There are various ways for colleges and universities to embrace a service year and play a leadership role in these efforts, including:
Develop a program for students or recent graduates to spend a year engaged in full-time service working to address unmet societal needs. Programs could take place before (e.g. a “bridge service year”), during (e.g. “a junior service year” or “capstone service year”) or after the traditional university experience (e.g. “a post-graduation service year fellowship). These programs allow students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to work experiences grounded in community needs.
A service year is a terrific pathway to a career. We encourage higher education institutions to promote service year programs through careers services at career fairs, by posting service year positions on job boards, and by directing students to the Service Year Exchange.
Service year alumni develop leadership and professional skills during their year of service, making them high-quality employees. Join over 350 Employers of National Service — including Arizona State University, Averett University, and others — and give service year corps members a leg up when applying to jobs with your college or university.
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.
Gap Year Association
Gap Year Association serves as the key gap year partner organization for Service Year Alliance. Given the strong alignment between the missions of Service Year Alliance and Gap Year Association, we believe that together we can increase the awareness of gap and service years individually and increase the opportunities of service focused gap years.
Special thanks to the Lumina Foundation and the Joyce Foundation for supporting our higher education work.
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