Host a VISTA Member
with NC Campus Engagement
Colleges and universities within the North Carolina Campus Engagement network or their community-based, 501c(3) non-profit partners may apply to host a NC Campus Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA member. This resource is provided by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Apply to be a 2023-2024 Host Site:
What is the role of a Host Site Supervisor?
Supervision ensures that every member has the right conditions and requirements to perform their service, including a full understanding of the project’s mission, goals, and vision, as well as a solid understanding of the community they are serving.
Although supervisors provide day-to-day direction and guidance to the VISTAs, they are not employees of the host site. One of the challenges of hosting members is ensuring that everyone who interacts with them understands they are with your organization for a very specific purpose and not as “general help.”
Some ways in which supervising members is different from supervising employees:
- Members are often early in their career and may need extra guidance and support in adjusting to the organization’s workplace norms and establishing professional working habits.
- As part of service, members have access to limited benefits and are often interested in cultivating an experience that is meaningful both professionally and personally. They may be interested in more coaching, mentoring, and professional development than the average employee. They also may have a deeper appreciation for recognition from your organization and community.
- Members may need extra support integrating into the organization and community quickly and effectively. They need to transition quickly in order to make a difference during their one-year term, and this can be a bigger adjustment for members who are from outside the community or new to the field in which they are serving.
- Each member has a specific assignment with a capacity-building focus. Other staff in your organization may not recognize the distinct member function, and supervisors play a key role in helping other staff and partners understand both the nature of VISTA service and each member’s specific assignment. This includes supporting members in setting and maintaining boundaries when others ask the member to help with activities unrelated to the VAD.
- Members may be anxious about finances, as well as what their next step will be once their service year ends.
- Members cannot be terminated by the site or sponsor, but the sponsor may request the member’s removal from the project by providing documentation and details to the AmeriCorps field office.
- Some members may have years of experience in the workplace and see their service opportunity as a way to transition to a new career field or give back after retiring from employment.
Who Can Apply to Host a VISTA?
NC Campus Engagement member campuses may apply OR 501(c)3 non-profit organizations or governmental agencies may apply in partnership with a member campus partner.
Host Site Proposal Process
Our Request for Proposals (RFP) period begins in January each year. The RFP will outline the proposal requirements and host sites submit their proposal through an online proposal link.
2022-2023 Host Sites
- Duke University
- Guilford College
- NC Central
- NC State University
- UNC Asheville
- Warren Wilson College
- Duke University
- Triangle Bikeworks
2023-2024 Host Sites
NC Hunger Corps Host Sites
- Warren Wilson College – Community Engagement Office
- Duke University – Graduate and Professional Student Pantry
- North Carolina State University – Feed the Pack Pantry
- North Carolina Central University – NCCU Campus Pantry
- Alamance Community College – Feeding Hungry Minds
- University of North Carolina Asheville – Key Center for Community Engaged Learning
NC Afterschool Corps Host Sites
- North Carolina State University – Juntos Program
- Duke University – Duke’s Office of Durham and Community Affairs
- Warren Wilson College – Community Engagement Office
VISTA Host Site FAQs
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 Engagement 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.
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 obligate a host site to seek a VISTA in subsequent years, nor does granting a VISTA in any year obligate Campus Engagement to award a VISTA placement in future years.
How long can a VISTA member serve?
NC Campus Engagement VISTAs serve a one-year term (365 days). Individuals may re-enroll with site and NC Campus Engagement 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, 4-year institutions and community-based organization host sites must pay an administrative fee of $5,000.00 and 2-year institutions must pay an administrative fee of $3,000.00 (2023-2024) . 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 ($250- $550/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?
Host sites have the primary responsibility of identifying candidates for their VISTA positions. Candidates may be recruited from the local community by host and partner sites and NC Campus Engagement supports recruitment through state networks, and from applicants to the position via the national AmeriCorps.gov online portal.
Do VISTA members get health insurance?
AmeriCorps offers 2 healthcare-related benefits to members. 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 medical coverage. For more information, see the VISTA benefits page.
What benefits do VISTA members receive from AmeriCorps?
- Living stipend of approximately $22,000.00 per year (in NC), paid bi-weekly.
- Upon successful completion of service year, member choice of $6,895 Segal education award OR $1,800 cash stipend.
- Relocation assistance if moving more than 50 miles to serve (up to $750).
- Childcare assistance if eligible.
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. Members 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 Engagement of $500/member.