Service Year + Higher Ed
Let’s work together to incorporate service years into higher education

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.

Service Year + Higher Education Engagement Opportunities

How Miami Dade College Incorporates Service Years into Higher Education

Higher Education + Service Year

Putting service at the forefront of higher education strategies.

Service years have the power to attract students, enliven education, and put graduates on pathways to meaningful careers. Connecting service years to the higher education experience produces students that are more likely to complete their degrees, secure meaningful employment, and become lifelong engaged citizens.

Service Year Alliance can support your higher education institution in connecting to service years in the following ways:

  1. Increase Your Institute’s Impact Through Service
  2. Recruit Service Year Alums to Become High Quality Students
  3. Connect Your Students to Service Years to Support Their Career Paths

Increasing Your Institute’s Impact Through Service

One of the best ways that your institution can connect to service years is creating a program! Develop a program for new students, current students, or recent graduates to spend a year engaged in full-time service working to address an unmet need at your institution or community. 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). Service year programs allow students to connect classroom learning to work experiences grounded in community needs, and have proven to increase leadership and responsibility. At the same time, you benefit from the work and systems of the serving member to increase your impact. It is a win for the institution, community, and person serving.


Want to design a service year program? Here are resources that can help:

Contact us today to get started on creating the right service year for your higher education institution!


Recruit Service Year Alums to Become High Quality Students

Service year alums are the kind of students that you want at your institution. They are more likely to complete degrees than their peers, are spirited leaders, and already have a track record of working hard to get things done. There are a variety of ways that you can make your institution an attractive option for these top quality candidates:

  • Join our Virtual Higher Education Fairs to connect directly with service year alums.
  • Look for service year experience in applications as a signifier of a high quality candidate.
  • Formalize deferral options for students accepted to your institution to pursue a service year before they start.
  • Give preference or special scholarships for service year alums.
  • Match the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, a scholarship AmeriCorps Alums receive for their education, currently valued at $6000.
  • Create connections to specific service year programs to build candidate pipelines.
  • Provide service year alums pathways to receive credit for their service. See our toolkit on Service Years + Academic Credit Guidelines.
  • Provide service year alums special resources to return to school. See our Return to Learning Webinar for more ideas.

Want to talk more about how you can recruit and support service year alums to study at your institution? Reach out to Cali Moore at cmoore@serviceyear.org


Connect Your Students to Service Years to Support Their Career Paths

We know that education helps students connect to meaningful careers, but what makes the difference for many is connecting their learnings to real-world experiences - like those a service year can provide. Consider the following options to make sure your students have opportunities to pursue service before, during, or after their studies.

  • Host a Service Year Recruitment Fair to students to connect to service year opportunities in your community or that relate to their career aspirations.
  • Encourage your Career Services to share service year opportunities as viable options after graduation, which they can find through ServiceYear.org.
  • Share actively recruiting service year listings in campus news or other promotion that goes out to students.

Want to explore these ideas or other opportunities to connect your institution to service years? Reach out to us at info@serviceyear.org today.

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Service Year + Higher Ed|Let’s work together to incorporate service years into higher education
Service Year + Higher Ed|Let’s work together to incorporate service years into higher education
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