Looking to expand the capacity of your organization?
Our VISTA members serve Hosts Sites across WVU campuses in various department by building capacity and sustainability efforts for their hosts.
- Project sponsors must be able to direct the project, supervise the AmeriCorps VISTA members, and provide necessary administrative support to complete the goals and objectives of the project. The goals and objectives must be clearly defined and directed towards alleviating problems of low-income communities, and meet the regulations of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
- One consistent goal for every AmeriCorps VISTA project must be the sustainability of the project by the sponsoring agency and low-income community after AmeriCorps VISTA project sponsorship ends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Would my program be a suitable option for hosting a VISTA member?
As long as your program is under the WVU umbrella, you will be able to host a member through the Collaborative.
What is the duration we would host a VISTA member?
A VISTA member serves a 1 year contract. Their start date is dependent on the next Virtual Member Orientation that the CNCS registers them for.
Do I need to be faculty? / Do I need to be staff?
It does not matter if you are faculty or staff. As long as you are employed within WVU, you can host a VISTA member and serve as their supervisor.
So does the VISTA Member work for me?
VISTA members are Volunteers in Service to America. They are volunteers serving at your site and are not your staff.
How much reporting would be required on my end?
No reporting on your end at all. However, you are expected to assist with an On-Site Orientation and Training (OSOT) when the member starts, give member evaluations half way through their service and at the end of their service, along with signing their time sheets. The VISTA member will complete all the reporting that we need for the State Office and CNCS reporting.
What type of projects/activities can a VISTA do? Can they assist with….?
VISTA members complete indirect service related to capacity building. This includes, but not limited to:
- Writing Press Release
- Coordinating, planning, executing events/ workshops / exhibits
- Grant writing
- Research and Community assessments
- Recruitment and management of volunteers
- Building/ maintaining partnerships
What can VISTA members not do?
VISTA members cannot complete direct service, examples of direct service are:
- Leading a workshop
- Tutoring a client
- Building houses
There are also prohibited activities:
- Religious activities or proselytize
- Administration support
- Staff displacement
- Lobbying or engaging in demonstrations
- Registering citizens to vote
Does it cost me anything?
The current cost share is $6,000 in which you will only have to pay once we have a member selected and they are about to start. This cost will cover (1) VISTA member that will serve in a full time capacity for (1) year, and will cover all of their professional development costs along with travel assistance.
Never mind, I don’t think my department/office can cover that cost share.
Let us know that and we can work something out! Ways to make the cost share cheaper would be providing the member housing or cheaper housing, a meal plan, etc.
How much time do I have to put in supervising the VISTA member?
We ask that you meet with your member at least once a week for 30 minutes. We understand if you are busy and cannot do this. However, regular correspondence with the VISTA must be kept to make sure they are still completing their VAD. You can complete this with phone calls, regular email correspondence, or designate someone else in your unit to be their day-to-day supervisor.
Do I need to provide anything to my VISTA?
You will need to provide a workspace for your member, including a desk, computer, and phone. If you do not have this space for your member, the Center for Service and Learning does have extra workspaces if needed. However, this is a first come first serve basis and you will need to check with us if we have a desk available.
I've never had a VISTA; is there a training I can do?
We will complete a host site training with you before your VISTA member starts. The VISTA coordinator will serve as your intermediary with the CNCS and all questions should be directed to him/her. You will receive monthly email updates about the going-ons of the Collaborative cohort and will be notified of further webinar trainings that are offered through the CNCS for supervisors. More information and training can also be found on VISTACampus.gov.