2016 Challenge Winners
Congratulations to OUR winners of the 2016 Higher ed Challenge
Private Institution & Audience Choice Award Winner: Drexel University
UConnect is a new initiative out of Drexel University’s Lindy Center for Civic Engagement in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. UConnect provides Information, Referral and Support services to the local community and aims to connect students and community members with each other and with opportunities to improve their lives. Through this Service Year program, Drexel students will learn about real and pervasive social justice issues while supporting their neighbors in navigating the complex social service landscape. In addition, UConnect Service Year members will have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with community members and other Service Year Navigators who will serve for 9 months, receive course credit, and fulfill the Co-op requirement for graduation. By winning both the private institution category and the audience choice award, Drexel University receives $40,000 to implement their idea.
Gina Gendusa, Associate Director at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, UConnect, said “It was such an honor to participate in the Service Year + Higher Ed Innovation Challenge with so many of our peers who are truly dedicated to incorporating service positions into the fabric of their university or college. The idea of connecting students with community-focused learning experiences is a priority at Drexel University as we see this as a major step on the pathway to becoming the life-long change agents and civic leaders that the world needs.”
Public Institution Winner: University of Pittsburgh
Social Entrepreneurs, Esq. ('SEE') will give University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) students the opportunity to complete a unique 3+1+3 program resulting in an undergraduate business degree, a social entrepreneurship 'gap' Service Year, and a law degree in 7 years. During their service year, students will work with social enterprise incubators and/or accelerators for 32 hours per week to meet the business and legal needs of social entrepreneurs and enterprises. By partnering with social enterprise incubators/accelerators, Pitt will ensure that the SEE students' undergraduate business degree, social entrepreneurship Service Year, and law degree will prepare these students for the many career opportunities available in the growing field of social entrepreneurship. Students will receive course credits towards a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (BSBA); an option for a CBA Certificate in Leadership and Ethics; an IPI Leadership Forum Digital Badge; and up to 14 law school credits related to social entrepreneurship, innovation and intellectual property.
2016 Challenge Finalists
CONGRATULATIONS TO All OUR FINALISTS IN THE 2016 HIGHER ED CHALLENGE
Active Citizen Corps will enable Austin College students to earn credits towards a minor in Non-Profit Organizations and Public Service through service with a local agency combined with approved coursework. This program fits in the College’s current strategic plan, which states that Austin College, “will build on our successful culture of service to include service-learning opportunities and linkages between global and local service.” The new Active Citizen Corps will leverage existing service projects, such as the Social Entrepreneurship for Poverty Alleviation Program. These direct service opportunities will provide students with the skills and knowledge to assist agencies in capacity building program development, implementation, and evaluation. Active Citizen Corps Fellows will be required to take the Active Citizenship course, and will receive a minimum of 3 course credits and a maximum of 4.25 course credits per semester (a full load at Austin College).
Averett plans to create a Service Year for Averett Leaders in Action (ALA) to connect students with the community of Danville, VA. During this 9-month long internship, students will work with the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which provides federally subsidized housing and housing assistance to low-income families, for 20 hours per week. ALAs will enroll in courses specific to leadership in action, where they can apply theory to their real-life settings. Integrated, academic coursework including the ALA internship will culminate in a minor in Leadership Studies.
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service has a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that already requires 11 credits hours of field-based study. The Service Year Capstone would allow graduate students pursuing their Masters of Public Service degrees to dedicate even more time during their final academic year to completing high-level work that meets the needs of public service organizations. The current Capstone course places students in a professional public service context, requiring them to commit 250 on-site hours to working collaboratively with community leaders on issues of systemic social change. The Service Year Capstone would expand the program by allowing students to complete 1,000 hours of service work, receive Capstone course credit for that service, and earn an hourly stipend.
The Service Year Leaders Program will emphasize Virginia Tech’s public service mission by combining an academic minor in community problem solving, an experiential co-curriculum at service demonstration sites, and traditional residence hall experiences. The service year program will provide competitive opportunities for senior undergraduate students from any major to propose community change capstone projects for their minor. Proposals will be developed collaboratively with faculty and community partners, and project selection criteria will include measurable community outcomes, evidence and feasibility, sustainability, and partner support. Students selected for the service year experience will be residents in the SERVE Living-Learning Community (LLC). SY participants will complete requirements to earn up to 6 credit hours, fulfill a requirement in the proposed community problem solving minor (~24 credit hours) and will meet university learning outcomes associated with its new general education curriculum.
Note: Given the tremendous engagement from community colleges from a specific region, a separate, regional competition will be held for community colleges in that area to compete for the $30,000 community college prize. More details about how the community college prize will be selected will be announced at the 2016 Challenge Day on April 12th.