Metropolitan Center for Independent Living was funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Fund of the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation to establish a Personal Care Assistant College Service Corps (PCA CSC) Pilot Project to help address the direct care worker shortage and PCA crisis. This PCA CSC Pilot serves as a vitally important way to recruit new individuals, specifically higher education students, into the PCA workforce. This program will help meet the needs of adults who direct their own care to remain independent in their communities and provide students with paid volunteer/work experience that will propel their professionalism to new heights.
Testimonial - Aubrey
“I love that as a PCA I get to build a unique independent relationship while learning unparalleled skills like empathy and respectfulness with the person you care for. It is truly an experience that teaches medical workplace expertise along with prowess to shape who you are and how you interact with others in the real world. I would recommend this job to anyone who is considering entering the medical field, or who enjoys a human connection built workplace setting.”
Aubrey, U of M Twin Cities class of 2024, Kinesiology Major
Student Personal Care Assistants
The pilot seeks to recruit college students to serve for one of three set time periods of ten, twenty, or thirty weeks. Student PCA Service Corps Members are required to work an average of ten hours per week as PCAs for adults who have been accepted to the PCA CSC Pilot Project.
Student PCA Service Corps Members also receive taxable Incentive Bonus Awards that will be structured as such:
- Student PCAs who commit to thirty weeks and 300 hours will be provided a total award of $4,500.
- Student PCAs who commit to twenty weeks and 200 hours will be provided a total award of $3,000.
- Student PCAs who commit to ten weeks and 100 hours will be provided a total award of $1,500.
- These awards are broken up and paid in three increments, after one third of the time and hour commitments are met. The first Incentive Bonus Award will be for 25% of the total award, the second 35%, and the third 40%.
The Incentive Bonus Awards are in addition to the earnings paid to the Student PCA as an employee of a PCA Agency. They are designed as a supplementary recruitment tool and are meant to be complementary to the competitive wages already provided. The taxable Incentive Bonus Awards have zero restrictions on how and they can be spent, it is an award to be used at the Student PCAs discretion.
Student PCA Service Corps Members will:
- be at least 18 years old and enrolled in an institution of higher learning.
- complete a PCA College Service Corps Application.
- provide a Letter of Recommendation from a Faculty, Instructor, or Advisor.
- provide a current Resume.
- provide Proof of Enrollment in higher education.
- Students can range from those seeking a ten-week Certificate to those working toward their PhD; all higher education students are welcome to apply.
In addition to the financial benefits, Student PCA Service Corps Members:
- will have a more flexible part time commitment that will allow them to focus on their studies.
- will receive training and gain valuable work experience and skills to be qualified for future employment.
- will have new professional experiences that might help with discernment of their occupational goals.
- interview with PCA Participants; they will be assisted by MCIL in finding the best match with an individual to provide care.
- have the opportunity to be mentored by a college peer who has been a full-time student, athlete, and PCA for over two years.
- may be able to utilize their time as a PCA as direct patient care hours if their educational goals include a program that requires them.
When the agreed upon commitment ends for the Student PCA Service Corps Member, the Student PCA and the Participant they serve are welcome to continue their employment relationship beyond the PCA CSC Pilot. Student PCAs would not be eligible to receive additional Incentive Bonus Awards but would continue with the hourly wage provided by the PCA Agency.
Students interested in becoming a Student PCA Service Corps Member can apply by clicking Apply Now.
Adults who are welcome to apply:
- direct their own care.
- are assessed at ten or more hours of PCA support per day.
- are currently enrolled in Minnesota’s PCA Program in pursuit of independent living.
- need assistance with critical supports, also known as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
- These include assistance with transferring, mobility, eating, toileting, bathing, positioning, range of motion, dressing, assistance with self-administered medications, help accessing environments and materials, and more.
The PCA CSC Pilot Project accepts individuals working with approved Minnesota PCA Agencies. Potential Participants may complete a short Application and an Agreement that outlines adherence to the PCA College Service Corps program.
Individuals seeking support from a Student PCA can apply by clicking Apply Now.
Testimonial - Linda
“I have so appreciated the students who have provided PCA services to me in my home. I feel like it is such a benefit for me to receive the level of care I need to live independently. It is also a benefit to them for gaining the skills they need to be successful. Many are pursuing a career in the medical field or social services. However, some of them are just doing it to gain experience with people with disabilities. I appreciate the energy, dedication and caring that they bring to the job!”
Linda, PCA College Service Corps Participant
Personal Care Assistant Agencies
Participant’s PCA Agencies are required to complete Agreements to participate in the PCA College Service Corps. In addition to the typical hiring, training, and ongoing support that they would provide to any employee; PCA Agencies are asked to confirm Student PCA hours completed so that taxable Incentive Bonus Award disbursements can be made through their organization.
Metropolitan Center for Independent Living
Metropolitan Center for Independent Living will:
- recruit college students to become Student PCA Service Corps Members.
- recruit adults assessed at ten or more hours of PCA support per day who direct their own care to be PCA Service Corps
- facilitate introductions between interested and compatible Students and Participants for interviews.
- The PCA Participant takes the lead in PCA CSC interviews with Student PCAs as a demonstrable means of a person-centered approach to PCA support.
- provide the Incentive Bonus Awards to the PCA Agencies to be sent to the Student PCAs at appropriate times.
- oversee the PCA CSC Mentorship program in which Student PCA Service Corps members can rely on support from a seasoned PCA CSC Mentor and a cohort of their peers.
The Minnesota State Legislature has awarded additional funding for the Personal Care Assistant College Service Corps Pilot Project.
If you are interested in learning more or have additional questions, please email PCACSC@mcil-mn.org