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Service and Gap Year Programs

Considering service year options after graduation, but don't know where to begin? You're on the right page! With an increased interest in this post-graduation option, it is common for students to have a few questions about the process:

  • How will this program fit into my long term career interests?
  • What does pay and benefits look like in this role?
  • Where, when, and how do I apply for these roles?

The answer to these questions is both simple and complex: it depends on what program you are interested in. Programs are both domestic and international, paid and unpaid, and many have their opportunities posted in multiple locations.

Your best first step is to meet with your career coach by making an appointment on Handshake. In the meantime, find links below to resources to start your exploration.


AmeriCorps is the largest service agency as it encompasses a number of service year programs, including: VISTA, AmeriCorps State National, National Civilian Conservation Corps, and more. The most comprehensive listing can be found on the AmeriCorps website and/or Service Year Alliance.

Peace Corps

Peace Corps
Peace Corps is a federally funded international service program where individuals serve in communities to create lasting change. This 27 month program has functional areas in: Public Health, Environmental, Agriculture, Education, Youth Development, and Community and Economic Development. More information on the Appalachian State Peace Corps partnership can be found here. Students interested in the Peace Corps should explore opportunities with the Peace Corps Prep Program.

To speak to a recruiter from any of the programs listed below, click the link:

Coverdell Fellows Program
This program within the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment serves as an active community for many returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) on campus and within the broader community, valuing their unique attributes and commitment to service.

Teach for America
This program is designed for folks who want to work in education in underserved communities. This 2-year program provides you the opportunity to teach in a topic area and educational level.

City Year
This AmeriCorps based program helps under-resourced school districts meet students emotional and educational needs through city year members completing a year of service in urban communities.

Fulbright Program
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students.

Appalachian College Advising Corps
The Appalachian College Advising Corps is a 2-year AmeriCorps program designed for service-minded individuals to work one-on-one as advisers in high schools throughout western North Carolina increasing college access for students from low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented backgrounds.

While these are the major programs, there are hundreds of other programs available to you. To learn about these opportunities, schedule an appointment with your career coach using Handshake.

Are you a returning Peace Corps volunteer or served in a service year program? We would love to hear your story. Please contact Laura Pell at for more ways to stay connected.