IIC Receives Accreditation for Excellence in Operations

Published: May 13, 2022 | Author: Kevin Koontz | Read Time: 3 minutes

IIC receives accreditation from The Corps NetworkFollowing an in-depth evaluation of internal operations, financial management practices, risk management practices, governance standards and youth programming operations, Southern Utah University’s Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) program received accreditation from the Corps Center of Excellence, the national accrediting body for Service and Conservation Corps. As part of the accreditation process, SUU’s IIC program met a comprehensive and demanding set of 67 standards.

The IIC at SUU engages youth in building meaningful leadership and educational skills. These experiences provide opportunities to develop a working knowledge about natural and cultural resources and a variety of careers in public lands management, outdoor recreation, and hospitality while shaping the next generation of public land leaders and advocates. This valuable work creates a sustainable and effective network of land management and education partners. The IIC leverages existing partner resources to expand partner capacity, supports local economies and under-served communities, shares knowledge regionally, and opens doors for youth development and education opportunities.

“2022 marks the IIC's 15th anniversary. The Accreditation process has allowed us to reflect on, compare, and adopt best practices of Corps across the nation,” said Josh Anderson, IIC operations manager. “This accreditation ensures we continue to meet our vision of being the premier national partnership model in youth leadership and educational development for public land stewardship.”

As an accredited Corps, SUU’s IIC program has proven its ability to provide safe, appropriate, meaningful experiences to the young people they engage in service projects. The IIC program has also proven its ability to provide high-quality project outcomes to its partners – which include the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, and others – with whom they collaborate to develop service opportunities for student interns.

“Demonstrating that you meet industry standards is an important marketing tool for Corps that lets potential partners and stakeholders understand that your program produces high-quality outcomes,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, president and 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.”

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 reviews 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.


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. Learn more at www.corpsnetwork.org.

SUU's Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative is a partnership between the University, various land management agencies, outdoor recreation-focused businesses, foundations, nonprofits, and Native American tribes. Together, this partnership has developed challenging internship opportunities for students from most SUU degree programs and a diversity of exciting professional fields. 

Tags: Outdoors Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative

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