Current AmeriCorps VISTA Host Sites

Serving as an AmeriCorps member with Campus Compact VISTA provides our members the chance to connect with each other throughout multiple states, to create a network of support, and to share resources. Campus Compact supports the professional and personal growth of AmeriCorps members through a variety of professional development opportunities and in-person trainings throughout their service year.

If you would like to learn more about serving as an AmeriCorps member with Campus Compact VISTA, please email our VISTA Leaders:

See what our AmeriCorps members are working on by State

Click a state to find out what capacity building activities our AmeriCorps members are working on for 2020-2021

Asnuntuck Community College - Enfield

The member serving at Asnuntuck Community College helps to facilitate and build capacity for programs at the college to empower students from low-income communities. The goal is to participate in a community of practice with other host sites while fostering community-based partnerships to strengthen and improve effective community engagement around food justice and food insecurity. The Asnuntuck Community College VISTA project also focuses on capacity development for a Holistic Student Support Services program that will extend the safety net for students and help them achieve their educational goals.

Capital Community College - Hartford

The VISTA project at Capital Community College will support the development and management of sustainable new community partnerships with institution departments that support the alleviation of food insecurity on campus. The AmeriCorps member will support the training and building of curricula for student workers and volunteers to build capacity of the program to eliminate food insecurity on campus through workshops, presentations, and by developing outreach methods to reach the Hartford community. An additional goal is to increase pantry usage by averaging 140 visits per month, equating to 16,648 meals for the year for the student population.

Connecticut College - New London

The goal of the Connecticut College Holleran Center AmeriCorps VISTA assignment is to advance K-12 Success. The impact on Connecticut College Holleran Center and the New London Public Schools will be sustained partnership relationships, structures and capacities to implement academic opportunities for middle school students. The VISTA member will work closely with Connecticut College Holleran Center and Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School to implement and solidify a sustainable framework for the school’s after-school program. Additionally, the VISTA member will coordinate with area community partners to identify ways to strengthen the connection and increase the City’s capacity to offer robust after-school opportunities for New London students.

Housatonic Community College - Bridgeport

At Housatonic Community College (HCC) in Bridgeport, CT, working with the Student Success Division, the VISTA member is establishing a peer mentorship program for first-year students to be paired with second-year students, and for our second-year students to be paired with HCC alumni. One of HCC’s greatest concerns is its low graduation rate of 9%. Despite HCC’s establishment as a community college in the city of Bridgeport, which is known for its closeness and support among its residents, a survey conducted by current VISTA members to over 600 students, revealed a sense of community and support was lacking among our HCC students. The VISTA will revisit the survey data and determine if further information needs to be gathered from students. This research will inform the foundation of the peer mentorship program the VISTA is working to establish. Through the establishment of the mentoring program, students will feel a sense of community that will allow them to engage in their community, and achieve degree completion, to in turn break the cycle of poverty.

After a year of collaborating with campus and community partners to build the foundation and curriculum of a peer mentorship program, the 2020-2021 VISTA project will pilot and conduct on-going evaluation the peer mentorship program. The overall goal of this project is to eradicate poverty through increasing the retention of Housatonic Community College students’ low-income students and guiding them towards graduation.

Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury

Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) serves students from the greater Waterbury area which has the highest unemployment rate in New England and a poverty rate of 25.1%. The non-academic obstacles students face are compounded because while in school, they are unable to work multiple jobs or long hours to help support a household. Barriers like food insecurity contribute to the non-completion of our low-income students. To address equity in achievement, NVCC is committed to alleviating barriers unique to our student body. In 2017, a student food pantry was established to ensure students in need of food assistance have access to nutritious foods. The VISTA project will help support low income students and expand services currently provided by the NVCC Student Food Pantry. The AmeriCorps member will build capacity for the pantry that will allow students to not only have access to food but identify services and partners that support the continued supply of resources for students in need. As a result, the college anticipates increased retention rates as students will be able to remain in school, earn their degrees and become fully employed members of the community.

Southern Connecticut State University - New Haven

The VISTA project at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) focuses on developing a new Family Engagement Program for SCSU University Access Programs Department (UAP). The objective of the Family Engagement Program is to provide services and resources to families of UAP students that will empower and engage families to be a part of the solution to helping students succeed.  UAP students are primarily first-generation, low income, and students of color and represent 10% of Southern’ s population. The AmeriCorps Member will research best practices of family engagement at other institutions of higher education and develop and distribute surveys and conduct focus groups with current students and their families to understand the needs and expectations for creating meaningful family engagement at Southern, which will have a positive impact on persistence and graduation rates. The year-end goal for the VISTA project is to work with campus partners to create an on-line Family Engagement web portal and to develop a year-long Family Engagement Workshop Series that encourages families to come to campus up to 10 times a year for both first-year and second-year students. 

