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Gain Experience

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research and teaching assistantships are available. Research opportunities are updated every semester, but we also encourage students to speak with their advisor or professors about opportunities for both research and assistantships. Students can receive academic credit for these endeavors.

Volunteer Opportunities

Service on our campus, in our community and throughout our country and world is an important component to the overall experience of our students. We strive to connect HDFS students with opportunities that fit their interests and will provide them with the valuable experiences they need to grow as individuals and professionals. Students are able to better understand their interests and talents through these experiences. Below are a variety of volunteer agencies we work with from every scale of community service.

Opportunities In Our Local Community

HandsOn Kansas State logoHandsOn Kansas State: Days of Service:HandsOn is a student volunteer organization that promotes civic learning and leadership through meaningful volunteer and service opportunities between campus and community. They organize specific Days of Service for people to volunteer at, as well as listing local volunteer opportunities that people are encouraged to participate in. This is an especially great fit for anyone interested in a minor in Leadership Studies.

Kansas Reading Roadmap logoBoys & Girls Club of Manhattan: For those who like working with youths, Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan provides a number of services for our local community, including before- and after-school programs, summer programs, and special events. If you're interested in helping provide fun and educational activities for kids, they have a lot of uses for volunteers. Below are a few of their after-school programs.

Bluemont, Lee, and Theodore Roosevelt Elementary Schools work with Kansas Reading Roadmap to provide young children a small after-school group setting to work on their reading skills. Volunteers are always needed to help guide the small groups during the school year. Additionally, they have a tutoring program at Eisenhower Middle School that covers a different subject each day of the week.

Opportunities On Campus

Campus Leadership Opportunities: There are a number of opportunities around campus to work or volunteer as a peer leader. You can provide guidance to newer students as a resident assistant in one of the nine residence halls, be a voice for your fellow students as a representative in the Student Governing Association, become a peer tutor for the Academic Achievement Center, and more.

Cats' Cupboard logoCats' Cupboard: K-State's food pantry is a collaborative effort among students, faculty, staff, and the community to provide food security for our students. If you are interested in volunteering to help the Cupboard spread awareness or run a food drive, contact Erin Bishop at catscupboard@ksu.edu or 785-532-0366.

Opportunities Across the Country

Americorps logoAmeriCorps - City Year: City Year is a branch of the AmeriCorps that works to bridge the gap between the support students actually need and what schools are designed to provide. Volunteers work in under-resourced schools across 28 cities to identify students who are at risk of not graduating on time with their peers. As with the PeaceCorps, volunteers sign up for a one-year term and are compensated with a living stipend, living expenses, and unique scholarship opportunities. To learn more, you can read their introductory sheet (pdf) or check out their video presentation.

Break Away Alternative Breaks ProgramAlternative Breaks: It can be tough to find time during your semester to tackle social change as well, but Alternative Breaks gives students the opportunity to travel around the Midwest for intensive service experiences over the winter and spring breaks, and even occasional weekend! Break away from routine and obstacles, and instead help communities from Colorado to Texas to address pressing social issues. Transportation, food, and housing are included for volunteers, and scholarships are available to cover the small enrollment fees.

Opportunities Around the World

Education Abroad logoServe Abroad: K-State's Education Abroad program offers a variety of paths for you to volunteer internationally, not just attend classes. Gain hands-on experience, learn a new language, and soak up a new culture, all while serving a community in need. Nervous about going to an unfamiliar country? You can join one of the International Teams and work with a group of other K-State students over the summer semester.

VESAbroad LogoVolunteer Eco Students Abroad: VESA programs focus on connecting individuals with large-scale humanitarian projects in regions of the world where traditional charity and aid has not addressed the social and environmental risks the communities face. Take direct action to help the communities in these beautiful and remote parts of the world, and make a difference with VESA.


Students who complete at least one internship during their undergraduate career can give themselves a competitive advantage, both when applying for professional positions and when applying to graduate school.

This document contains past internship sites of our students (pdf).


The College of Health and Human Sciences' Professional Mentoring program is available to all juniors and seniors in good academic standing. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn from successful and experienced professionals in the human services field.

HDFS Related Organizations

HDFSA (Human Development and Family Science Association)

Students benefit from membership to both professional and campus organizations. We encourage all HDFS students to consider joining the HDFS Association on campus. The goal is to unite students interested in HDFS and provide leadership opportunities, resources, and service to the community and the university. Topics covered in our monthly meetings include gaining experience through internships and volunteering, minors and secondary majors, what to do with a career in HDFS, education abroad, and much more. We also serve the Manhattan community with one service project each month. This year we will be serving many different areas of the community; from young children, to the elderly, to those who need a warm meal. If there is a specific topic you want guidance on, let us know and we’ll do our best to help you out.

There are also many professional organizations that will provide students with up-to-date information in the broad field of human services or within a specific professional field. Some of these include: