Become a Campus Compact AmeriCorps Member with VISTA

Recruitment for the 2021-2022 AmeriCorps VISTA cohort is now open!

What does it mean to be an AmeriCorps member with the Campus Compact VISTA program?

Campus Compact AmeriCorps members serving with the VISTA program commit to serving for a year by building capacity for projects aligned with AmeriCorps’ anti-poverty priorities in education, economic opportunity, healthy futures, and veterans & military families.

VISTA projects support a wide range of anti-poverty initiatives. Our projects build capacity in many ways, from the program level (working with food pantries, mentorship programs, etc.),  to the organizational level (building systems to ensure student success, creating inter-departmental systems, etc.), to multi-sector partnerships working on collective impact.

As members of the Campus Compact AmeriCorps program, individuals serving at Campus Compact VISTA projects benefit from shared training and professional development. They benefit from the opportunity to collaborate with fellow members who serve nearby, as well as members serving across the United States. In addition to their host site supervisor, Campus Compact AmeriCorps members are supported by a team of dedicated program staff and VISTA Leaders based in Boston, MA and Chicago, IL. 

Campus Compact AmeriCorps members group photo
AmeriCorps members celebrating AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps members serving America - group photo

Benefits of Service:

Post-Service Education Award of $6,345 or cash stipend of approximately $1,800 (2021-2022)

Biweekly Living Allowance

Relocation Allowance (if moving more than 50 miles)

Two Weeks Paid Personal Leave & Two Weeks Paid Sick Leave

Basic Health Coverage

Student Loan Forbearance or Deferment

Ongoing Training, Support, and Professional Development

Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) for 1 year after the successful completion of VISTA service

Learn About Serving at a VISTA Project

Maria Hendrickson headshot

“I have always been someone who was unsure with
what I wanted to do in life… but I always knew I wanted
to help others. VISTA allowed me to do this and learn
the importance of building capacity and creating
sustainable [solutions] to bring positive change and
resources to a community for years to come.”

– Maria Hendrickson, Bryant University

Abigail Imperial Headshot

“[Serving with Campus Compact] has taught me about what I am capable of. Approaching a project that seemed way too big for me, and not knowing originally how I would ever accomplish it was daunting and slightly discouraging at first… at the end of my service, it’s amazing to see how much I learned when I was able to push through and continue on….”

– Abby Imperial, North Park University

Celeste Garcia headshot

“[Serving with Campus Compact] has showed me the importance of learning from members in communities as an essential foundation to have before leading any type of work within that community. I’ve also started pushing myself to continue to learn new skills and push my comfort zone since this is the only way that I will continue to learn. Being an AmeriCorps member has also increased my level of confidence in taking my next step to both grad school and in my career. I feel good about having an experience under my belt that speaks to the values I possess and will be a great way for me to be able to explain that moving forward in interviews, admissions essays, etc.”

– Celeste Garcia, Northwestern University

Matthew Alvorado-Ross headshott

“My time as an AmeriCorps member allowed me to break out of the cycle of taking steps in life just because they are the most obvious/right in front of me and start to think really critically about ways in which I would like to contribute to this world. Even if I’m not sure if I’ll end up in the same field as my VISTA project, I know I will carry with me some of the sense of purpose and drive that I built as I grew in this role.”

“I feel much more aware of what kinds of jobs, organizations, and fields are out there and more ready to navigate the professional world because of it. I imagine I will continue to spend a lot of my time in the non-profit space and have gained a familiarity with those dynamics that will be invaluable moving forward.”

– Matthew Alvarado-Ross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Kevin Deiber headshot

“I loved managing a big and ever-changing project. Actually, my to-be employer recruited me because of my AmeriCorps experience. They said they liked that I could take an idea and turn it into a real thing. I’m endlessly grateful I had the chance to do this during my service year. [AmeriCorps] cultivated a service-first mindset in me. That was something I used in my approach while searching for jobs. My priority became less about how good the job was for me, but rather how good the job was for the people around me. I don’t think I would have had this perspective if it weren’t for [my service year].”

– Kevin Deiber, College of DuPage

How to Apply for an AmeriCorps Position

  1. Check if you meet these qualifications: Associate’s degree or higher; Leadership experience; Strong organizational skills; Excellent verbal and written communication; Strong interest in community service, social change, and advancing education
  2. Complete an application on the My AmeriCorps portal and search “Campus Compact.” You can narrow your search by state using the drop down menu.
  3. Select a listing of interest and submit your application.
  4. Within a week of submitting your completed application, you will be contacted by the host site supervisor with next steps. If you do not hear from a supervisor, let us know by emailing us at one of the addresses below.
  5. If selected to move forward, you’ll complete an informal phone interview with two members of the Campus Compact VISTA recruitment team. This is an opportunity for you to get to know our program better learn more about the  Campus Compact and the AmeriCorps experience.

Contact our VISTA team at vista@compact.org, with any questions along the way!

Still have questions?

