FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: MacKenzie Moritz
Managing Director, Partnerships
Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance calls on universities to integrate a year of service into their civic action plans and releases handbook outlining ways service can be integrated at higher education institutions
Washington, DC, March 21, 2016 –– On March 20, 2016, a national summit of college Presidents and Chancellors preceded Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Conference in Boston. General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal, Chair of the Board of Service Year Alliance, was the keynote speaker at the President’s summit. Coinciding with the event, Service Year Alliance (SYA) released a handbook on “Service Year + Higher Education Engagement Opportunities,” which outlines specific ways that service can be integrated into the higher education institutions.
Service Year Alliance is an initiative of Be The Change, Inc. and the Aspen Institute that seeks to make a year of full-time service – a service year – a common opportunity, cultural expectation, and civic rite of passage for young people growing up in America. This new organization was created through the recent merger of the Franklin Project, ServiceNation, and the Service Year Exchange.
The summit offered campus leaders an opportunity to renew their joint commitment to the public purposes of higher education. College presidents and chancellors affirmed an Action Statement announcing a set of commitments to apply to the principles articulated in the President’s Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education. In the year leading up to the summit, Campus Compact state and regional affiliates and the national office worked with leaders of member institutions to articulate specific actions to which they would commit themselves. You can read more about the summit here: http://conference.compact.org/presidents-summit/.
The document concludes with a commitment by each signatory to create a Campus Civic Action Plan to be shared publicly. Campus Compact will support campuses in developing these plans.
Over 350 Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors have already signed the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement, a document containing strong language about the public obligations of higher education that commits campuses to taking specific steps to deepen their engagement for the benefit of students, communities, and the broader public.
At the Summit, General McChrystal said, “Higher Education has an important role to play in developing engaged citizens and Campus Compact is leading the charge. As Service Year Alliance seeks to make a service year a common opportunity and cultural expectation, we’re excited to be partnering with Campus Compact to support institutions that are interested in including service years in their Campus Civic Action Plans.”
Additional speakers at the event included Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director, Peace Corps; Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools; and a team of social entrepreneurs behind a college access organization called TeenSHARP. SYA Managing Director of Partnerships MacKenzie Moritz and SYA Learning Manager for Higher Education Jenna Dell also presented on how universities can incorporate a year of service into their civic action plans.
Additional ideas for integrating service into higher education can be found in the newly released Service Year Alliance “Service Year + Higher Education Engagement Opportunities” handbook. You can view the complete handbook here. 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. There are many ways that universities could embrace the service year and play a leadership role in these efforts. The ideas in this toolkit represent potential actions universities could take to increase service year participation at their campuses.
Service Year Alliance is an initiative of Be The Change, Inc. and the Aspen Institute that seeks to make a year of full-time service – a service year – a common opportunity, cultural expectation and civic rite of passage for young people growing up in America. This new organization was created through the recent merger of the Franklin Project, ServiceNation, and the Service Year Exchange.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. We are a network comprising a national office and 34 state and regional Campus Compacts. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. Our resources support faculty and staff as they pursue community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change.