Community Engagement Fellowship

street in Pittsburgh with Cathedral of Learning in the background

The Community Engagement Fellowship program is a community-based cohort program designed to foster experiential and integrative learning in affiliated community organizations.  Students will be matched to complete their MSW Field Practicum with community agencies in the Pittsburgh region that focus on service to minority communities. Students will gain a deeper understanding of community engagement and development skills that advance the goals and mission of the organization while also developing leadership skills. 

2021-2022 Fellows

2020-2021 Fellows 

2019-2020 Fellows

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023/2024 Academic Year!


Program Benefits

Training Stipend:

  • $4,000 for generalist placements

  • $6,000 for specialization placements

Field Placement Options:            

Students will complete their field practicum placement at an affiliated agency within the Pittsburgh area that focuses on service and engagement with minority communities.

Program Learning Objectives

Community Engagement Students will participate in a monthly interdisciplinary seminar meeting where they will join their peers to report on their progress, receive instruction, and learn more from local leaders in community engagement. There will be a final presentation at the end of the year to community partners and Pitt faculty and students showcasing the work that students have completed at their Field Practicum sites. 

Participants will gain exposure and build skills in the following areas:

  • How to effectively do outreach that improves community engagement
  • Building trust in communities to establish strong group and intergroup relations
  • Understanding and reviewing Community Needs Assessments
  • Supporting community/organizational agendas through various local, state, federal, and institutional resources
  • Build professional leadership and presentation skills
  • Understand dynamic relationships between the University of Pittsburgh and various community stakeholders

Participation Commitments

Ongoing participation is critical to the success of this training program. Students are required to attend a monthly seminar (meeting) with their peers. Attendance at these seminars is mandatory and will count towards students total field practicum hours. Students also participate in a weekly group supervision session and other educational events and opportunities as available.


  • Full time MSW students within the Community Organization and Social Administration specialization

Application Requirements

  1. Updated Resume

  2. Statement of Interest (Writing Sample)

    a. Please answer these questions

i. Why is community engagement an important component in Social Work Education?

ii. Why are you interested in learning more about community engagement?

iii. What does Community Engagement mean?

  1. Unofficial Transcript
  2. Letter of recommendation.

a. Can be professional or academic.

Please email this link to your recommender (professional recommendation from a work or internship supervisor is suggested). Letter of Recommendation forms can be found here

Selection Process (include process steps, including interview)

  • Number of positions:  8 (combination of generalist,  second year/advanced standing)

  • Composition of selection committee:  2 faculty members and 1-3 community members

  • Finalists may be interviewed by at least 2 selection committee members

  • All applicants will be notified of their status (accepted, wait-listed, and denied) by June 1st.

Time Line

Application Deadline:                                     May 1st

Interview and Review:                                   May 1st – 31st

Notification:                                                   June 1st

Candidate Acceptance Deadline:                 June 15th

If there are unfilled positions, rolling applications will be accepted and reviewed.

Rolling application and wait list notification:  August 15th

Waitlist Policy

Once a student formally accepts a fellowship appointment, they will be removed from any other training program wait list. 

Contact Information

Program Administrator:                 Alicia Melnick, MSW, LCSW                                                         

Phone:                                                  (412) 624-4071


Office hours: Please utilize this link to book an appointment with me.

FOR STUDENTS:  Due to the high volume of daily emails, responses to your questions can be expected within 5 business days.  If you have not heard back from me within that time, please email me again, schedule an appointment through my online scheduler (above),  or call me with your questions.  If your issue is urgent, please call my office phone: 412-624-4071.