Campus Compact AmeriCorps members serve at colleges, universities, and community organizations across Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Our sites include public and private colleges and universities, two and four year institutions, as well as a limited number of non-profit and government partners. Campus Compact through the AmeriCorps VISTA program seeks to activate higher education institutions and their partners to work together to make an impact on poverty in their local communities. AmeriCorps members will be leveraged to build capacity at higher education institutions and/or partnerships between higher education and their school and community-based non-profit partners that directly impact economically disadvantaged individuals.

You can view our current host sites here and learn more about how our VISTAs are building capacity at their host sites!

AmeriCorps memebrs serving with a VISTA program builds upon the ability of sponsor organizations to fight poverty through education. Rather than providing services directly to low-income individuals and communities, AmeriCorps members strengthen and support organizations by building infrastructure, expanding community partnerships, and securing long-term resources.

Capacity building is a term used to describe the process by which AmeriCorps members work with staff and communities to create, expand, or strengthen the systems and processes that help an organization carry out its anti-poverty work. These tasks and activities can include recruiting volunteers, developing databases or systems, securing funding, and establishing partnerships in the community.

Direct service refers to activities that immediately address an individual’s needs (i.e.tutoring, delivering a meal, managing a group of volunteers).

While someone performing direct service might tutor middle school students in math, an AmeriCorps member serving with a VISTA program performing indirect service might recruit tutors or develop a relationship between the middle school and a college to make the program self-sufficient and secure. The goal is setting up programs for long-term sustainability.

Approximately 60 volunteers serve as Campus Compact AmeriCorps members with the VISTA program.

Campus Compact AmeriCorps members regularly gather with other members in their region for trainings, residential retreats and social outings, and members engage in resource sharing and networking throughout the year. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, members continue to gather virtually for trainings and community.

VISTAs may apply to any position(s) that they are interested in, in any region(s) they choose.

VISTA members serve for one year (12 months).  Members can (and often do!) sign on for an additional year(s) of service, up to three VISTA terms.

Most AmeriCorps members serving with Campus Compact VISTA projects start their terms of service in July or August, in order to align with institutional needs and to ensure that the majority of the cohort is on the same training cycle.

However, openings can become available at host sites at any time for a variety of reasons. Check our Open Listings for the most up-to-date information. Members who join off-cycle (outside of July or August) will serve for one year from their start date.

In 2021-22, our orientations will begin on July 19, 2021 and August 2, 2021.

Campus Compact AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance that is paid out bi-weekly by Campus Compact. AmeriCorps members with the VISTA program are also eligible for student loan forbearance for qualified federally backed loans, health coverage (click here for more info), a relocation allowance (if moving more than 50 miles), 10 days paid sick leave, 10 days paid personal leave, as well as a $6,345 Educational Award or $1,800 cash stipend upon completion of service (learn about matching institutions here). For more information regarding benefits, click here.

Yes, you can hold part time employment as long as it does not interfere with your VISTA work and is not directly affiliated with your partnership. To learn more about the policy, click here.

In order to serve at a VISTA project you must have the equivalent of a degree from a two or four-year institution. As with our Outside Employment Policy, AmeriCorps members with the VISTA program can be in school part-time as long as it does not interfere with their VISTA work.

The Campus Compact VISTA program has plenty of resources to help new members adjust to living in a new area. We can provide you with resources around finding affordable housing and accessing public resources at your state. We also have an extensive alumni network that loves to welcome new AmeriCorps members to the neighborhood, and can connect you with other incoming Campus Compact AmeriCorps members if you are looking for roommates.  Talk to the VISTA Leaders [vista@compact.org] to find out more about these options.

The necessity of a car is dictated by the level of public transportation in the area and your ability to access your host site and/or community partner effectively.

Each year, the VISTA Leaders in partnership with the Program Director and Program Managers work together to create a training curriculum that suits the needs of AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members frequently recommend training topics and facilitate workshops in areas of expertise. In the past, trainings have included:

  • Grant Writing & Fund Development
  • Community Partnership Development
  • Diversity Training and Social Justice Education
  • Evaluation and Impact Assessment
  • Sustainability Strategies
  • Recruitment and Retention Practices
  • Service Learning Development
  • Team-Building & Leadership
  • Asset-Based Community Development
  • Community Organizing
  • College Access
  • Data Collection & Reporting
  • Introduction to the Higher Education System
  • Social Media and Marketing Strategies

Members go on to a variety of post-service opportunities, while others choose to stay on for a second (or third!) year of service. Past members have moved onto:

  • Service-Learning Director, University of New Haven
  • Director of Research and Instruction, Stanford University
  • Director of Individual Giving, United Cerebral Palsy
  • Specialist in Social Policy, Congressional Research Service
  • Volunteer Coordinator, Hanover Habitat for Humanity
  • Graduate Study in: Law, Public Policy, Medicine, Urban Planning, Education, American Studies, Higher Education Administration, Student Affairs, Social Work, Non-Profit Management, Social Psychology

For more information about:

AmeriCorps: visit https://www.nationalservice.gov/

AmeriCorps VISTA: visit https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvista

Campus Compact VISTA: visit our “About” page

Questions? Contact us at vista@compact.org.