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Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get to choose the agency I am partnered with?
Students and community partners will have the opportunity to meet and learn about each other, and students will be placed at a site based on a matching process completed by ECC staff. 

What type of work will I be doing with my partner agency?
The type of work depends on the needs of the agency. Current Engaged Citizen Corps members are doing work to build the capacity of the organization such as recruiting and training volunteers, creating marketing materials, assisting with evaluation and assessment, planning events, and more. Students will get to experience many aspects of how a non-profit organization is run. Service could be a mix of both hands-on service and behind-the-scenes and administrative tasks. 

Will I need a car?
A car may be required for a few of the sites, but in many cases students will be able to rely on public transportation (which is free with a Drake ID!) or even walking/biking. If you do not have a car, that should not deter you from applying.

What agency will I be partnered with?
Participating agencies change from year to year. Examples of past agencies include: Habitat for Humanity, Anawim Housing, Community Housing Initiatives, EMBARC, DMARC, DART, Des Moines Music Coalition, Rebuilding Together, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement, and more. 

How is my internship integrated into my classes?
Most of the classes you take for the Engaged Citizen Corps will directly tie in your internship - you'll be able to apply what you're learning in the classroom at your internship site, and vice versa. For example in your First Year Seminar class, you will learn about topics of charity vs. justice, community engagement, and community voice, while using your experience at your non-profit as dialogue in the classroom and assignments. In the 1-credit seminar you will take with the Program Coordinator all year, you will explore topics to prepare for your internship, such as professionalism, communication, and time management. The Information Literacy J-Term course will involve delving deeper into a social issue to do research and interviews. 

What is the time commitment?
The Engaged Citizen Corps is a very serious commitment. Members will complete a 9-month service term, serving 8-10 hours/week (not including travel time), in addition to coursework. Because the program is tied to AmeriCorps, the minimum number of hours a member must complete at their non-profit site is 300 hours over the course of the academic year, in order to be eligible for the Education Award and eligible to participate in AmeriCorps again in the future. 

Does that mean I shouldn’t participate in other activities?
While the Engaged Citizen Corps should come as a priority, it is encouraged that students find other student organizations and activities they are interested in. You should think carefully about the time commitment of the program and the time commitments of other opportunities you are considering. 

How many credits should I take my first semester?
You will want to work with your adviser to determine what is best for you. Keep in mind, you will be taking a 3-credit J-term course, so you may decide to only take 12-15 credits during your first semester. 

How should I build my schedule?
It is necessary to have chunks of time available to serve at your site, ideally a minimum of 3-4 hours at a time. You will need to find at least 8 hours a week where you will serve on-site, so your class schedule will need to allow for that. Please work with your adviser when registering for classes.

What are the requirements to be an ECC member?

  • Serve approximately 8-10 hours a week at your partner agency
  • Register for and pass the required courses
  • ECC members will live together in one of the Drake University residence halls 
  • It is expected that ECC members be open to change, as this is a new program; provide feedback; and participate in the selection process for future cohorts 

Will I get paid?
Engaged Citizen Corps members will receive a benefits package of $3,000, including a $1,252.91 AmeriCorps Education Award received at the completion of the program that can be used toward 2nd year tuition, and a $1,750 housing scholarship toward room and board (not to exceed full cost of room and board). Members must fulfill program requirements in order to earn the award.

What is the AmeriCorps Education Award?
Individuals who complete a term of service through AmeriCorps are eligible to receive an Education Award that can be applied to tuition and costs to attend college, or student loans. Individuals can earn up to 2 full-time education awards in their lifetime and have up to 7 years to use the award once they've received it. For more information on the AmeriCorps Education Award, visit https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/segal-americorps-education-award. This is made possible by a grant through Iowa Campus Compact. 

What are the benefits of participating in the program?

  • Experience that ties to your major and future career that can be added to your resume
  • The opportunity to get to know and make a difference in the Des Moines community
  • Professional development and training opportunities such as opportunities to attend local and national conferences
  • Forming relationships with a supportive cohort of engaged students who are also participating in the program

Why is this program unique? 
While many colleges and universities have some sort of service program, Drake's Engaged Citizen Corps is one of the only programs that is truly integrated into the curriculum and the courses you take. In addition, it is one of the only programs that allows for an internship program during one's first year of college. 

What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national service program in which individuals devote part-time or full-time service to their communities. As of 2016, there were more than one million AmeriCorps Alums! For more information on AmeriCorps, visit www.nationalservice.gov

Can I still choose my own roommate?
Yes, while all ECC members will live in the same Residence Hall, they are still able to select their own roommate.  

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