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Oswego Children's Project

The Oswego Children's Project (OCP) is a two-semester elementary-school-based service-learning opportunity that focuses on the practice and implementation of play-based techniques with pre-at-risk children in the Oswego City School District.

The goal of the program is for students to learn effective implementation of child-centered non-directive play techniques with children within the community to foster pro-social skills, improved social-emotional awareness, and stronger school connectedness. If you’re thinking about a career in counseling, psychology, or social services this is a great program to gain invaluable experience within the field. A total of six credit hours (three each semester) is earned upon the successful completion of the program.

Two students sitting at a table with children's toys on it


This is a two-semester service-learning opportunity. In the fall, participants engage in explicit instruction and practice of the child-centered play theory while holding a volunteer placement at a local site. In the spring semester, students work with children at each elementary school while practicing the techniques they learned in the fall. Participants engage in weekly supervision and reflection regarding the impact on individual student growth and pro-social skill development.

Academic Assignments

Child associates will be responsible for completing academic assignments over the course of both semesters. The assignments are designed to allow for the opportunity to reflect on individual skill growth, professions within the helping field, and the importance of play. In the second semester, students will be assigned individual case studies to coincide with the hands-on experience to further aid in supervision and reflection of student growth.

Requirements and Prerequisite Classes


  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.5.
  • Junior or senior standing at the time of the experience.
  • Willingness to make a full-year commitment to the program (fall and spring semesters).
  • Transportation (as you will be assigned to any one of the four elementary schools within the city of Oswego).

Optional coursework that will help prepare you:

  • CPS 310 (Intro to Counseling)
  • CPS 391 (Intro To Family Systems)
  • CPS 393 Intro to Expressive Art)
  • PSY 320 (Developmental Psychology)
  • HDV 322 or 323 (Child or Adolescent Development)
Students sitting at a table outside of the Compass office

Apply now!

Joining the Oswego Children's Project will have a direct impact on your life and the lives of the children in the program, allowing you to gain valuable hands-on play therapy techniques that can greatly influence your future career choices.