement.

This program says it’s service, why am I getting paid?

Often, students who are low-income or working class must make very real decisions about whether to get a job or participate in experiential learning programs on campus. As part of our commitment to anti-racist community engagement, we want to make sure that all students can participate in our programs. So, your service is with the community partner site but you are earning pay through Mason.

How much do I receive for my service work?

Civic Fellows will receive $14 per hour for their placements and cohort meetings.  

How will I be paid?

Civic Fellows will be paid on a bi-weekly basis through GMU’s payroll system and will receive a direct deposit to their bank account. 

Can I work as many hours as I want?

Civic Fellows are only required to work up to 8-10 hours a week per semester at their community placement sites.  Fellows will also be paid for any training and workshops as part of the cohort meetings, so some weeks you may work up to 12 hours.

Will I have to work during winter break or spring break?

No, the program schedule allows for a break during all Mason holidays and academic breaks. However, if you are local and want to continue working over any of the breaks, Civic Fellows can coordinate a schedule with their partner site.  

Can I work with my partner over the summer?

Not really, The Civic Fellows program ends May 9th. However, if you enjoy working at your community partner site, you may continue to volunteer with them, but you will not be paid as part of the Civic Fellow Program.  

The CECiL office will be launching a separate summer program for students who might be interested in working with community organizations over the summer. Look out for more details in January.  

After my first year, can I reapply for a second year?

Sure! Civic Fellows may apply to continue their participation in the program throughout their time at Mason. Returning Fellows can select the same partner site to work with or select a different project and partner site.  

Are there GPA requirements to participate in the program?

While there are no GPA requirements, students must be in good academic standing at George Mason to be a Civic Fellow. This program should enhance your experience at Mason, not hinder it, so if your academics are at risk, we believe that you should focus on your academics. The Civic Fellows program will be around the next year.  

Do I have to stay at the same community agency all year?

Yes, this one-year commitment allows our Civic Fellows an opportunity to develop a deep understanding of their partner site, the project and the community that they will be working with. We hope that over the course of the year, community partners and Civic Fellows will develop a deep relationship that will ensure that students and partners get the most out of their placement.  

But what if I don’t like my project?

Civic Fellows and their partner sites will be evaluated during the school year to identify any issues or ways that we can improve the experiences of students and community partners. We’ll work closely with both the student and the partner to make sure that everyone’s needs are met.   

What if my schedule conflicts with the hours of my partner site or with the cohort meetings?

Civic Fellows will work directly with their community partner sites to coordinate their hours over the course of the academic year and should communicate directly with their site supervisor if those hours change or need to be changed. At the beginning of the semester, students will receive a schedule of the bi-weekly cohort meetings. If students cannot attend one of the meetings, students should contact the Associate Director for Student Programs.  

All hours will be recorded by the student and signed off by the community partner supervisor.