Tunxis Community College - Farmington

The VISTA project at Tunxis Community College will focus on post-secondary education support. The VISTA project seeks to develop a summer bridge program for local low-income high school students by conducting outreach to these students through the colleges EARS and CARES programs. The VISTA will research and identify best practices for connecting students to resources and wider social community at Tunxis, which will benefit at least 130 low-income students. The VISTA will perform activities such as mentoring, outreach, and research for the establishment of a summer bridge program.

In 2020-2021, the AmeriCorps member placed at Tunxis Community College will continue building capacity to improve the retention and graduation rates of low-income academically at-risk students through the development of data-driven best practices, in early identification/academic intervention, student engagement and lay a foundation for a possible first summer bridge program (to be determined based on COVID status) that will serve incoming low-income students from New Britain and Bristol, CT.

Chicago School Of Professional Psychology - Chicago

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) has worked closely with our partner site, The Community Builders Inc. – Oakley Square Apartments, located on Chicago’s Westside.  This VISTA project will play a key role in helping to expand the services that TCSPP students have in providing mental health services to the Oakley Square Community.  Over the past eight years, TCSPP’s Community Partnerships Department ran a one day after school program for youth in Kindergarten through 8th grade.  This program has allowed TCSPP to establish a strong foundation in the community.  TCSPP is launching a counseling Center, Interwoven, this year to support the communities’ mental health needs.  A goal is to provide on-site counseling to residents at Oakley Square.  The AmeriCorps Member will be responsible for helping to recruit TCSPP students to serve as tutors in the after school program, as well as continue efforts to gain connections to their parents and help identify counseling needs and help with the referral process for counseling services with the Interwoven program.  The AmeriCorps Member will work with the Executive Directors of the Community Partnerships Department and Interwoven at TCSPP, the Community Life Senior Manager at Oakley Square, the nurse from the Sue Gin Health Center at Oakley Square, and both TCSPP and DePaul students to provided needed services with Oakley Square residents.  In addition, the AmeriCorps Member will assist with creating an advisory board of Oakley Square residents to help provide guidance and direction to the program and be responsible for creating a binder to outline steps in the development of the program as well as assist with assessing services and collecting data on the program.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn

College of DuPage – Food Security

In cooperation with the Food Security Initiative Team, the AmeriCorps will continue to expand the food pantry and community garden operation at College of DuPage in order to identify all students who may benefit from the service; provide educational opportunities in the areas of sustainability and healthy eating and conduct regular surveys and outreach to continuously improve our service to our clients and staff.

College of DuPage – Career Services

The AmeriCorps Member will be responsible for providing support to the Career Services Center team with growing and sustaining a Job Shadow and creating Career Closet program. A Job Shadow Program allows students to participate in a one-day opportunity to gain an understanding of a particular business, industry, or specific job.  Job Shadowing allows the student to observe the day-to-day operations at the business, ask questions, and develop relationships in their area of career interest. The Career Closet will provide students in the job shadow program with a professional outfit for their interview and/or future employment needs.

Giving DuPage - Wheaton

The AmeriCorps member in this position will complete a year of service focused on building capacity for the 14 higher education institutions in DuPage County to work together and leverage collective impact to address the pressing needs of low-income people in DuPage County through a partnership with Giving DuPage. The member will conduct a needs assessment and asset mapping of community and institutional assets and needs. The members will use this asset map to build and launch an Educational Service Council of faculty, staff, students and community partners to define a set of goals and objectives for their collective work by the end of the year 1 planning process. Subsequent AmeriCorps members will support the Council on implementing the defined goals and increasing the ability of the partners to work together for collective impact for the low income communities of DuPage County.

Giving DuPage and their nonprofit partners who address the needs of low income residents are still grabbling with the changing world in the face of COVID-19. The AmeriCorps Member in this position will work on creating skills-based virtual and in-person volunteering protocols that local nonprofits can use to engage community even in the face of this unprecedented global crisis. The member will research best practices and protocols being created by similar organizations and create guidelines for DuPage organizations. This project will build the capacity of DuPage nonprofits to continue to serve low-income, vulnerable populations through this ongoing public health crisis.

Knox College - Galesburg

The Campus Compact VISTA Project at Knox College will help support the efforts of a newly formed Office of Civic Engagement and the Kleine Center for Community Service in their outreach to the Galesburg community. This position will help develop new programming that connects area community organizations working to combat poverty with student learning. The AmeriCorps will undertake outreach to community partners and develop an inventory of needs that can be met with the assistance of student work such as research, analysis, fundraising, and service. This “matchmaking” includes helping develop new programs and working with existing programs. This position will help the newly formed Office of Civic Engagement build on existing community collaborations such as the KnoxCorps civic engagement partnership, and Kleine Center volunteer programs, as well as develop new collaborations to support the College’s new civic engagement requirement. These activities include gathering course-embedded civic engagement work from faculty, developing policies and procedures for civic engagement activities, supporting logistics, and developing recognition programming for community partners, faculty, staff, and students.

Lewis University - Romeoville

The AmeriCorps member in the Office of Community Engaged Learning will collaborate with campus and community partners to foster a strong relationship between Lewis University and partners in the Fairmont community through the Fairmont-Lewis Coalition. The member will improve and coordinate communication between stakeholders, work to educate on-campus partners about the community, and facilitate the engagement of new partners and resources – especially in the areas of education, sustainability, and access to healthy food.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago

The AmeriCorps Member will work to interrupt the cycle of poverty by sustaining and building upon the relationship between Loyola Schools 2020 and New Field Primary School. Through this relationship, School 2020 Program at Loyola University will be able to increase opportunities for K-12 students in the Rogers Park community to graduate high school prepared for post-secondary options. The AmeriCorps Member will work to engage parents of New Field students, identify and develop additional resources that can be committed to New Field, work alongside New Field staff and volunteers to formalize volunteer roles in the school, identify areas of need, and build collaborative relationships with other neighborhood schools and organizations.

National Louis University - Chicago

National Louis University – THRIVE Center

The University is making active steps toward developing a comprehensive resource center to support low-income college students. The THRIVE Resource Center will launch in the Fall of 2021. The THRIVE Resource Center will moves us beyond a Food Pantry and will serve as a single point of contact for essential wrap around services such as emergency assistance, a book exchange, pro bono legal advice, and social services referrals. As the THRIVE Resource Center will launch in Fall of 2021, in preparation for that launch the VISTA will assist in curating community resources and assist in building essential relationships that will be the foundation of the THRIVE Resource Center. Additionally, the THRIVE Resource Center will grow and expand opportunities to respond to the needs of the whole student.

National Louis University – Veterans

The goal of the VISTA project at NLU/Kendall College is to improve higher education opportunities/access for veterans, service members and their families. The VISTA will continue to build National Louis University/Kendall College Veterans and Military Program’s capacity to increase the number of veterans, military members and their family members’ graduation rates and successful attainment of meaningful careers by providing a holistic approach to support the unique needs of this population. The objectives of the previous year were not achieved due to restraints of COVID-19. NLU/Kendall is now moving forward with re-opening plans and continued student support.

North Central College - Naperville

The goal of the VISTA project at North Central College is to support a campus initiative intended to leverage the Federal Work Study program to help low-income students secure career-building, on-campus job placements.  As we move toward an all-college career readiness requirement, we will draw on data from pilot programs to develop strategies to ensure that low-income students are able to participate fully in this significant and time-intensive experience.

The AmeriCorps member will engage with Pell-eligible undergraduate students through a peer-mentorship program that we launched at North Central in 2019-20. Through this pilot, an initial cohort of Engaged Learning Facilitators (ELFs) assisted faculty members with integrating best practices for Community Engaged Learning (CEL) courses and supported their fellow students in their efforts to uphold commitments to community partners. The goal of the ELF program is to support low-income students financially, by providing them with a campus job, and personally, by enhancing their career-readiness; both aspects have been empirically demonstrated to promote low income students’ persistence through college.

North Park University - Chicago

North Park University – Catalyst 606

The VISTA project at North Park University will support Catalyst 606, a co-curricular experiential learning/civic engagement initiative that supports learning and engagement in the City of Chicago. These experiences are tailored for students to engage in dialogue with community leaders and/or stakeholders. The Catalyst Semester is a semester-long cohort program that incorporates eight Wednesdays and a practicum in the city. Students are placed with local community-based organizations working on issues that pertain to the intersections of race, gender, and poverty. The Wednesday sessions serve to deepen conversations around the issues they are exposed to through their practica. The AmeriCorps at North Park University will serve in a program development role, and will help the Catalyst Hub build capacity for service-learning enhanced Catalyst Courses.

As part of the Catalyst Courses initiative, service-learning enhanced Catalyst Courses will specifically support low-income individuals by partnering with after school programs that provide literacy, mentoring, and other interventions to augment their academic success.

North Park University – Pell Cohort

The goal of this project is to build capacity for the Office of Civic Engagement (Catalyst Hub) to develop a cohort of Pell-eligible students for the Catalyst Semester program. The cohort’s academic pursuits will be augmented with Catalyst sessions that encourage academic self-concept by exploring civic engagement-related conversations and experiences. As students begin to understand the systemic and structural issues that often hinder the educational growth of low-income students, the cohort will be encouraged to explore how these factors have impacted their own educational experiences. Program staff hope to enroll 15 students into the cohort over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year. The 20-21 AmeriCorps member will focus on researching existing experiential learning programs to begin developing a program outline and potential curriculum for the following academic year.

Northwestern University - Evanston

Northwestern University Community Initiative 

The AmeriCorps Member at Northwestern University will provide support services to low-income, first- generation students to foster identity development, navigate campus resources, and build community. Through campus-wide partnerships, Student Enrichment Services (SES) strives to build an inclusive Northwestern community that is welcoming, supportive, and accessible for all students. The AmeriCorps Memeber will work to impact the experience of students by building capacity through the improving the logistics and structure of the on-campus food pantry, assessing SES’s impact on the first-generation, lower-income, and/or undocumented/DACA community at Northwestern, and developing an advanced communication strategy for the office.

Rockford University - Rockford

Rockford University – Peer Mentoring

Through the total academic and co-curricular experience, Rockford University strives to prepare students for fulfilling lives, careers, and participation in a modern and changing global society. Aligning with the Education area, the VISTA project will build capacity for two projects:  expansion of our Rockford University Peer Mentoring Program for Pell-eligible students and the development of an after school program called the College Knowledge Center at a local elementary school. The peer mentoring program seeks to implement services and programming for students at our university who are at risk because of their economic status and aims to benefit up to 350 low-income college students enrolled at Rockford University. The AmeriCorps member will contribute to the capacity building goals of the project by performing activities such as developing programming and student support materials. The second project is the establishment an after school program at the College Knowledge Center at a local elementary school that is in the lowest performing 5% of schools in the state of Illinois.

Rockford University – Pell Supports

Aligning with the Education area, the VISTA Project will focus on three projects: our Civic Engagement and Your Career program, our Community Outreach Project, and Research for Additional Ways to Support Pell Grant Students. The AmeriCorps member will contribute to our capacity building goals by working in coordination with our Career Planning Office and the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JACCE) to develop programming and student support materials for a new Civic Engagement and Your Career program, with emphasis on engaging our low-income students. In conjunction with that work, the AmeriCorps member will be instrumental in building the groundwork for community-engagement opportunities for our students in the economically stressed Blackhawk Commons neighborhood of Rockford. The member will also help us in aiming toward the future with new projects and new initiatives to benefit our financially stressed students by researching best practices for ways we can better serve our student body.

Wilbur Wright College - Chicago

To help ensure our students from low-income communities receive healthy food, non-food items, and access to community resources to increase food security, the AmeriCorps Member at Wilbur Wright College will build capacity by assessing the current needs and requirements to adapt the pre-existing processes and systems of the Wright College Healthy Market to reflect social distancing safety protocols and the access challenges from the switch to remote learning caused by COVID-19.

Bridgewater State University - Bridgewater

The VISTA project at Bridgewater State University will build capacity for Girls’ Inc Taunton, Bridgewater State University (BSU) Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies (MAHPLS) and the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice to focus on growing partnership opportunities and expanding existing connections between Girls Inc. and BSU. Through this project, young, low-income girls in Taunton will have the opportunity to increase knowledge, behaviors and skills leading to improved health and informed decision making. Capacity will be built through updating and improving the current Girls Inc curriculum, support the transition of curriculum delivery to online, research and create assessments.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston

Fifty-two percent of Bunker Hill Community Colleges’ students are low-income and many struggle to manage the expectations of classes with the everyday work needed to live and thrive. The goal of the VISTA project is to build capacity in BHCC’s new campus resource “the DISH”, (Delivering Information Sustenance and Health) which strives to support BHCC students in accessing nutritious foods and understanding the role health plays in their academic success.

