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Scholars in Service to PA

Scholars in Service



Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania is an initiative at Misericordia University that recognizes, trains, and supports students who are civically engaged. Students apply for a small number of positions available each year. Selected students will pledge to complete 300 or 450 hours of service in one calendar year, and, in exchange for that commitment, will receive leadership, training, and support from the staff and fellow Scholars, and participate in ongoing supervision and reflection activities.

The bulk of the service work will be completed in a community organization: 8 – 10 hours per week and attend monthly supervision/reflection sessions with all enrolled Scholars.

Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania is an AmeriCorps Education Award Only program. Participating students will enroll as AmeriCorps members on a part-time basis. Students who enroll in this program and successfully complete the 300/450 hours of service, will receive an estimated AmeriCorps Ed-Only Award of $1208.00* for 300 hours and $1510.00* for 450 hours. The award can be used to pay for any legitimate educational expenses at the current undergraduate institution or to pay for future educational expenses. It can also be used to pay for existing federal educational loans. (Please note that the Ed Award is taxable.)
* these figures are based on the projected maximum Pell grant for 2012-2013. Final Education Award amount will be confirmed prior to enrollment in AmeriCorps.


An applicant of the Scholars in Service program must:

  • Be an undergraduate Misericordia University student
  • Be a citizen of the United States, a United States national, or a lawful permanent resident alien
  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Pledge to complete 300/450 hours of service work during one calendar year (approx. Aug 20, 2012-Aug 21, 2013)
  • Have an interest in, commitment to, and knowledge of community service, activism, and/or social justice
  • Have great organization and time management skills
  • Be responsible and dependable
  • Complete and pass Child Abuse, State and/or FBI clearances.

The Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania program is intrinsically beneficial to students as it fosters an atmosphere of service and of leadership. In particular, the program seeks to develop practical skills amongst its Scholars through a combination of direct service, training and reflection, volunteer recruitment and leadership development. Ideally, Scholars will commit to volunteering with one primary community organization or project throughout the school year. Students may work with a second organization during the summer months.

The Campus Ministry Office values diversity and strives to include students from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds in this program.
Students will choose from one of the three models following:

Model 1: Service Site Liaison
-          Serve as a primary contact between campus and community organization
o   Ex: Catherine McAuley House, Noxen food bank, Domestic Violence Service Center, animal shelters, etc. You can choose your own site or have one recommended!
-          Perform direct service, as needed, 3-5 hours per week at community organization
-          Recruit, manage, and train, other student volunteers to build capacity of community organization -- both ongoing (i.e. additional tutors) and special event (i.e. Holiday party)
Model 2: Service-Learning Course Liaison
-          Serve as a primary contact between faculty/department and community organization
-          Perform direct service, as needed, 3-5 hours per week at community organization
-          Manage and train service-learning students to build capacity of community organization
-          If course is only happening during one semester, a model 2 student might transition into being a model 1 student during the “off semester”
Model 3: Campus Service Office Assistant
-         Recruit, manage, and train, other student volunteers to build capacity of a variety of community organizations -- both ongoing (i.e. additional tutors) and special events (i.e. Holiday party)
-          Build capacity of campus service office to engage larger numbers of students as volunteers and implement systems to better track, manage, and support those students

Responsibilities for Students

  • Volunteer at site 7-10 hours per week – including the summer if necessary. Hours in your campus community service office coordinating projects and/or with an academic department coordinating service-learning (3-4 hrs per week) can count as service hours.
  • Recruit other students to volunteer.
  • Participate in regular training and/or reflection sessions.
  • Complete all necessary AmeriCorps paperwork in a timely fashion
  • Log all service hours electronically on the by deadlines set by your campus supervisor.
  • Informing your campus supervisor immediately any time you are unable to complete your service hours as planned.
  • All other responsibilities as needed.

Other suggested activities

  • Plan a volunteer fair for your campus.
  • Coordinate a “Day of Service” for your campus such as Into the Streets, MLK Day of Service, and/or National Youth Service Day.
  • Bring a speaker to campus who can talk about the issues you are dealing with in your service (i.e. education, homelessness, hunger, poverty, the environment).
  • Connect with faculty who are experts in these issue areas.
  • Think about how your service site might make an excellent community partner for a service-learning course
  • Host a forum on non-profit careers.
  • Put together a workshop for other students about what you’re doing and what you’ve learned
  • Read an inspiring book about service, leadership, social change, etc. together or on your own
  • Reach out to other AmeriCorps members in your area whether they are full-time or part-time.

 Click here to download the student SISPA application form