Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa
January 28, 2016
For immediate release
Connie Lanphear, communications & development specialist
Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa receives accreditation for excellence in operations from national accrediting body
Corps Center of Excellence grants Accreditation to Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa following a rigorous review.
Saint Paul, Minn. — Following an in-depth evaluation of internal operations, financial management practices, risk management practices, governance standards and youth programming operations, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa received accreditation from the Corps Center of Excellence, the national accrediting body for Service and Conservation Corps.
As defined by The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, Corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide young people (generally ages 16–25) the opportunity to serve in crews on important community and environmental projects. Corpsmembers develop job and leadership skills and earn a stipend or education award for their service. Accreditation is granted to Corps that demonstrate a high level of accountability to the communities in which they operate and the Corpsmembers they enroll.
As an accredited corps, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa has proven its ability to provide safe, appropriate, meaningful experiences to the young people they engage in service projects. They have also proven their ability to provide high-quality project outcomes to their partners – including the U.S. Forest Service and Minnesota DNR – with whom they collaborate to develop service opportunities for Corpsmembers.
“Demonstrating that you meet industry standards is an important marketing tool for Corps that let’s potential partners and stakeholders understand that your program produces high-quality outcomes,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network. “It shows that Corps programs are an excellent investment that benefits both the young people they serve and their communities.”
When deciding to undergo the Accreditation process, Corps can choose to be endorsed for following one or more specific Corps models. To receive these endorsements, Corps must be able to prove they meet set standards for each model. Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa was endorsed as a 21st Century Conservation Corps, a designation granted to Corps that have been accredited through the U.S. Forest Service or focus on projects that involve significant outdoor activity.
The Corps Center of Excellence is administered by an advisory committee made up of retired and former Conservation Corps leaders, retired and former federal land management agency staff, and other experts. During the accreditation process, an accreditation team comprised of persons with expertise in Youth and Conservation Corps operations review a Corps’ service project and Corpsmember outcomes, internal documents and financials. This team also conducts a multiple-day site visit at each Corps undergoing the accreditation process. Results of these reviews are presented to the Advisory Committee for discussion and approval. Accreditation lasts for five years with each Corps required to provide an annual update.
About Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa: Conservation Corps provides meaningful work for young people in managing natural resources, responding to disasters, conserving energy and leading volunteers. We provide training in resource management, safety, job-readiness and technical skills, and we help young people develop personal responsibility, a strong work ethic and greater awareness of environmental stewardship. conservationcorps.org
About The Corps Network: The Corps Network provides critical leadership to the Corps movement and our nation’s Service and Conservation Corps as they harness the power of youth and young adults to tackle some of America’s greatest challenges and transform their own lives. Our 100+ members operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll more than 23,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25. Corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. corpsnetwork.org