(a) Purpose

It is the purpose of this part to expand participation in community service by supporting innovative community service programs through service-learning carried out through institutions of higher education, acting as civic institutions to meet the human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs of neighboring communities.

(b) General authority

Terms Used In 42 USC 12561

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • student: means an individual who is enrolled in an institution of higher education on a full- or part-time basis. See 42 USC 12561

The Corporation, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, is authorized to make grants to, and enter into contracts with, institutions of higher education (including a consortium of such institutions), and partnerships comprised of such institutions and of other public or private nonprofit organizations, to pay for the Federal share of the cost of–

(1) enabling such an institution or partnership to create or expand an organized community service program that–

(A) engenders a sense of social responsibility and commitment to the community in which the institution is located;

(B) provides projects for participants, who shall be students, faculty, administration, or staff of the institution, or residents of the community; and

(C) the institution or partnership may coordinate with service-learning curricula being offered in the academic curricula at the institution of higher education or at 1 or more members of the partnership;

(2) supporting student-initiated and student-designed community service projects through the program;

(3) strengthening the leadership and instructional capacity of institutions of higher education and their faculty, with respect to service-learning, by–

(A) including service-learning as a key component of the preservice teacher curricula of the institution to strengthen the instructional capacity of teachers to provide service-learning at the elementary and secondary levels;

(B) including service-learning as a component of other curricula or academic programs (other than education curricula or programs), such as curricula or programs relating to nursing, medicine, criminal justice, or public policy; and

(C) encouraging the faculty of the institution to use service-learning methods throughout their curriculum;

(4) facilitating the integration of community service carried out under the program into academic curricula, including integration of clinical programs into the curriculum for students in professional schools, so that students can obtain credit for their community service projects;

(5) supplementing the funds available to carry out work-study programs under part C of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.) 1 to support service-learning and community service through the community service program;

(6) strengthening the service infrastructure within institutions of higher education in the United States through the program; and

(7) providing for the training of teachers, prospective teachers, related education personnel, and community leaders in the skills necessary to develop, supervise, and organize service-learning.

(c) Federal, State, and local contributions

(1) Federal share

(A) In general

The Federal share of the cost of carrying out a program for which assistance is provided under this part may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the program.

(B) Non-Federal contribution

In providing for the remaining share of the cost of carrying out such a program, each recipient of a grant or contract under this part–

(i) shall provide for such share through a payment in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including facilities, equipment, or services; and

(ii) may provide for such share through State sources or local sources, including private funds or donated services.

(2) Waiver

The Chief Executive Officer may waive the requirements of paragraph (1) in whole or in part with respect to any such program for any fiscal year if the Corporation determines that such a waiver would be equitable due to a lack of available financial resources at the local level.

(d) Application for grant

(1) Submission

To receive a grant or enter into a contract under this part, an institution or partnership shall prepare and submit to the Corporation, an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Corporation may reasonably require, and obtain approval of the application. In requesting applications for assistance under this part, the Corporation shall specify such required information and assurances.

(2) Contents

An application submitted under paragraph (1) shall contain, at a minimum–

(A) assurances that–

(i) prior to the placement of a participant, the applicant will consult with the appropriate local labor organization, if any, representing employees in the area who are engaged in the same or similar work as that proposed to be carried out by such program, to prevent the displacement and protect the rights of such employees; and

(ii) the applicant will comply with the nonduplication and nondisplacement provisions of section 12637 of this title and the notice, hearing, and grievance procedures required by section 12636 of this title; and

(B) such other assurances as the Chief Executive Officer may reasonably require.

(e) Special consideration

To the extent practicable, in making grants and entering into contracts under subsection (b), the Corporation shall give special consideration to applications submitted by, or applications from partnerships including, institutions serving primarily low-income populations, including–

(1) Alaska Native-serving institutions;

(2) Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions;

(3) Hispanic-serving institutions;

(4) historically black colleges and universities;

(5) Native American-serving, nontribal institutions;

(6) Native Hawaiian-serving institutions;

(7) Predominantly black institutions;

(8) tribally controlled colleges and universities; and

(9) community colleges serving predominantly minority populations.

(f) Considerations

In making grants and entering into contracts under subsection (b), the Corporation shall take into consideration whether the applicants submit applications containing proposals that–

(1) demonstrate the commitment of the institution of higher education involved, other than by demonstrating the commitment of the students, to supporting the community service projects carried out under the program;

(2) specify the manner in which the institution will promote faculty, administration, and staff participation in the community service projects;

(3) specify the manner in which the institution will provide service to the community through organized programs, including, where appropriate, clinical programs for students in professional schools and colleges;

(4) describe any partnership that will participate in the community service projects, such as a partnership comprised of–

(A) the institution;

(B)(i) a community-based agency;

(ii) a local government agency; or

(iii) a nonprofit entity that serves or involves school-age youth, older adults, or low-income communities; and

(C)(i) a student organization;

(ii) a department of the institution; or

(iii) a group of faculty comprised of different departments, schools, or colleges at the institution;

(5) demonstrate community involvement in the development of the proposal and the extent to which the proposal will contribute to the goals of the involved community members;

(6) demonstrate a commitment to perform community service projects in underserved urban and rural communities;

(7) describe research on effective strategies and methods to improve service utilized in the design of the projects;

(8) specify that the institution or partnership will use the assistance provided through the grant or contract to strengthen the service infrastructure in institutions of higher education;

(9) with respect to projects involving delivery of services, specify projects that involve leadership development of school-age youth; or

(10) describe the needs that the proposed projects are designed to address, such as housing, economic development, infrastructure, health care, job training, education, crime prevention, urban planning, transportation, information technology, or child welfare.

(g) Federal work-study

To be eligible for assistance under this part, an institution of higher education shall demonstrate that it meets the minimum requirements under section 443(b)(2)(A) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 2753(b)(2)(A)) 1 relating to the participation of students employed under part C of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.) 1 (relating to Federal Work-Study 2 programs) in community service activities, or has received a waiver of those requirements from the Secretary of Education.

(h) Definition

Notwithstanding section 12511 of this title, as used in this part, the term “student” means an individual who is enrolled in an institution of higher education on a full- or part-time basis.

(i) National service educational award

A participant in a program funded under this part shall be eligible for the national service educational award described in division D, if the participant served in an approved national service position.