PSSI:  Public Service Summer Intstitute

The Public Service Summer Institute (PSSI) connects 12-15 F&M rising Juniors and Seniors with an 8-week opportunity to work individually at a local nonprofit or government entity while also exploring a broader local community issue/opportunity as an active member of a cohort.


 Institute Information

What is PSSI?

The Public Service Summer Institute (formerly known as the Public Service Summer Internship program) began in 1994 in response to an institutional belief that a true liberal arts education includes making meaningful contributions to one’s community.  The program has evolved from focusing predominantly on the internship experience to one that places equal value on the learning and personal development that happens through the combination of both the collective cohort experience and the individual internships.


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  • At Wharton Elementary, F&M students play a game with kids during their summer program.
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What do PSSI students do?

Under the guidance of carefully selected mentor-supervisors, PSSI students work 32 hours per week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at a local nonprofit or government entity in an internship role that will either help their assigned organization expand capacity or evaluate current efforts.  Every Wednesday, PSSI students come together as a cohort to embark on a hands-on exploration of a broader local community issue/opportunity while meeting a variety of local stakeholders, and experts along the way. At the end of their 8-week experience, the cohort spends their final Wednesday cohort meeting sharing their insights and possible solutions to that same issue/opportunity with an invested group of community stakeholders.

Program Dates:
June 12 – August 9, 2019

PSSI students will begin their individual internship experiences on Monday, June 17, 2019.  You must be available to work June 12-August 9.


Contact  Ann Hughes, Director, the Ware Institute.



Important Application Dates/Deadlines:
December 10, 2018-January 18, 2019   

PSSI Community Partner Internship Application Period
The deadline for Interested Community Partners to Submit a PSSI Internship Request(s) is January 18, 2019 at 5pm EST

February 13 – March 11, 2019                      

PSSI Student Application Period
The deadline for F&M rising Juniors and Seniors to Submit a PSSI Student Application is March 11, 2019 at 5pm EST


PSSI Community Partner Expectations

To be eligible to participate in the PSSI program, community partners must be either a nonprofit or a government entity and agree to offer an on-site experience for an F&M student that includes:

  • Opportunity for PSSI intern to have ownership of and/or take responsibility for at least one specific project for the length of the PSSI program and an opportunity to present findings/results/recommendations of the assigned project to appropriate organizational representatives in either a formal oral and/or written format. Your organization's project should be described in your initial PSSI job description and can be but are not limited to:

    • Research on growth opportunities, best practices, community needs and/or existing community assets

    • Direct instruction/facilitation of an activity/program as a means of informing research or evaluating its success


PSSI Student Expectations

To be eligible for the PSSI program, F&M students must:

  • Be rising Juniors or Seniors
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Not be on academic or disciplinary probation
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Demonstrate a strong desire to immerse themselves in the everyday work of a local nonprofit or government entity to address social issues. 

Each PSSI student experience will include:

  • An internship component that will include:

    • Ownership of an/or responsibility for at least one specific project or task.

    • The opportunity to present results of project/task to direct supervisor and/or organizational leaders in either a formal oral and/or written format.

    • A direct supervisor from within the partnering organization.

  • A cohort component that will include:

    • A hands-on exploration of a current or emerging local community issue/opportunity.

    • Team building, training, discussion, discovery, and reflection with a peer group

    • The opportunity to work in a smaller team to develop/propose possible solutions to said issue.

  • A $3500 stipend paid every other week over the length of the program.

My PSSI Experience 

Story 7/24/2017

Kylie Logan, Communications & Fundraising Intern

I've wanted to work at Church  World Service since my freshman year at Franklin & Marshall, and I now have had the opportunity to find my passion in a new field of work, and reflect upon it with...

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