Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Semester of Service

Semester of Service links prominent national service events through an extendedservice-learning framework of at least 70 hours.

Participating students apply learned knowledge and skills to solve problems of local, national, or global importance, through the development and implementation of high-quality service-learning projects that incorporate the IPARD/C stages.

Connecting National Days of Service

Youth Service America (YSA) encourages you to launch, and culminate or celebrate the efforts of your Semester of Service on significant national days of service. We recommend that you consider one of the following cycles (spring, summer, or fall):
Duration & Intensity and the IPARD/C Stages

Semester of Service incorporates the practice of sustained service over a period of significant “duration and intensity” (typically at least 70 hours over several weeks or months), in order to provide enough time for students to acquire the knowledge & skills needed to understand and impact difficult community problems.

In a successful Semester of Service, students follow the IPARD/C stages of the service-learning processInvestigation, Preparation & Planning, Action, Reflection,Demonstration/Celebration.

Academic Engagement through Solving Problems

In a Semester of Service, students address a meaningful community need connected tointentional learning goals and/or academic standards. Throughout, the teacher or facilitator supports the emergence of “youth voice” as young people guide the process.

Semester of Service projects address critical community problems and their root causes – problems such as water scarcity, childhood obesity, environmental degradation, energy conservation, poverty, hunger and homelessness, high school dropouts, and illiteracy.

Who’s doing a Semester of Service?

YSA’s Semester of Service is especially designed for educators and students in schools or afterschool programs, but anyone can do a Semester of Service.

YSA partners and grantees planning a Semester of Service include:

  1. 37 STEMester of Service grantees
  2. 13 Semester of Service Organizers
  3. 125 State Farm Good Neighbor grantees
  4. 300 UnitedHealth HEROES grantees
  5. 75 GYSD Lead Agencies or their partners

You! Any class, school, afterschool program, youth development program, or community group can organize a Semester of Service.

How does YSA support a Semester of Service?

YSA provides a variety of grants, planning tools, training, and technical assistance, to helpSemester of Service participants plan, lead and implement effective service-learning programs.


  1. “How-To” Resources: Semester of Service Strategy Guide & Classroom Posters(free online & printed copies)
  2. “What-To” Resources: Issue-based resources applying the Semester of Service framework to issues, including childhood obesity, the environment, malaria, and disaster preparedness.
  3. Examples: GoToServiceLearning.org - an online database of field-tested service-learning lesson plans


  1. Youth Leaders for Literacy (closed)
  2. Special Olympics Get Into It Grants (closed)
  3. State Farm Good Neighbor (closed)
  4. UnitedHealth HEROES (closed)
  5. Semester of Service Organizer planning grants (closed)

H2O for Life/YSA Semester of Service: Water

H2O for Life is partnering with Youth Service America to provide educational resources, curricular connections and a global school partner to engage students in issues surrounding the global water crisis. Teachers challenge students to put their learning into action and through service projects, students raise funds to bring water, sanitation and hygiene education to their global partner school. Students become global activists for change while literally saving lives and improving the life circumstances of their peers around the world.

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Indiana Campus Compact is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for significant funding in support of programs, training,and resources for our member campuses that allow them to deepen their commitment to community engagement and service-learning.