Utah State University formally launched the Utah Higher Education AmeriCorps Network (UHEAN) in August 2018 to serve higher education campuses and their communities throughout the state. The program is funded through a $157,725 AmeriCorps grant that was transferred from the Utah Campus Compact to USU due the Utah Campus Compact losing funding from the Utah Legislature and dissolving on June 30, 2018.
“We’re honored to keep the legacy of the Utah Campus Compact thriving in higher education institutions throughout the state and thankful that USU President Noelle Cockett has been fully supportive of our department operating this AmeriCorps grant.” says Sean Damitz, director of the USU Center for Community Engagement.
UHEAN will annually recruit 849 AmeriCorps members on the campuses of Dixie State University, Southern Utah University, Salt Lake Community College, USU, University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Weber State University. Those AmeriCorps members will be students of those institutions serving terms ranging from 300 to 675 hours. The focus of their AmeriCorps service will range from educational support at K-12 schools, promoting college access to first generation and underrepresented students, providing primary health and mental health care to un- or underinsured Utahns and capacity building at student service centers.
"We are grateful that USU recognizes the impact UHEAN AmeriCorps members make in their communities throughout Utah as well as the impact that AmeriCorps service has on students,” said Program Manager Maggie Abney. “Two-thirds of our AmeriCorps members say they depend on the Education Award they receive to help them continue with their classes – in 2017, these awards totaled $1.2 million, the majority of which flowed right back into Utah colleges and universities. The experience our members receive through service to their local communities also helps to tie in-class learning with real-world experience, preparing these students for the workforce and for a lifetime of continued service.”
AmeriCorps members are expected to mobilize more than 4,000 volunteers in these campus communities to address critical needs. All AmeriCorps members shall receive an education award upon completion of their terms of service to defray the costs of higher education.
More information on UHEAN can be found at https://www.uhean.org.
More information on USU Center for Community Engagement can be found at http://www.usu.edu/communityengagement/.