Engaged Citizen Corps

Are you interested in service and social justice? Do you want to build your resume and form professional connections? Do you want to get to know the Des Moines community? 

If you answered yes, check out the Engaged Citizen Corps, which allows for all of these opportunities through an enriching experience with a tight-knit group of people. 

Drake University's Engaged Citizen Corps is an intentionally designed curriculum and service-learning internship experience for entering first year students that exposes members to issues of social justice while providing them hands on experience to impact the Des Moines community. Members dedicate themselves not only to weekly service-learning hours with a non-profit in the community but to making connections between their community experiences and academic pursuits. The service is directly integrated into the assignments and activities of 3 courses plus a year-long seminar (11 credits total) and still allows students the opportunity to take other courses toward the pursuit of their major. Service sites represent agencies working across multiple areas of economic and community development for example affordable housing, transportation and bikability, health and safety, business cultivation, and arts and culture. 

The 2018-2019 student application is now available: Apply today!  

ECC Agency Application 2018 will be accepted on a rolling basis, with an early priority deadline of March 1, 2018. 

Student Requirements

  • Be admitted to Drake University and complete the Engaged Citizen Corps application by March 1, 2018 at midnight. See the Drake Admission's page for Undergraduate Admissions Information or contact an Admissions Counselor.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen (The Engaged Citizen Corps is tied to AmeriCorps, which is a federally-run program). 
  • Engaged Citizen Corps is a very serious commitment. Members will complete a 9-month service internship, serving 8-10 hours/week with a partner agency. Members must be able to meet the time commitment
  • Members will take 3 courses as a cohort, one during the Fall Semester, J-term, and Spring Semester (First Year Seminar, Information Literacy, and an Engaged Citizen AOI), and a 1-credit seminar each semester
  • Members will live together in one of the Drake University’s residence halls.
  • Members will be expected to reflect critically on their experience and the impact to the community and themself

Worried about time commitment? Take a look at how the hours break down.

Sample course sequence

Fall Jterm Spring
FYS: The Common Good*

Information Literacy*
(online course)**
Engaged Citizen AOI*
ECC Seminar (1 credit)   ECC Seminar (1 credit)
3-4 Exploratory Courses for AOI or major courses   3-4 Exploratory Courses for AOI or major courses
8-10/hrs week service    8-10/hrs week service 

*fulfill related AOI requirements **Engaged Citizen Corps members have been pre-approved to register for the J-term Info Lit course, allowing for 3 additional credits to be taken in the fall or spring semester 


  • Receive a $3,000 Engaged Citizen Benefits Package, including a $1,230.69 AmeriCorps Education Award received at the completion of the program to be used toward 2nd year tuition; and a $1,769.31 Housing Scholarship toward room and board (not to exceed full cost of room and board). *
  • Pre-registration for Cohort Courses
  • Orientation Session and register for classes
  • Professional development and training opportunities
  • Resume building
  • Networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to gain an understanding of nonprofit work
  • Chance to develop professional writing skills
  • Community involvement through service

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. You can also contact Renee Sedlacek at (515) 271-2454 or email renee.sedlacek@drake.edu or Amanda Martin at (515)-271-2767 or email amanda.martin@drake.edu. 

*Information subject to change. Program is dependent on receiving funding.

This program was selected as the winner for the national Service + Higher Ed Innovation Challenge in 2015. Challenge and funding was made possible by National Conference on CitizenshipThe Aspen Institute Franklin Project and Lumina Foundation. The 2017-2018 program will be funded in part by AmeriCorps.



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