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Partner Spotlight: 9 Finalists Announced for NCoC’s Service Year + Higher Ed Innovation Challenge

Congratulations to San Jose State University (Calif.) and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, two AASCU/ADP institutions. And also, congratulations to Miami Dade College (Fla.) and the Alamo Colleges (Texas), members of The Democracy Commitment!

NCoC and the Franklin Project launched the Service Year + Higher Ed: Innovation Challenge in January. Over 30 public, private, and community colleges from across the country submitted applications, nine were chosen as finalists.The Challenge calls on higher ed institutions to creatively integrate learning with national service into the college experience. It is supported by Lumina Foundation and in partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service.

Applicants are competing for one of three $30,000 prizes and an additional $10,000 Audience Choice Award, all of which is supported by Lumina Foundation. On April 15, all finalists will be invited to present their ideas to a high-profile panel of judges in Washington, DC.

To learn more, please visit SYChallenge.org.

Community Colleges

Alamo Colleges is proposing to extend their partnership with Public Allies by creating opportunities for currently enrolled first-generation students with at least 12 credit hours to integrate a 10-month, full-time, service year into their college experience. The students would receive 6 credits for their service.

Miami Dade College is proposing a Changemaker Corps, a peer to peer mentoring and support program that helps youth who have aged out of foster care mentor other foster care system students, with the goal of helping them stay in school, graduate, and develop employability skills. The mentors’ service year would be 20 hours per week for 9 months, for which they would receive 3 credits and professional development.

Salt Lake Community College is proposing a Civically Engaged Scholar program where participating students would serve 20 hours per week for an academic year with community partners in the Salt Lake area. They would receive 3 credits for their service and related coursework, and would receive a distinction on their transcript.

Public Universities

San Jose State is proposing a Restore Coyote Creek service year program to enlist students across disciplines in the restoration, beautification, and recreational development of Coyote Creek. Participating students would participate in direct service and support efforts to mobilize the community. The 10-month, 20-hour per week service year would be connected to 8 academic credits plus linked to additional related courses.

The University of Kentucky is proposing a Kentucky Scholar Intern program where participating juniors or seniors would be placed in state or local government agencies, or with nonprofits, in the most under-resources areas of the state. The 11-month, full-time service year would be connected to 30 academic credits.

UMass Dartmouth is proposing a Community Health Worker: Advocate! Navigate! Educate!service year. The service year builds upon the Universities College Now Program, a five year alternative admissions option for students from culturally diverse backgrounds and economically challenged families. The 12 month service year will provide a total of 12 academic credits and position participants to complete a minor in leadership and civic engagement.

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