The AmeriCorps Member will be on the front-line of the DISH development process by building capacity for the DISH’s operations and management. The DISH Program Associate will build the framework for food resource acquisition, publicity and deployment. They will also develop the sustainable operations procedures, including student intern positions, roles and responsibilities. By developing a deep understanding of the role that the DISH plays in the campus community and beyond the Program Associate will design processes for identifying and managing partnership programming. Finally, the Associate will design and pilot assessment of DISH operations and programming. This position is part of the Division of Student Affairs and reports directly to the Assistant Dean of Students.

College for Social Innovation - Boston

College for Social Innovation – Program

The Program AmeriCorps Member will build new partnerships with host organizations (the vast majority of which have an anti-poverty mission), build capacity for 100+ social impact organizations that CFSI works with through additional talent referral and capacity building projects, and enable CFSI to meet the learning and credit completion needs of a diverse group of participants by broadening the number of students who can access an internship related to their academic major and career interests.

College for Social Innovation – Marketing

The Marketing AmeriCorps Member will develop marketing collateral and social media campaigns to showcase the accessibility and life-changing potential of high-impact learning experiences, such as Semester in the City, helping more low-income students access this opportunity.

College for Social Innovation – Recruitment

The Recruitment AmeriCorps Member will develop educational and budget workshops and build partnerships with college success organizations to help low-income college students prepare for successful careers through career workshops and by gaining access to proven high-impact learning opportunities, including the “Semester in the City” program.

College for Social Innovation – Student Support

The Student Support AmeriCorps Member will build capacity for low-income students enrolled in the Semester in the City program to be supported during their participation in the program. Tasks will include: researching, aggregating and publishing information on basic needs security and outside employment for low-income participants. Building capacity for specific monthly peer mentoring/affinity groups for low-income students and working with a social-worker to develop other support programming for low-income student success.

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education - Boston

Massachusetts is the first state to address homelessness and housing insecurity among college students as a matter of intentional, state-level public policy. Their goal is to create a national model of evidence-informed interventions and best practices to help students move from crisis to opportunity and self- sufficiency. Working across all three segments of the public higher education system and with its sister agencies in state government, the Department of Higher Education has created partnerships with: The HOPE Center for College; Community and Justice at Temple University to collect campus-level data on the extent of hunger and homelessness among students; The Executive Office of Health and Human Services to manage a twelve-campus, six-region pilot to house up to 30 homeless students in dorm rooms, with case management and material support from community-based Youth Service Providers; The Department of Housing and Community Development to open an 11-room, single-occupancy facility in Malden, MA for Boston area students experiencing homelessness; The Department of Transitional Assistance to alert the broader population of low-income students to the availability of SNAP benefits, and with select campuses to pilot the development of SNAP EBT markets. The goal of the campus-based and community-based housing pilots is to help participating students earn college degrees or certificates of value that will enable them to make a successful transition to permanent housing and meaningful work opportunities. Based on the first-year success of the housing pilots, the Department of Higher Education is now looking at ways to expand its policy focus to other areas of basic needs security including food, transportation and childcare.

The AmeriCorps Member, reporting to the Associate Commissioner for External Affairs and Special Projects, will: convene key state, community and campus stakeholders in order to develop strategic priorities for this broader agenda; assist with the design of a third phase of the housing pilot, utilizing HUD Moving to Work housing vouchers; work directly with public campuses to refine the pilot protocols, with an eye toward scaling and replicating the current model; and begin a program of outreach to select private colleges and universities who may be interested in partnering with public campuses in this work.

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill

Northern Essex Community College’s (NECC) mission is to educate and inspire students to succeed. NECC provides a welcoming environment focused on teaching and learning-strongly committed to unlocking the potential within each student and empowering our diverse community of learners to meet their individual goals. We are a community college dedicated to creating vibrant and innovative opportunities that encourage excellence and enhance the cultural and economic life of our region. The VISTA project aligns with the Healthy Futures focus area. The AmeriCorps Member will seek to increase the food security of NECC students and the larger community through maintaining and establishing new food security programming to support student success, retention, and completion of students’ academic goals at NECC. This programming expects to benefit at least 500 community college students. The member’s duties will include managing and growing food insecurity programming; recruiting and training volunteers; assessing program effectiveness; and developing resources over the course of the next two to three years.

Springfield College - Springfield

The AmeriCorps Member at Springfield College will build and support a sustainable math and reading intervention program for youth in grades 3-5 at DeBerry Elementary School in Springfield, MA. The overall goal of the position is to work collaboratively with the Springfield College Education Department and teachers at DeBerry Elementary School to utilize college education majors participating in a required pre-practicum experience in their junior year as intervention specialists in reading and math. The member will develop the capacity of both the elementary school and the college to create alignment between academic requirements of education majors and the pressing needs of the school. The first step in this process is to train a limited number of pre-practicum students to deliver interventions for youth in the core subject areas of math and reading to increase their academic performance, increase their engagement in academics and decrease the number of disciplinary issues.

