The Corps Network Announces New Service & Higher Education Program


Corpsmembers taking part in innovative higher education pilot to obtain college credit for their service in Corps

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In conjunction with the Service Year Alliance, which includes the Franklin Project at the Aspen InstituteNational Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), ServiceNation and Voices for National Service, The Corps Network will participate in a new pilot program designed to help Corpsmembers obtain college credits for skills and learning gained from their term of service. 

This pilot program is part of the Service Year Exchange (SYx), which is under development by NCoC, supported by Cisco and the Lumina Foundation, and is a key component of the Service Year initiative announced by Former President Bill Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative.

SYx is an online platform for Service Year Corpsmembers, programs, and funders to connect: Through the SYx, eight Member Corps of The Corps Network and twenty six of their current Corpsmembers and alumni will participate in an innovative prior-learning assessment pilot. Additional support for the program comes from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

Through this pilot, Corpsmembers will use CAEL’s LearningCounts portal to create a “portfolio” that captures what they have learned through their service experience. This portfolio will then be submitted for assessment for college credit. On March 23rd, LearningCounts instructors started work with participating Corpsmembers to develop their portfolios. As a result, Corpsmembers will have an opportunity to earn up to up to six college credits, for their term of service, by the Fall of 2015 semester. 

“We’re excited to work with such great partners on the SYx and welcome this opportunity to continue promoting innovative opportunities for Corpsmembers to succeed in higher education and the workforce,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network. “Service to the nation is a life changing experience that shapes our Corpsmembers well into the future – turning that experience into academic credit only makes sense as we look to increase our nation’s level of civic engagement and postsecondary education and training attainment. We look forward to expanding participation in this initiative to additional Corps and Corpsmembers, and working to develop the SYx and Service Year further.” 

“Working through the Corps Network has allowed us to reach out to the broad, existing service field to support the advancement of education and career goals connected to experience gained during the service year,” Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship said. “We are grateful that this collaboration has advanced these big social goals through the Corps and Corpsmembers' participation.”

Participating members of The Corps Network include:

Green City Force (Brooklyn, NY)
Heart of Oregon Corps (Bend, OR)
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Civicorps (Oakland, CA)
KUPU Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
Mile High Youth Corps (Denver, CO)
Maine Conservation Corps (Augusta, ME)
Civic Works (Baltimore, MD

Previous work of The Corps Network on higher education opportunities for Corpsmembers includes the Postsecondary Success Education Initiative and a pilot with Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America, the first online competency based higher education program to qualify for federal financial aid.

About The Corps Network

The Corps Network provides critical leadership to the Corps movement and our nation’s Service and Conservation Corps as they harness the power of youth and young adults to tackle some of America’s greatest challenges and transform their own lives. Our 100+ members operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll approximately 23,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25. Corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Levi Novey
Director of Communications & Marketing
Phone: 202.737.6272