A service year is a paid opportunity to develop real-world skills through hands-on service.

Whether you’re figuring out what’s next after high school or college, searching for an opportunity to find a new path, looking to gain skills and experience for a job, or wanting a career change — a service year may be just what you’re looking for. The Service Year Alliance is an movement committed to making a service year a common expectation and path for young people as they begin their secondary education and careers.

Virginia is the first state in the nation where the higher education community has come together to commit to integrating service years on their campuses. More than 50 higher education institutions, including all Virginia public colleges and community colleges, have signed on to "Virginia's College Compact." Each of these institutions have committed to service year support tactics, including:

  • Creating service year opportunities for undergraduate/graduate students
  • Linking service years to academic credit
  • Valuing and encouraging service years through admissions
  • Financial aid
  • Career services
  • Designations on diplomas or graduation certificates

AmeriCorps and other National Service programs can now register on the Service Year Exchange.  You'll be able to list open National Service member positions, search from possible candidates, and more!

Organizations and communities interested in learning more about the Service Year:

For more information on the Service Year Alliance visit,