UMass Dartmouth - North Dartmouth

In recognition of the reality that low income students often need specialized support to successfully complete their college degree, the UMass Dartmouth Leduc Center plans to develop a program, Project Success, that will assist these students to incorporate meaningful service into their college career as a strategy for retention. Our program will target Pell Grant recipients who will reap the benefits of service in terms of increased social capital, personal growth, well-being and connection to their future career with the help and guidance of Retention and Engagement Coaches (RECs). The Campus Compact AmeriCorps Member will be an integral part of the program by working to develop and implement a successful, sustainable program. Additionally, because UMass Dartmouth is located between the post-industrial urban centers of New Bedford and Fall River, the service provided by these students will help community-based organizations meet the needs of the region.

UMass Lowell - Lowell

The River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) is a growing student success program for full-time, first-year, UMass Lowell students who identify as first-generation college students or who went through Gear Up, Bottom Line, OneGoal, or another TRIO-based program in the Massachusetts public school systems. The program promotes student success and fosters engagement in the campus and local community by providing holistic support, academic resources and meaningful activities to RHSA students as they transition from high school to a diverse college campus and as they learn what it means to be a college student. The program is designed to facilitate RHSA students’ intellectual and personal growth through the empowerment of self-advocacy and the ability to identify the many opportunities UMass Lowell has to offer. The AmeriCorps Member will build capacity and infrastructure for the program that supports sustainability.

Wheaton College - Norton

Wheaton College – First Generation/College Success

The mission of Wheaton College is to provide a transformative liberal arts education for intellectually curious students in a collaborative, academically vibrant residential community that values a diverse world. As an institution, we are working to better deliver that brand promise to the low-income and first- generation college students enrolled at Wheaton College. The VISTA project will build on the progress made in Years 1, 2 and 3, continuing to increase Wheaton’s capacity to create formally structured support systems for low-income and first-generation college students. In Year 4, the AmeriCorps member’s primary focus will be on gathering more information about the barriers faced by low-income students and collaborating with institutional leaders to solidify sustainability plans for this work.

Wheaton College – YMCA Partnership

The AmeriCorps member will provide Year-3 project support to Wheaton College and the Attleboro YMCA for the collaborative work to improve the efficacy and sustainability of the Attleboro YMCA’s Reach & Rise, Women on the Rise, and the Student Leadership Collaborative programs. The project expects to benefit 67 students in middle school and high school. These three programs offer vulnerable Attleboro and Norton youth mentorship, leadership development and life skill-building opportunities intended to improve their academic and behavioral outcomes. The project aligns with Campus Compact’s K-12 student success goals. In Year 3, the member will contribute to the capacity building goals of the project by helping to: 1) refine the recruitment methods and on-boarding techniques for mentors and mentees in these programs; 2) continue to expand opportunities for year-round engagement; 3) develop grant proposals for funding opportunities to ensure the programs’ continuity; and 4) solidify the online management system for all of the data about the target programs. As a result of the member’s efforts, middle-school participants in Reach & Rise, Women on the Rise should have improved attendance and punctuality, as well as a greater sense of confidence in their own empowerment. High school students involved in the Student Leadership Collaborative will have increased college access and community involvement.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester

Worcester Polytechnic Institute – K-12 Success

The AmeriCorps Member will help build the infrastructure and capacity at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to sustainably and effectively support PreK-12 students, educators, and families in the Worcester, MA community (i.e., a high poverty area) and greater Central MA region with equitable access to high-quality, integrated, and inclusive STEM education opportunities through a STEM Ecosystem.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute – STEM Outreach

The VISTA projects seek to build the infrastructure and capacity at WPI to sustainably and effectively support K-12 students, educators, and families in the Worcester, MA community (a high poverty area) with equitable access to high-quality, integrated, and inclusive STEM education opportunities. The year two VISTA project will continue work that connects WPI, the Worcester Public Schools (WPS), out-of-school programs, community members connected to STEM, and students/families to more equitable access to high quality STEM education opportunities. This will happen by building on work that piloted professional learning communities for new teachers and their mentors in Worcester. Additionally, the AmeriCorps member will begin a new project that build off partnerships formed in Year 1 of the VISTA project. The AmeriCorps member will work to research and develop models to sustainably train informal educators about high-quality STEM for youth. They can expect to benefit at least 215 low-income students and also impact in-school and out-of-school educators.

