Service Corps is a collaboration among the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA), local nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Through this innovative program and the leverage of Federal Work Study monies, SPEA students are named Service Corps Fellows and contribute to the public management, economic development, environmental policy, and human service needs of the local and surrounding community. Our community partners include the City of Bloomington, Monroe County Government, and an array of local nonprofit organizations.
Students are selected for Service Corps participation during the school's merit aid allocation process - based on expressed interest via the application, undergraduate academic record, personal statement and resume. SPEA's Service Corps reinforces a Fellow's advanced academic training through its application to real-world work settings via placements in the community. The practical experience offered is enhanced further by offering professional development seminars and professional contacts that may serve as mentors and supplement professional networks integral to Fellows' career pursuits.
Service Corps Fellows receive an attractive merit aid package that includes both fee remission and a stipend. The monies are guaranteed for two years based on good academic standing and compliance to Program guidelines. At 2012-2013 tuition rates, the value of the financial award ranges from $8,358 (resident) to $11,430 (non-resident) annually, based on residency status.
An advisory board comprised of SPEA faculty and community partners from the nonprofit and public sectors, provides ongoing guidance for the Program:
2012-2013 Advisory Board
Jill Stowers - Executive Director, Positive Link - Indiana University-Bloomington Hospital
Dan Grundmann - Director of Human Resources, City of Bloomington
Barry Lessow - Executive Director, United Way of Monroe County
Service Corps Fellows work 12 hours per week in their assigned departments/agencies and attend three professional development seminars per semester. The seminars are opportunities for an open exchange of ideas and for bringing in experts from the field on a variety of topics. Service Corps Fellows play an active role in selecting seminar topics during their tenure in the Program.
Professional development seminar topics include:
- Community Development Initiatives
- Cross-Sector Collaboration and Networking
- International NGOs
- Resume/Cover Letter Building
- Salary/Benefit Negotiations
- Strategic Planning
- Volunteer Development
Service to the Community
SPEA's curriculum is centered around applied learning in civic engagement programs. Service Corps appointments strengthen the articulation between theory and practice while filling critical gaps in service delivery in the surrounding community. The goal is for students to assume responsibilities in support of strategic objectives of the department, agency, or organization to which they are assigned. In the past, Service Corps projects have ranged from conducting research and writing reports on greenhouse gas emissions to writing grant proposals to providing volunteer coordination and management. Ultimately, it is expected that students will enhance individual management techniques and leadership skills while putting into practice their classroom learning.
See what a few of our current and former students have to say about their experiences with Service Corps.