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Frequently Asked Questions




Community Partners


What does the Haas Center do?
The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University connects academic study with community and public service to strengthen communities and develop effective public leaders. The Center aspires to develop aware, engaged and thoughtful citizens who contribute to the realization of a more just and humane world.
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Is the Haas Center part of Stanford University?
Yes! The Haas Center is a departmental unit under the auspices of the Senior Vice Provost for Education, with close ties to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
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How and when did the Haas Center get started? By what means have you grown to your present size and scope?
The center was established in 1984–85 as Stanford’s first Public Service Center. Throughout Haas history, we have taken our cues from our primary constituencies—Stanford students and faculty, the communities we serve, alumni—to tailor our programs to their needs. We invite you to explore the Haas website to learn about the range and depth of programs established through our many collaborations on and off campus.
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How is the Haas Center supported?
Each year, the Haas Center raises about two-thirds of its $4 million dollar operating budget through grants, contracts and the generosity of individual donors. The other one-third of the budget comes from the University’s endowments as well as annual appropriations. We would like to extend a special thanks to our supporters—all of whom make possible the work we do.
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What are the opportunities that the Haas Center offers?
To read about the center and our staffed programs offering a variety of opportunities to students, see Programs at a Glance.
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How do I find out about programs and opportunities on a regular basis?
Volunteer opportunities are regularly announced on the Haas Center’s home page and via the public service email lists.
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What is service-learning?
Service-learning is defined as "a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning." Jacoby, Service-Learning in Higher Education, 1996.
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How can I find out more about how to get involved in service at Stanford?
Visit the Bing Information and Resource Center (BIRC) on the first floor of the center to talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff.
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Do you have work-study opportunities?
Yes! The Community Service Work-Study Program provides an opportunity for students to develop and participate in a significant service experience while earning a portion of their financial aid award. The federally-supported program, co-administered for Stanford University by the Haas Center and the Financial Aid Office, allows eligible students to be paid for their service efforts in domestic nonprofits and government agencies. This program is available during the academic year as well as during the summer.
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How can I get paid for summer service work? If I have an idea for a summer service project, can the Haas Center help?
Stipended summer service opportunities are available both through the Haas Center fellowships program, as well as throughCommunity Service Work-Study.
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I have some extra time this quarter and would like to do some community service. How do I find short-term volunteer projects?
To find relevant groups on campus engaging in service in our local and extended communities each quarter, visit and search for “Community Service”  and “Political and Social Awareness." Staff are also available in the Bing Information & Resource Center at Haas to advise you, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
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How can I work with kids?
The Haas Center directs several programs for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school mentoring and tutoring. The Haas Center also offers several service-learning courses and leadership programs that support youth programs. In addition, numerous student organizations on campus work with children and youth in schools and other settings (to find them, visit ).
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Do you have anything that is political or activism oriented?
Stanford in Government (SIG), a non-partisan student organization, provides fellowship opportunities in Sacramento, Washington DC, and abroad during the summer. SIG also organizes and sponsors political education programming on campus during the year.
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I’m a graduate student; can you recommend any appropriate service opportunities?
Volunteer student organizations welcome all students, both undergraduate and graduate. In addition, your school, department, or program may offer service placements or research projects. To find out about service opportunities specifically for graduate students, see Resources for Graduate Students. For public service fellowships and other established service opportunities available to both undergraduate and graduate students, visit the searchable external programs database on this website: Fellowships, Internships and Service Programs (FISP) Database.
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What is a public service fellowship?
The Haas Center fellowships program provides Stanford students summer and postgraduate opportunities to engage in intensive, professional experiences that deepen their understandings of various areas of public service, while also making important contributions to the organizations and communities in which they work. Fellows receive a stipend to work on self-designed projects or through placements with nonprofit or government agencies, learning under a mentor/professional.
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Are Haas Center-administered fellowships open to all Stanford students?
Any Stanford student may apply for an undergraduate fellowship. While competitive undergraduates are given preference, graduating seniors and co-terms are also considered. Only graduating seniors and co-terms are eligible for the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, the Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy, the Omidyar Network International Public Service Fellowship, and theStanford Public Interest Network (SPIN) Fellowship Program; graduating seniors, co-terms, and recent alumni are eligible for theHuang Fellowship.
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Do Haas Center staff work with faculty?
The Haas Center is committed to helping faculty strengthen student learning through courses and research that address significant community needs. The faculty section of this website provides an overview of the ways in which the Haas Center may assist faculty.
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How can I get a Stanford student volunteer to help out at our organization or project?
Please visit our web section for community. You can find answers to this question as well as other relevant information.
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As an alumnus/alumna, how can I re-connect to the Haas Center?
Visit the alumni section of this website. In addition, check out the Haas Center’s newsletter for current news detailing programs, people, events and activities at the Haas Center. You can also join the Haas Alumni mailing list for updates specific to Stanford alumni who were affiliated with the Haas Center. Additionally, there are numerous programs that need alumni help each year, including the Stanford Public Interest Network (SPIN) program and Alternative Spring Break program.

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