Member Tips

National Service and American Democracy: New College Course

Interested in diving deeper into how national service supports democracy and community development? Wondering how you will continue to make an impact after your service term ends? Our partners at ServiceYear have teamed up with Arizona State University to offer a new online course geared specifically toward service-minded people like you.

This 3-credit hour course will explore how civic engagement has shaped American Democracy throughout history and how it continues to impact democracy today. You’ll explore what makes American democracy distinct, how to focus your civic engagement in light of government structures, what roles service and social engagement play in civil society, and how identity gives us insight into the mobilization of groups. At the conclusion of the class, you will have an idea of how to apply what you care about to a specific pathway to make a difference.

This learning opportunity is available for free or for academic credit. There is no prerequisite to enroll, and the course is taught at a college freshman level. If you’re budgeting for the expense, you have 12 months after you complete the course to pay the tuition ($400). You can also choose to use your education award to cover the cost (just indicate your intent to do so when you sign up for the course).

The course runs from March 12 through May 7, so be sure to apply by March 9 to participate!

View the course syllabus and the course calendar to see if this is the right opportunity for you or check out the FAQ page to learn more.


Note: Current members who are interested in applying should reach out to their Program Manager to discuss how this course could best fit into their service term.

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Four Unique (and Clever) Uses for Your Education Award

Photo: Corporation for National & Community Service


As the school year comes to an end and the students excitedly discuss their summer plans, your mind may begin to turn toward your Education Award. What do you do with it? For those members who have completed their degree, already paid off student loans or don’t have children or grandchildren to gift the award to, finding an alternative way to use the Education Award can be a tricky task. But what you may not know is that there are more ways to use your award than you may think.

Study Abroad
If studying stateside isn’t for you, take your education overseas by participating in a study abroad program. Learn about literature on the rolling hills of Ireland or take in the latest tech in Japan. No matter where you choose to go, studying abroad can be a great opportunity for personal growth and discovery.

Alternatively, you can also earn college credit or complete your degree in another country. For those schools not listed as Title IV, you may still be able to attend through an exchange program.

Learn a New Skill
Ever wanted to become a certified SCUBA instructor? Get your pilot’s license? Take up photography? Learn about beekeeping? With your Education Award, you can pay toward qualifying skill or certification classes for that hobby you’ve been meaning to get to. Check your local community college, university or non-profit organization to see what’s offered near you.

Serve Across the Globe
Take your service to a whole new place! Through organizations like IPSL and Global Service Corps, you can help international communities in need, while also gaining valuable experiences and skills you can take with you throughout your life. Not to mention the chance to travel the world!

Multiply Your Money
While this alternative use is being applied to your education in a more traditional sense, it also offers you the opportunity to gain more money toward expenses. Many colleges and universities across the United States offer an education award match as recognition for your commitment to service. Contact the institution you’re looking to attend to see if they would consider contributing to your education.

For more information on the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, visit or send us a message!



Study abroad:
Overseas schools:
Skill or certification classes:
Global Service Corps:
Matching institutions:


NewsFour Unique (and Clever) Uses for Your Education Award
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