The University of Texas at Austin is one of nine higher education institutions to receive the Students in Service (SIS) grant award for the 2011-12 academic year through the Texas Campus Compact (TxCC), an Austin-based statewide nonprofit organization.
Students in Service is an AmeriCorps program that awards $1,100 educational scholarships to students who complete 300 service hours in a year.
At The University of Texas at Austin the grant program is administered through the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, an office within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. This is the second year that students will have the opportunity to apply for the award. Last year, 40 students participated in the inaugural SIS program at the university, serving the Austin community through service learning projects.
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement and Texas Campus Contact advisory council member, said the award allows nonprofits to gain access to students who are committed to service.
"It is wonderful that on a large campus where there are so many civic-minded students there is another outlet available for them to serve the population of Austin by helping local nonprofits provide critical services to members of the community," Vincent said.
Other member campuses participating in the grant program include: Austin Community College District, Houston Community College System, Huston-Tillotson University, Lone Star College-Kingwood Campus, Stephen F. Austin State University, St. Mary's University, Texas State University in San Marcos and University of North Texas in Dallas.
Currently, the Texas Campus Compact, hosted by The University of Texas System, has more than 70 private and public higher education institutions across the state as members.
"We're excited to be working with this group of Texas Campus Compact members for another year of inspired service learning projects," said Patricia Potyka, executive director of Texas Campus Compact. "These nine schools bring amazing energy and committed students to address the needs of communities across the state, and we're looking forward to everything that we'll be able to accomplish together."
Service learning, gaining popularity at college campuses around the nation, is typically set up for college students to gain college credit. In some cases, stipends are offered in exchange for participating in service projects that positively impact the community.
A number of the service learning projects designed by SIS member schools in the program's inaugural year were oriented toward mentoring high school students -- in effect, allowing college students in the program to help recruit the next generation of college students while also helping close the gaps of educational inequity.
For more information about the program and to learn how to become involved -- as a college student looking to become engaged with service learning or as a nonprofit organization or other entity interested in partnering with the program -- contact Katie Hardgrove, director of programs, at 512-579-5023 or firstname.lastname@example.org.