Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults
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About the Project

Launched in 2016 with the support of the AARP Foundation, CIC’s Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults project has created a national network of programs on independent college campuses through which students help low-income older adults (ages 50 and older) tackle key life challenges while the students acquire valuable service learning experience. More than 40 institutions received grants of up to $13,000 for the 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 academic years for use primarily as student stipends to create or expand undergraduate student service projects that address the needs of low-income older adults in the institutions’ communities.

The project's four main goals include:
  • Identify and serve needs of older adults in college and university communities, particularly in the areas of (a) hunger, (b) housing, (c) income generation, and/or (d) 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.
The project concluded with a national conference that took place in Washington, DC, July 29–31, 2019. Themed “Fostering Resilience through Intergenerational Connections,” the conference drew teams from institutions participating in both cohorts. Importantly, the teams brought together faculty and staff members with students and representatives from partnering community organizations. The conference was designed to help teams fulfill four goals: to share the results of their projects; to seek solutions to common problems faced by students, faculty, staff, and older adults in project development; to identify best practices in creating and sustaining programs that help meet the needs of older adults through interactions with college students; and to discuss best practices in student learning and engagement through interaction with older adults. 

Participating institutions continue to implement their community-wide projects. Their activities are now focused on sustainability and institutionalization while also serving their communities' low-income older adults.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Eligibility

​CIC welcomes applications from current Institutional Members; applicants must remain in good standing as Institutional Members for the duration of the project. CIC will accept one application per campus for a new or existing project that involves undergraduate students. Institutions that currently participate in the 2017–2018 cohort of the project are eligible only to apply for renewal grants. Instructions for those applications will be communicated directly to current participants.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Application Information

​Each application should include a: (a) completed online Application Form; (b) letter of support signed by the institution’s president; (c) completed Proposal Form that is no longer than seven (7) single-spaced pages; and (d) project budget. All applications should be submitted online no later than Friday, February 16, 2018, as a single file (items b–d). The Application Form will be accessible and applications can be submitted throughout the database upgrade. 

  • Application Form

  • Proposal Form
    Please answer all questions in the document in no more than seven (7) pages.

  • Project Budget
    Please provide a budget for the proposed project that indicates the amount of student stipends—including the number of students involved and for how many hours per semester—and any applicable project costs. Stipends must account for at least 85 percent of the project budget, while other project costs (transportation, supplies, speaker fees, etc.) may account for no more than 15 percent. Personnel, capital, and overhead expenses are not eligible for support.

Participating Institutions

2017–2018 PROJECT PARTICIPANTS

Bay Path University (MA)
Bridgewater College (VA)
Caldwell University (NJ)
Coe College (IA)
Dominican University of California
Dominican University (IL)
Elizabethtown College (PA)
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (LA)
Goodwin College (CT)
​Hilbert College (NY)
Holy Names University (CA)
Jarvis Christian College (TX)
Meredith College (NC)
Pfeiffer University (NC)
Rust College (MS)
Shenandoah University (VA)
Springfield College (MA)
Wheeling University (WV)
Whitman College (WA)
Wofford College (SC)


2018–2019 PROJECT PARTICIPANTS

Barton College (NC)​
Bennington College (VT)
Caldwell University (NJ)
California Baptist University
Calvin College (MI)
Campbell University (NC)
Centenary University (NJ)
Chatham University (PA)
Christian Brothers University (TN)
Coe College (IA)
Colby-Sawyer College (NH)
College of Saint Mary (NE)
Concordia University Wisconsin
Converse College (SC)
Dominican University of California
Dominican University (IL)
Elizabethtown College (PA)
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (LA)
Gwynedd Mercy University (PA)
Holy Names University (CA)
Jarvis Christian College (TX)
Mercy College (NY)
Moravian College (PA)
Pfeiffer University (NC)
Regis College (MA)
Rust College (MS)
Saint Xavier University (IL)
Shenandoah University (VA)
Spelman College (GA)
St. John Fisher College (NY)
The College of St. Rose (NY)
Universidad del Sagrado Corazon (Puerto Rico)
University of Saint Francis (IN)
Virginia Wesleyan University
Wheeling University (WV)
Whitman College (WA)
Wofford College (SC)


 ‭(Hidden)‬ Frequently Asked Questions

​How do the funds relate to financial aid?

  • Funds must be awarded according to federal financial aid regulations and institutional policy.
  • Funds are not need-based. Therefore, institutions may award funds to students with no federal financial aid.
  • Funds are for stipends, not wages.
  • Institutions may use funds to reduce the “gap” between demonstrated financial need and total financial aid package.
  • Funds may substitute for work study awards or loans, depending upon the institution’s packaging philosophy.


How is the project using the term “community” or “community members?”
Institutions may choose how to define these terms and should include their definitions in the proposal. “Community” is not limited to the town in which the institution is located.

Is there a template for the project budget?
There is not a template for the project budget. Please use a budget format that clearly indicates the amount requested from CIC as well as any institutional or in-kind contributions.

How will proposals be evaluated?
CIC will award twenty (20) grants of up to $13,000 each, for use over a one-year period as student stipends and modest project costs during 2018–2019, to college programs—course-based or extracurricular—that show the greatest promise to serve important needs among older adults who live in the college’s community. This grant program can be used either to help colleges expand existing programs or to support new initiatives.

Contact Information

​​​Please contact Kelsey Sherman Creech, assistant to the president, at ksherman@cic.nche.edu or (202) 466-7230 with any additional questions about the Intergenerational Connections project.