Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults

About the Project

CIC is pleased to invite applications from member institutions to participate in a new project that CIC has developed with support from the AARP Foundation, “Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults.” Twelve institutions will be awarded grants of up to $13,000 for the 2017–2018 academic year for use as student stipends to create or expand undergraduate student service projects focused on intergenerational interaction with low-income older adults (50 years and older) in the institutions’ communities.

The project has four main goals:
  • Identify and serve needs of older adults in college and university communities, particularly in the areas of hunger, housing, income generation, and social isolation;
  • Help college students develop new skills and knowledge;
  • Increase student retention at independent colleges and universities through service learning; and
  • Develop a national network of student programs that recognize the mutual benefits of intergenerational connections.


​CIC welcomes applications from current Institutional Members; applicants must remain members for the duration of the project. CIC will accept one application per campus for support of a new or existing project that is based on undergraduate students working with older adults.

Projects that do not already receive support from another organization, such as Campus Kitchens Project, local United Way chapters, or the Bonner Foundation, will receive priority consideration.

Application Package

​Please complete the online application and attach both the completed proposal and a letter of support that is signed by the institution’s president that indicates the institution’s support of the application and commitment to the project’s goals and expectations of project participants.

Proposals should be submitted by Monday, February 13, 2017.


To the extent possible, proposed projects should be developed according to validated principles of social change, based on needs analyses and research conducted in the community, and grounded in documented best practices.

Examples of Possible Projects


Safe and affordable housing

  • Students could be trained to assess home safety and conduct audits with older residents.
  • Students could conduct analyses of affordable housing available in the community and share the results with seniors.

Nutrition and affordable diets

  • Students can help seniors plan balanced diets with affordable groceries.
  • Students and older adult groups could share healthy recipes, then cook and eat meals together.

Social interaction

  • Students and seniors could sponsor game nights with video games, chess, or cards competitions.
  • Student groups could include seniors in campus events and in related post-event discussions.

Income generation or savings

  • Students in accounting courses could help older adults prepare their tax returns.
  • Students could assist older adults in looking for part or full-time work.

Selection Criteria

  • Quality and distinctiveness of the proposed program;
  • Probability of significant results from the program;
  • Frequency and intensity of intergenerational interaction;
  • Extent of current and proposed involvement of students;
  • Demonstration of commitment as evidenced by allocation of institutional resources to the program;
  • Feasibility and institutional commitment of a plan to sustain the program beyond the grant period;
  • Inclusion of an evaluation plan that uses specific benchmarks; and
  • In the case of a previously existing program, clear indication of how the grant will expand or improve upon that program.

Project Timeline

February 13, 2017
Member institutions submit proposals to CIC

April 2017
Institutions are selected for participation in the project and awards are made

August 2017–May 2018
First round projects are implemented

January 2018
Institutions submit interim narrative and financial reports

July 2018
Institutions submit final narrative and financial reports

August 2019
Institutions participate in the national best practices workshop

Contact Information

​Please contact Kelsey Sherman, assistant to the president, at or (202) 466-7230 with any additional questions about the Intergenerational Connections project and application process.