Davenport University - Wayne

This VISTA project will evaluate existing needs and community resources surrounding food insecurity. The AmeriCorps Member will work to expand the capacity of an existing food resource on a university campus to provide additional food to students in need, specifically making nutritious foods available students who may otherwise have limited access to these items, as well as providing other referral and outreach services to holistically address food insecurity in our students. The member will also increase awareness of food insecurity and food resources. Additionally, the member will create service opportunities to foster engagement among Davenport students.

University of Nebraska - Omaha

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Service Learning Academy will utilize an AmeriCorps Member to build foundational infrastructure that clears a path for intentional outreach with high poverty P-12 schools (over 50% of the population is free and reduced lunch) to create collaborative relationships focused on service learning created with an anti-poverty lens. To attain this ultimate goal, the member will compile a comprehensive inventory of poverty research and data that will guide projects, develop a potential partners map and needs and assets assessment, conduct Service Learning 101s and listening sessions with P-12 schools and community organizations, and create training modules for P-12 teachers and UNO faculty on how to utilize the comprehensive inventory as a resource in their service-learning courses. The ultimate goal of this project is for the Service Learning Academy to be a hub for anti-poverty focused service learning projects. This means that long term partnerships exist consisting of community partners, UNO faculty, and K-12 teachers focused on projects that address poverty. In addition, this hub will be a natural “go to” for various educators and community organizations interested in engaging youth in this type of work especially those from high poverty schools.

Bryant University - Smithfield

At Bryant University, the Center for Student Leadership and Involvement’s (CSLI) mission includes the creation of a college experience that links on-campus collaborative learning environments with off- campus community engagement, and active citizenship. The VISTA project aligns with AmeriCorp’s goals of capacity building, community empowerment, and sustainable solutions. The project also aligns with the anti-poverty focus areas of education and economic success. Building off of the foundation from year 1 of this VISTA cycle, a year 2 VISTA project will seek to leverage external leadership programs and community partnerships to help link the long-term vision of community engagement at Bryant with a priority focus on un-met poverty needs. The Bryant VISTA project expects to integrate capacity building services at a variety of community organizations while developing systems that recruit and manage volunteers. The goal is to increase the effectiveness of these organizations (as measured through shared assessment with partners). The VISTA project will aim to output services to community members in the areas of education and economic success. In the area of education, the goals are to demonstrate improved academic outcomes in performance and engagement and/or social-emotional skills. In the area of economic success, the goal is to yield an improvement in financial knowledge. To manage these outputs and outcomes the AmeriCorps member will work with stakeholders on activities largely focused on developing external partnerships and leadership development programming. This will be achieved through several interventions focused on capacity building (systems development, process mapping, volunteer management strategies, resource growth), k-12 success (classroom support, after school, mentoring), and financial literacy (education). Over the course of this year two project, a successful AmeriCorps member will continue to develop the capacity of the organizations CSLI works with as they seek to create sustainable solutions that empower communities and the long-term success of the project.

Providence College - Providence

The goal of the K-12 College & Career Success VISTA project at Providence College is to collaborate with multiple community partners and stakeholders to develop and research programming to improve K-12 educational success among Providence-area youth. Through conversations with stakeholders, best practice research, and creative approaches, the AmeriCorps member will assist the Feinstein Institute and partners in developing a collective impact approach to K-12 educational success among Providence-area youth. Key Responsibilities As this is Year Three of the VISTA Project, the AmeriCorps member will work with Feinstein Institute staff to assist and strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships between Providence College and community partners with K- 12 success initiatives. Responsibilities include the following: Gain an understanding of the goals and priorities of K-12 education in RI, specifically in the realm of college readiness for low income RI students through research and collaboration. Establish buy-in from various campus departments and community partners to participate in K-12 activities on and off campus. Organize opportunities for partners to collectively come together through trainings, workshops, and other educational activities. Integrate members of Providence College into state level work for K-12 success and post high school education support such as Prepare RI initiatives. Create a K-12 program partnership with 1-3 local middle/high schools that can be executed by the Feinstein Institute staff after the VISTA Year 3.

Roger Williams University - Bristol

Roger Williams University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is leveraging AmeriCorps member to build capacity for pre-college initiatives as well as college access and success of low-income and high potential students within programs like, College Map, SOAR, Pathways to Purpose, Global Scholars, Kinship program, and federal student worker program. The VISTA project will build capacity for these programs under the guidance of the director of diversity, equity and inclusion and the assistant director of multicultural student initiatives.

