Service Year Alliance believes that the incorporation of a year of service into the post-secondary education experience will better prepare students to complete their degrees, secure meaningful employment, and become lifelong engaged citizens. Service years in higher education have the power to attract students, enliven education, and put graduates on pathways to careers.
There are many ways that colleges and universities can embrace a service year and play a leadership role in these efforts.
Recognize the service year experience
- Formalize deferrals for students accepted to college and service year programs
- Give preference or special scholarships for service year program alumni
- Match the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
Integrate service years before, during, or after college
- Tufts University 4 + 1 Bridge Program provides accepted students the opportunity to complete a year of full-time community service before beginning their academic studies at Tufts and enrollment in a blended-learning Tufts University course
- College of William & Mary Community Engagement Fellowships give recent William & Mary graduates a public service experience to further develop their citizenship and work for community change.
- Other examples can be found by visiting the Service Year + Higher Innovation Challenge which explores the best ideas for linking service years to learning.
Promote service year programs through career services, including career fairs, posting service year positions on job boards, and directing students to the Service Year Exchange.
These colleges and universities have already joined as an Employer of National Service:
- Antioch University
- Arizona State University
- Averett University
- Graceland University
- Helena College - University of Montana
- MIAT College of Technology
- Northern Arizona University
- Prescott College
- Richard Bland College
- Spartanburg Community College
- Triton College
- University of Arizona
- Western Washington University
At Averett University, we understand and appreciate the value of a year of national service. Young Americans who are raising their hands to serve are self-selecting into an extraordinarily competent group of people. National service helps to develop participants’ work ethic, cultural understanding, resilience, and even their ‘soft skills’. This is why we chose to become an Employer of National Service. What these alumni can bring to our campus will contribute to a shift in culture towards one where service becomes the lifestyle.”
- Dr. Tiffany Franks, 14th President of Averett University
Our Higher Ed Partners
We are thrilled to partner with Campus Compact as they celebrate their 30th Anniversary. As they engage colleges and universities to advance the public purposes of higher education, service year opportunities can be a powerful element in the development of a fully engaged campus.
Commonwealth of Virginia
In partnership with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe, and the VA Engage network, Virginia is leading the way by making a service year part of what it means to participate in higher education in Virginia.
Service Year + Higher Ed Engagement Toolkit
The ideas in this toolkit represent strategies that colleges and universities can consider to increase service year participation on their campuses.
Special thanks to the Lumina Foundation and the Joyce Foundation for supporting our higher education work.