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Service Year + Higher Ed Innovation Challenge

Deadline: March 11, 2016

The Service Year Alliance believes that the incorporation of service years into the post-secondary experience will better prepare students to complete their degree, attain employment, and become lifelong engaged citizens. This program seeks models that make a service year a part of the undergraduate or graduate experience. Such an experience could occur during a “junior year away” (or on campus), a capstone final year experience, or programs that incorporate both summer and school year elements. Ideally, programs would be connected to academic learning. For example, communications students might serve in local nonprofit organizations; child development students might serve in local child care centers; language majors or students in ethnic studies fields might serve in immigrant communities; or others preparing for health-related careers would serve in local health clinics.

Applicants will be judged on:

  • Impact of service performed
  • Impact of the experience on students serving
  • Replicability of the program model
  • Sustainability of the program without substantial grant funding
  • Timeline for implementation (for example, preference will be given to programs that will launch by Fall 2017)
  • Program design
  • Institutional support

Students should either receive a living allowance comparable to AmeriCorps (approximately $1.000 – $2,000/month) or benefits such as room and board to enable them to support themselves during the service year.

Amount: There will be three categories for the competition: public, private, and community colleges. Each category will have one first place winner; each first place winner will receive a $30,000 prize. In addition, there will be an “audience choice” winner who will receive an additional $10,000.

Eligibility: Post-secondary institutions. Partnership models (i.e. high school and college together, consortium of higher education institutions, higher education institution working in partnership with a nonprofit or public agency) are encouraged.

Link: http://www.sychallenge.org/

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