James Madison University - Harrisonburg

Build United

The goal of the VISTA project at United Way and JMU is to help low-income homeowners remain safely and independently in their homes by supporting the coordination of needed home repairs and modifications. The AmeriCorps member will establish systems to manage the coordination of home repair projects, evaluate, and enhance volunteer recruitment and management, and evaluate the effectiveness of Build United to continue improving services.

Church World Service

The goal of the VISTA project at Church World Service and JMU is to enhance the organizational capacity of James Madison University partner Church World Service to improve financial knowledge of newcomer, low-income, clients by strengthening an inter-organizational collaborative network, enhancing existing programs’ integrity and reach, and recruiting and training volunteers to teach classes and conduct trainings.

Blue Ridge Food Bank

The goal of the VISTA project at Blue Ridge Food Bank and JMU is to enhance overall community capacity to address food insecurity by strengthening an inter-organizational collaborative network, enhancing existing programs’ integrity and reach, and building infrastructure to pilot food programs in regional public schools in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The VISTA project at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will fight poverty through improving educational outcomes for low-incoming college students seeking college degrees; the AmeriCorps Member will build capacity for the “Civic Scholars” program, piloted in 2019, which pairs a fall learning-community course where students visit important civic, corporate, and educational stakeholders in the community with a supported Spring internship. The member will evaluate the 2019 pilot, research best practices in the field, and develop a plan for sustainability expanding the program without losing a focus on equity. This program will initially aim to reach at least 10% of our low-income students in their second or third year, with the goal of increasing retention, persistence to graduation and, perhaps more importantly, fostering the growth of civic skills, habits and identity. In the next five years, the pilot program will be expanded to help the campus work towards a goal of every student engaging in high-impact practices and recognizing our campus mission of promoting engaged citizenship and problem-focused learning. The AmeriCorps Member will help develop a new model of community-based learning and engagement that works for low-income students, while developing their skills as a researcher, mentor, strategic planner, and collaborating with local government, businesses, non-profits, and educational partners.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

This AmeriCorps member at at the University of Wisconsin – Madison will serve a key role in implementing the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Civic Action Plan by helping craft and refine a model for mutually-beneficial and sustained partnerships between anti-poverty nonprofit organizations and the university. In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea – in which the knowledge and value of the university serve the benefit of every resident of the state – the VISTA project will build the capacity of UW-Madison for partnership with Wisconsin nonprofits focused on addressing poverty and especially promoting healthy futures for our communities. This position will be based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies (the CommNS) in the School of Human Ecology.

See what our AmeriCorps members are working on by Focus Area

  • Bridgewater State University – K-12 Success
  • Bryant University – K-12 Success & Economic Development
  • Connecticut College – K-12 Success
  • Housantonic Community College – Post-Secondary Success
  • Knox College – K-12 Success
  • Loyola University Chicago – K-12/Post-Secondary Success
  • North Park University – K-12/Post-Secondary Success & Workforce Development
  • Northwestern University – Post-Secondary Success
  • Providence College – K-12 Success
  • Rockford University – K-12/Post-Secondary Success
  • Roger Williams University – K-12/Post-Secondary Success
  • Southern Connecticut State University – K-12/Post-Secondary Success
  • Springfield College – K-12 Success
  • Tunxis Community College – Post-Secondary Success
  • UMass Dartmouth – K-12 Success
  • UMass Lowell – Post-Secondary Success
  • University of Nebraska Omaha – Post-Secondary Success
  • University of Wisconsin Green Bay – Post-Secondary Success
  • Wheaton College – K-12/Post-Secondary Success
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute – K-12 Success
  • James Madison University & Build United – Housing & Financial Literacy
  • College for Social Innovation – Financial Literacy & Workforce Development
  • Campus Compact & Giving DuPage – Workforce Development
  • North Central College – Workforce Development
  • Asnuntuck Community College – Food Insecurity
  • Bunker Hill Community College – Food Insecurity
  • Capital Community College – Food Insecurity
  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Food Access
  • College of DuPage – Food Insecurity
  • Davenport University – Food Insecurity
  • James Madison University & Blue Ridge Food Bank – Food Insecurity
  • Lewis University – Food Insecurity
  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education – Food Insecurity & Housing
  • Naugatuck Valley Community College – Food Insecurity
  • Northern Essex Community College – Food Insecurity
  • National Louis University – Food Insecurity
  • University of Wisconsin Madison – Food Insecurity
  • Wilbur Wright College – Food Insecurity
  • National Lewis University – Healthy Futures

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