AmeriCorps is a National Service program initiated by President Clinton, often referred to as the “domestic Peace Corps.” AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National & Community Service along with NCCC, AmeriCorps*VISTA and Senior Corps. AmeriCorps provides thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds with Education Awards in exchange for community service. Nationally, over 150,000 AmeriCorps members have helped to meet the nation’s critical needs in the areas of public safety, education, human needs, homeland security and the environment. For more information please visit AmeriCorps or National & Community Service
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 900 college and university presidents committed to the civic purposes of higher education. To support this civic mission, Campus Compact promotes community service that develops students’ citizenship skills and values, encourages partnerships between campuses and communities, and assists faculty who seek to integrate public and community engagement into their teaching and research. Campus Compact presidents believe that by creating a supportive campus environment for the engagement in community service, colleges and universities can best prepare their students to be active, committed, and informed citizens and leaders of their communities. Member campuses band together as a coalition to actively engage presidents, faculty, staff, and students to promote a renewed vision for higher education – one that supports not only the civic development of students, but the campus as an active and engaged member of its community.
A Campus Partner (CP) is a contact on campus for students to use as resource. A CP markets the program, facilitates orientations, and serves as a liaison between the student and the State Campus Compact.
Civic Responsibility:The commitment of an individual to his or her community. Service-Learning and community engagement are often cited as developing students’ civic responsibility.
A Community Partner is an agency or organization where a student can serve, e.g., government, nonprofit agency, or faith-based agency.
Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS):
The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Members and volunteers serve with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to help meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other critical area.
Deferment refers to the status of a student loan. If a loan is on deferment, the student does not need to make payments and the loan is not accumulating interest. If a loan is in deferment it cannot be put in forbearance.
Education Award Voucher:
After successfully completing a Term of Service, AmeriCorps members who are enrolled in the National Service Trust are eligible to receive an Education Award. The Education Award can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education or training, or to repay qualified student loans. A member has up to seven years after his or her term of service has ended to claim the award.
Forbearance Request Form:
If a student has loans accruing interest that are not on deferment s/he needs to fill out the “Forbearance Request Form”. This form notifies the Corporation for National & Community Service that the student has qualified student loans that are accruing interest during his/her term of service as a Students in Service member. The form should be filled out with the correspondence address of the lending institution and mailed to his/her state’s Campus Compact office with Enrollment Paperwork.
In-Person Program Orientation:
The In-Person Program Orientation is an in-depth explanation of the Students in Service program. The orientation will introduce the enrollment and exit process, answer questions, and clarify program goals.
Interest Accrual Form:
At the end of a student’s term s/he must submit an “Interest Accrual Form” online at My AmeriCorps Online to his/her lending institution(s), if s/he has a loan for which s/he would like the CNCS to pay a portion of the interest that accumulated during his/her Term of Service. The lending institution(s) will fill in the amount of interest the loan accrued and send it to the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS). CNCS will send a payment directly to the loan holder for the amount of interest calculated to be paid.
The Member Agreement outlines the terms, conditions, and rules of the Students in Service program. The Member Agreement provides a list of prohibited activities, Education Award amounts, reasons to be released from a Term of Service, and grievance procedures.
Member Development Plan:
Member Development is time allotted to a member to pursue personal, professional, and service-related goals that may not be met through direct service. Twenty percent of every term service can be dedicated to Member Development. 60 hours of a 300 hour term, 90 hours of a 450 hour term, and 180 hours of a 900 hour term, are allotted for students’ development outside of their direct service.
National Service Trust:
The National Service Trust is the organization within the Corporation for National & Community Service that manages Education Awards. If a member has questions or concerns regarding the Education Award, the Nation Service Trust is the organization that can answer and address those questions and concerns.
Online Pre-Service Orientation:
The Online Pre-Service Orientation is an introduction to the Students in Service program. The orientation will provide students with general information, aid in determining eligibility, and guidance to ensure commitment.
Qualified Student Loans:
A qualified student loan is any federally-backed student loan that is in your (the student’s) name. The technical definition of a qualified student loan is contained in the legislation of the National Service Trust. Additionally, any loan made directly to you by the Alaska Commission on Post secondary Education is qualified. If you are unsure, ask your lending institution.
Recurring Access :
The term recurring access means the ability on more than one occasion to approach, observe, or communicate with, an individual, through physical proximity or other means, including but not limited to, electronic or telephonic communication.
Service Focus Areas:AmeriCorps and Students in Service engages students to meet identified critical needs in Education, Human Needs/Services, Public Safety, Environmental Initiatives, and Homeland Security. Examples of activities within those areas include:
- Education — tutoring/mentoring, literacy, teaching ELL or GED classes, after-school programs, service-learning activities, University courses with a service-learning component; etc.
- Human Needs/Service — serving at domestic violence shelters, food banks/soup kitchens, serving at a mental health facility; etc.
- Public Safety — volunteer firefighting, serving with the Red Cross, volunteering with the criminal justice system; etc.
- Environmental Initiatives — stream restoration, revegitation/reforestation projects, recycling programs, wildlife conservation; etc.
- Homeland Security — disaster preparedness service, neighborhood watch programs; etc.
Service-Learning:The National Center for Service-Learning defines Service-Learning as three key characteristics:
- Service-Learning constitutes activity that is focused on meeting a human need in the community where that need has to do with the well-being of individuals and/or of the environment in which they live.
- Key academic and/or civic objectives to be achieved through combining service with learning have been identified prior to the activity.
- Opportunities for students to reflect on their experience and its connection to specific academic/civic objectives are incorporated into the activity.
The Site Agreement is a piece of enrollment paperwork. The student and his/her Site Supervisor(s) fill out this form for both parties to determine the student’s position description and the community needs his/her position will address. A Site Agreement needs to be completed for each site the student serves and each Site Supervisor the student has. The person who signs the Site Agreement is the only person who can sign Time Logs for that site
The Site Supervisor will play a variety of roles. The Site Supervisor will be the primary point of contact for a member during his/her term of service, assist with member training and orientation to the service site, provide on-going advisement and mentoring during the service, and provide some professional support to the student. The Site Supervisor must sign the Site Agreement and Time Logs.
Students in Service (SIS):
The Students in Service Program is a Campus Compact AmeriCorps program designed to meet critical community needs by engaging higher education students in service, and fostering within students an ethic of civic responsibility.
Title IV Higher Education Institution:
A Title IV higher education institution has agreed to the Title IV Program Participation Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education. Meaning, the school participates in the federal student aid programs; the school has an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education whereby students at the school are eligible to receive Federal financial assistance to attend the school.
Time Logs are an on going responsibility of the student. Time Logs are a critical piece of documentation that must be submitted on a monthly basis for service hours to be counted.
AmeriCorps*VISTA members help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members serve full-time for a year, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, increase housing opportunities, or bridge the digital divide.