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Community Service Program

PPAGS Community Service Program:
Supporting Student Efforts to Help Others


This program provides encouragement and support to graduate students who are interested in giving back to the community. Under the supervision of faculty members from their respective colleges and universities, graduate students identify an underserved population within their immediate communities and develop a Community Service Project (CSP) to help the identified population. It is the hope of PPAGS that the CSP will serve to benefit underserved populations, students, universities, and the field of psychology in general.

Awards and Recognition

The PPAGS Board of Directors may select up to 3 CSP teams to showcase in an edition of the Pennsylvania Psychologist. Of these 3 CSP teams, the PPAGS Board of Directors will select one team to receive an award at the PPA Annual Convention. Receipients of the award (up to three) are eligible to receive a one day's convention registration and one ticket to either the Annual Banquet (Thursday) or the Psychology in Pennsylvania Luncheon (Friday).

Community Service Project Defined

In short, a community service project is a service, utilizing psychological principles, provided by graduate students to the community for the betterment of those who live in the community.

To qualify, a CSP must:

  1. Be provided by graduate students under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. 
  2. Utilize psychological principles.
  3. Provide benefit to the community.
  4. The graduate students participating in the project must be active members of PPAGS. If students who are not members of PPAGS wish to participate, they must first submit an application to join the organization.
  5. Be a new project (something developed for the Community Service Project, not something already taking place) for which the graduate students are not being paid.
A CSP is not to be a service that:
  1. Is outside of the scope of which the graduate students are competent to provide.
  2. Creates a dependency for the service within the community.

Ideally, a CSP should:

  1. Serve an under-served population, such as those living in rural areas, who are of lower income, or other population of people who are typically unaware of and/or do not have access to services.
  2. Provide a meaningful benefit to the community.
  3. Expose the community to the field of psychology and what it has to offer.
Types of acceptable community service projects include, but may not be limited to:
  1. Consultation
  2. Providing training.
  3. Providing a seminar

Examples of potential community service projects include:

  1. Help a local YMCA develop a procedure for conducting depression screenings during Depression Awareness Month.
  2. Training shelter staff on developmental issues.
  3. Providing a seminar on smoking cessation in the community.

If you have a question as to whether or not your idea for a CSP would qualify for this award please contact PPAGS.

Procedures and Timelines           

The PPAGS Community Service Project Application form( download here) must be completed in full,  and submitted by February 1. (Please also have your supervising psychologist send an email verifying their status on this project.)

The PPAGS Board of Directors will review each application and make notification of acceptance to each CSP team by February 19. Each CSP team will then conduct their projects between the dates of February 22 and April 1. At the conclusion of the project, the team will draft a narrative (see guidelines below) describing their project as conducted and the outcome.  Narratives must  be emailed to The deadline for submitting the narrative is April 15 annually. The PPAGS Board of Directors will review each narrative and will select one team to receive the CSP Award. Notification of selection will be made to the team by May 15 and the award will be presented during the Annual Convention in June.

Narrative guidelines:

  1. Must be typewritten
  2. Must be no more than 500 words
  3. Must provide a concise overview of services provided
  4. Must indicate the population served (do not use names or other identifying information)
  5. Must state in objective terms the outcome of the service provided
  6. Email narrative to by April 15.


  1. Submit application - February 1
  2. Notification of CSP acceptance - February 19
  3. Conduct CSP - February 22 to April 1
  4. Submit narrative describing CSP and outcome -April 15
  5. Notification of award selection - May 15
  6. Awards presentation:  PPA Annual Convention in June