Illinois State University’s commitment to AmeriCorps alumni through the Stevenson Center earned the institution a new honor: the university is now a School of National Service.
AmeriCorps launched the initiative on December 15, 2020, to recognize colleges and universities that help those who’ve served with AmeriCorps fulfill their dreams of higher education. Because civic engagement is a core value, Illinois State University is proud to be a School of National Service. The Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development embodies that value through both its academic programs and its direct service.
As part of a national network, 270,000 AmeriCorps members and volunteers improve communities each year. Focus areas include disaster response, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. AmeriCorps now has over 1.2 million alumni.
The Stevenson Center, which coordinates both AmeriCorps and Peace Corps activities on campus, welcomes former AmeriCorps members to its Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program. Before arriving at Illinois State, current Fellows served with a range of AmeriCorps programs, such as City Year, Teach For America, National Civilian Community Corps, and VISTA. Fellows complete the interdisciplinary ACED graduate sequence in anthropology, applied economics, kinesiology and recreation, political science, or sociology. For their dedication to careers in public service, these Fellows benefit from a graduate assistantship, a paid internship, and a full tuition waiver.
The center also has a partnership that allows some current graduate students to serve as AmeriCorps members during their year on campus and/or their second-year internship. These Stevenson Center AmeriCorps members have completed the equivalent of 55 full-time service-years and have received education awards directly from AmeriCorps totaling over $300,000.
For those interested in becoming a Stevenson Center Fellow, the Stevenson Center is now accepting applications for fall 2021.
Dani Park is the Stevenson Center’s public relations graduate assistant.