Curriculum: Strengthening Service Years as a Postsecondary Option

Corps Member Curriculum: Strengthening Service Years as a Postsecondary Option

Beginning in October 2020, Service Year Alliance embarked on a project, funded through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to understand how service year programs could recruit, engage, and support more individuals after high school in a year of service. The project focused specifically on supporting individuals from racially diverse backgrounds and those from economically disadvantaged communities. This multi-year effort reinforced and fortified our belief that a year of service after high school can provide a transformational experience and place a young person on a path to success.

A service year is a unique opportunity specifically because of its triple bottom line: service years transform lives, strengthen communities, and fuel civic renewal. The experience allows young people to learn about their strengths, develop new skills while giving back to a community, and be prepared for career and education opportunities early in their professional journey.

Service Year Alliance’s comprehensive corps member curriculum and trainer’s guide will help service year programs and staff better engage and support individuals after high school in a service year by guiding your program through curriculum that aims to:

  • Foster a Belonging Culture 
  • Incorporate an Asset-Based Framework
  • Enhance Intentional Skills Attainment

Guiding Resources

The Trainer’s Guide: How to Incorporate the Curriculum into Your Service Year Program

  • This guide will help you learn about the Corps Member Curriculum and determine how best to incorporate it into your existing corps member training and development plans.

Curriculum Roadmaps

  • These roadmaps offer various options for incorporating the three curriculum components — fostering a belonging culture, incorporating an asset-based framework, and enhancing intentional skills attainment — into your service year program over a 10-12 month period.

Get Started with the Trainer's Guide >>

Curriculum Components

  • Belonging Culture Curriculum
    • This curriculum will help reduce and break down challenges and barriers that may prevent corps members from bringing their full and authentic selves to their service year.

  • Asset-Based Framework Curriculum
    • This curriculum will help shift the conversation between service year staff and corps members so that they see one another based on aspirations, contributions, and the value they bring, rather than focusing on personal challenges, barriers, and backgrounds.

  • Skills Attainment Curriculum
    • This curriculum will ensure your corps members can identify, understand, and articulate newly acquired skills, as well as understand where they can practice, hone, or continue to develop new skills that will ensure life-long success post-service.

Beyond the Curriculum

Supporting Individuals After High School in a Service Year Toolkit

  • This toolkit shares the steps we took, in partnership with service year programs and stakeholders from across the country, to identify strategies and practices for engaging individuals after high school in a service year. You’ll also be introduced to the tools we created to help you assess your program’s readiness to engage individuals after high school and ensure that all of your corps members have a positive and transformative experience throughout their service.

Download the Toolkit

This project was made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Welcome to the Recruitment Toolkit
Curriculum: Strengthening Service Years as a Postsecondary Option
Our Vision