Summer Community Building Internship Program

What are CBIs?


Each summer, the CCE’s Community Building Internship program supports students and our community partners by offering immersive paid internships that we develop with the organizations exclusively for our students. Since 2009, with funds from donors and the CCPD, the CCE has offered 20-25 internships per year in positions that promote social change and equity in Kalamazoo.

In these six to eight-week experiences, student gain exceptional professional skills and knowledge of local and global issues, while building community capacity to address food security, youth development, the creative arts, health equity, neighborhood planning, neurodiversity, community gardens, and childcare policy–among many others. Interns may conduct data collection and analysis, develop curriculum, design websites, create marketing materials, teach children, work at the farmer’s market, write reports, serve as community organizers, plan arts events, and evaluate programs, and more–each organization’s position is unique.

CBIs last about 6 weeks, beginning after commencement, and encompass 250 – 280 hours of work that is well-defined. Students apply through the CCE and are interviewed and selected by individual organizations, which are responsible for orienting, training, and supervising “their” intern. Each intern and supervisor fill out a CCE Learning Contract to guide their work, and use it to evaluate progress throughout the summer. The CCE has dinners on campus for the interns at least four times per summer, and four to six supervisors each time, to reflect on our work and our community together. Students receive a stipend that is granted on a sliding scale.

Eligible students must be rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors (not graduates).


Who Can Apply?


In the CCE’s ongoing commitment to work toward greater equity in resource allocation, these summer internship positions (in cooperation with the CCPD) are a competitive application process open only to students who meet eligibility criteria, i.e. first-generation college students (as self-reported to the College) and/or students with high financial need (as determined by the Financial Aid Office). While students are encouraged to apply to as many internships as they like, they are not able to work at the same internship site more than one summer, and they may only receive one stipend from Kalamazoo College each summer for an internship, either CBI, CCPD or Arcus. Please contact Felicia Ford if you have questions about your eligibility or about the internships. Please note, on-campus housing will not be available this summer and all interns must be able to provide their own transportation to and from the site.


What to Expect


For Interns

  • Interns have a weekly check-in with the CCE staff.
  • Interns and their Internship Supervisor work together to create a CBI Learning Contract, submitted to the CCE, that they’ll use to assess the experience.
  • Internships last between 6-10 weeks, with 30-40 work hours per week.
  • Internships should not exceed 280 hours, nor be less than 240 hours.
  • Biweekly reflection will be incorporated throughout the internship. CBI Student Biweekly Reflections
  • Interns will complete a project or artifact about their experience – such as a short film, poster, or product of the work itself – that conveys the essence of the organization, student’s work with the organization, and/or what they have learned.
  • A final written reflection will be required at the end of the internship.
  • Interns may be asked to participate in a First Year Forum or other presentation on behalf of the CCE and their CBI in Fall or Winter Quarter of the following academic year. 
  • CBI 2023 Student Intern Paperwork

For Supervisors

  • Internships must be held between June 13th and August 28th.
  • Internship positions must give the student meaningful opportunities to contribute to the Kalamazoo community while increasing the organization’s capacity to fulfill its mission.
  • Supervisors will work with their intern to create a CBI Learning Contract to be submitted to the CCE after the first week in the position, and used to assess progress throughout.
  • Interns and supervisors will meet weekly.
  • Organizations will use the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) logo in virtual or print materials when referring to interns/internships through the CBI program. *
  • CBI Supervisor Final Reflection.
  • CBI 2023 Supervisor Paperwork and Timeline
  • A final written reflection will be required at the end of the internship.



Examples of CBI Organizational Partners:

  • El Concilio
  • City of Kalamazoo Department of Sustainability
  • KC Ready 4s
  • Building Blocks of Kalamazoo
  • Kalamazoo Nature Center
  • People’s Food Co-op/Farmers Market
  • Foundation for Excellence
  • Helen Fox Gospel Music Center
  • Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK)
  • East Side Youth Strong
  • Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes of Greater Kalamazoo
  • Farmworker Legal Services (FLS)
  • Life Guides Program, Goodwill
  • KYD Network
  • Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC)
  • YWCA
  • Society for History and Racial Equity (SHARE)
  • City of Kalamazoo Department of Economic Development
  • Adult Agricultural Community Option for Residential Needs (AACORN)
  • Peace House
  • City of Kalamazoo, Parks & Recreation



Recorded CBI Celebrations

Virtual 2021 Community Building Internship (CBI) Celebration!

Thank you to everyone who joined the Center for Civic Engagement staff, CBI interns, and community partners for our Community Building Internship 2021 Celebration on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 through Zoom. Interns presented their reflection projects that encompassed their internship experience. A link to the recording can be found here: Recording of CBI 2021 Celebration.

Summer 2021 Final Projects can be found here: CBI 2021 Final Projects

Virtual 2020 Community Building Internship (CBI) Celebration!

Thank you to everyone who joined the Center for Civic Engagement staff, CBI interns, and community partners for our Community Building Internship 2020 Celebration on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 through Zoom. Interns presented the final projects and reflections that encompassed their internship experience. Recording of CBI 2020 Celebration.

Summer 2020 Final Project Presentations can be found here: CBIs 2020 Final Projects