Hosting a VISTA member
Colleges and universities within the North Carolina Campus Compact network or their community-based, 501c(3) non-profit partners may apply to host an NC Campus Compact VISTA member. This resource is provided by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
We will begin accepting applications for new host sites in January 2020.
NC Campus Compact’s AmeriCorps VISTA program includes two projects, the NC Afterschool Corps and the NC Hunger Corps.
The NC Afterschool Corps aims to build the capacity of afterschool programs that serve low-income children, while strengthening these programs’ connection to local colleges and universities. Corps members will provide services that increase the number and training of volunteers serving with afterschool programs, increase funding and in-kind resources to these programs, expand local awareness of the value of afterschool, and enhance curriculum.
The NC Hunger Corps supports programs and organizations that address hunger and healthy eating among low-income children, families, and individuals, while developing opportunities for higher education civic and community engagement. Supported initiatives may include on or off-campus food pantries, community gardens, food recovery efforts, fresh markets, nutrition education, and similar programs.
What do VISTAs do?
An AmeriCorps VISTA member serves full-time (35+ hours/week) for one year to develop or expand programs that fight poverty. VISTAs cannot provide direct service; instead they build the capacity of host sites and partners to better serve low-income people and address poverty-related needs.
Campus Compact VISTAs build on or off-campus community service programs by taking on different capacity-building activities such as: recruiting or training volunteers, writing grants and soliciting donations, creating publicity and outreach materials, conducting needs assessments and asset profiles, establishing sustainable systems and structures. The specific activities of the VISTA depend on the particular goal and objectives of the project site.
Who can apply to host a VISTA?
NC Campus Compact member campuses may apply OR 501(c)3 non-profit organizations or governmental agencies may apply in partnership with a member campus partner.
If our site currently hosts a VISTA, do we need to re-apply?
We ask host sites to re-apply each year.
How long is a VISTA placement?
VISTA projects typically span 3 years. In years 2 & 3, host sites may submit a continuation application. At the end of year 3, the VISTA resource is usually phased out. Receiving a VISTA in any year does not oblige a host site to seek a VISTA in subsequent years, nor does granting a VISTA in any year oblige Campus Compact to award a VISTA placement in future years.
How long can a VISTA member serve?
NC Campus Compact VISTAs serve a one-year term (365 days). Individuals may re-enroll with site and NC Campus Compact approval. Individuals may serve as a VISTA for up to 5 years, but may only take 2 full education awards.
How much does it cost to host a VISTA?
- To support a VISTA placement, the host site must pay an administrative fee of $5,000 (2019-20). A payment schedule will be provided to selected sites. Host and partner sites may share this fee, or not.
- Host/partner sites should also provide housing support to the Corps member ($200- $400/month), either as a monthly stipend (paid to the landlord or rental agency) or as in-kind support (such as on-campus or reduced-rent housing). More info about housing support.
- Host sites must also reimburse Corps members for service-related travel (not commuting) at the organization’s standard mileage rate.
- Host sites must also provide office space, computer, email, phone, and supplies necessary for VISTA’s work.
How are VISTA members recruited?
Candidates may be recruited from the local community by host and partner sites, by NC Campus Compact through state networks, and from applicants to the position via the national AmeriCorps.gov online portal.
What benefits do VISTA members receive from AmeriCorps?
- Living stipend of approximately $12,300 per year (in NC), paid bi-weekly by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- Upon successful completion of service year, member choice of $6,095 Segal education award OR $1,800 cash stipend.
- Relocation assistance if moving more than 50 miles to serve.
- Childcare assistance if eligible.
Do VISTA members get health insurance?
VISTA does not offer health insurance, but the program does offer 2 healthcare-related benefits. One is a reimbursement account to cover co-pays and other health-related expenses VISTAs may incur. Use of this benefit assumes VISTAs have their own insurance coverage (either through the exchange or under a parent or spouse plan.) The other is a healthcare “benefits” plan which provides some basic coverage, but that does not meet ACA compliance standards. For more information, see the VISTA member handbook here.
Can the VISTA be in school and/or have a part time job while serving in this role?
A VISTA member cannot be a full-time student, but they may be a part-time student or enrolled in classes as long as they have supervisor/sponsor permission, their service takes priority, and their classes do not conflict with service duties. VISTA members CAN have a 2nd job! The VISTA must get supervisor/sponsor permission for this 2nd job and it should not interfere with their service. However, the second job cannot be with the host site.
Are there VISTA members who serve only during the summer?
Yes. Some VISTA sponsors offer a “Summer Associate” program that places short-term, full-time VISTA members at existing host sites. NC Campus Compact does plan to offer a Summer Associates program in 2019. Members will likely serve a 9-week term. Unlike full-year VISTA members, Summer Associates are allowed to perform direct service as a significant part of their VISTA assignment. Host sites must submit a short summer placement application, complete a VAD for each Summer Associate, recruit and orient the member(s), and pay an admin fee to NC Campus Compact of $500/member.
Contact Erin Odoyo, VISTA Program Coordinator for more info. (336) 278-7278