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NC Afterschool Corps (AmeriCorps VISTA)

vista logoNC Campus Compact is currently seeking qualified applicants for the NC Afterschool Corps, an AmeriCorps VISTA project.

The NC Afterschool Corps is a team of individuals who serve full-time for 1 year with a college or community-based organization to build the capacity of afterschool programs that serve low-income children and families. NC Afterschool Corps members will work to recruit and train afterschool volunteers, increase funding and resources to these programs, and expand local awareness of the value of afterschool. Corps members will also enhance civic and community engagement by implementing “Design for Change” afterschool programming, a project-based curriculum that empowers young people to solve local programs through design-thinking and community service. All NC Afterschool Corps members are also members of AmeriCorps VISTA.

Qualifications

Applicants should have a passion for the VISTA mission of fighting poverty and for the goals of the NC Afterschool Corps. Ideal candidates will have experience in afterschool settings or with youth development programs, past leadership in college campus service programs, and interests in volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and design-thinking. Qualified applicants should have strong oral and written communication, networking, and organizational skills. Other qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a 4-year college or university (preferred)
  • U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States
  • At least 18 years old
  • Ability to commit to a full-time year of service (late July 2017 – late July 2018)
  • Able to attend VISTA Pre-Service Orientation July 17-20 and NC Afterschool Corps orientation August 9-11 (tentative dates)
  • *We have several sites seeking candidates who are bilingual Spanish/English speakers!*

Benefits

Our Corps members receive the same benefits as other AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in NC:

  • Living allowance (also called a stipend) of about $990/month (pre-tax, paid bi-weekly)
  • Education award of $5,815 or cash stipend of $1,500, earned upon completion of your service year
  • Student loan forbearance or deferment, if eligible, and payment of accrued interest during service, if eligible
  • Healthcare benefits (learn more)
  • Non-competitive eligiblity (NCE), a special hiring status when you apply for federal jobs after your service year
  • Relocation assistance, childcare assistance, and travel reimbursement, if eligible
  • Orientation and in-service training

Our Corps members also have access to a professional development fund, are connected to our network of more than 200 VISTA alumni, and may accept housing assistance provided by the host site. Learn more about VISTA benefits.

To Apply 

Review our NC Afterschool Corps position listing. Then create your profile on my.ameriCorps.gov. Fill out an application – including 2 professional references – and submit your application to our position listing. You are applying to the program, not to a specific site.

Once you have submitted your application through the AmeriCorps portal it is forwarded to NC Campus Compact. NC Campus Compact contacts qualified candidates to request a résumé and supplemental info, then we conduct screening interviews with selected applicants. Strong candidates are invited to a second round of interviews with host site supervisors whose projects may match the candidate’s skills and interests. A candidate’s application may be reviewed by multiple host sites. If selected, candidates receive an offer to serve at a particular host site, and you will have a choice to accept the offer. If you accept, we’ll begin the on-boarding and orientation process.

Our priority application deadline is May 1, but applications are reviewed and positions offered on a rolling basis, so apply early for the best shot at placement.

Term of Service

All Corps members must attend a required Pre-Service Orientation July 17-20. The first day of service is July 21, 2017 and members will serve a 1-year term ending July 20, 2018. (Please note: these dates are still tentative and will be confirmed before final selection.)

View the NC Afterschool Corps F.A.Q. page and the VISTA F.A.Q. page for more info.

PLEASE NOTE: Like all AmeriCorps positions, this position is contingent on available federal funding. North Carolina Campus Compact is currently submitting a grant application to secure these positions; we expect that application will be successful. The agency that funds AmeriCorps is also subject to the federal budget process, and we are hopeful Congress will continue its long-standing, bi-partisan support of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

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New edition of online journal Partnerships now available

Partnerships Logo_P onlyThe Spring 2017 edition of Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (Volume 8, No. 1) is now available online.

This spring 2017 issue of Partnerships offers new perspectives and research on enduring matters for service-learning scholars and practitioners. The three articles tackle distinct areas of concern: co-curricular service to complement academic service-learning, international service-learning, and curriculum development. The books reviewed in this issue confront the “why” of our engaged work, even as we regularly strive to disseminate the best possible practices within engaged scholarship.

The open access, peer-reviewed journal is hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and edited by UNCG’s Dr. Spoma Jovanovic. The Spring 2017 edition is available online here.

List of Articles:

Creating Intentional Paths to Citizenship: An Analysis of Participation in Student Organizations (Julianne Gassman, Jennifer M. Beck, Jonathan Klein)

Developing Compassionate and Socially Responsible Global Citizens through Interdisciplinary, International Service-Learning (Sara Fry, Aileen Hale, Kelli Soll, Christopher Bower, Adiya Jaffari)

Bringing innovation theory to practice in a program model for collaborative knowledge building: The Curriculum Fellows Program (Laura Barbas-Rhoden, Beate Brunow, Sydnie Mick)

Book Reviews:

The political classroom: Evidence and ethics in democratic education (reviewed by Vincent Russell)

Public participation for 21st century democracy (reviewed by Jeanette Musselwhite)

Engaged research and practice: Higher education and the pursuit of the public good (reviewed by Kathleen E. Edwards)

Partnerships continues to accept manuscripts on a rolling basis. The journal seeks articles examining the processes and outcomes of partnerships in the context of service-learning and civic engagement. Visit the Call for Manuscripts to learn more.

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Eleven NC students named Newman Civic Fellows

The Newman Civic Fellows programs recognizes outstanding student leaders from across the Campus Compact network.

The Newman Civic Fellows programs recognizes outstanding student leaders from across the Campus Compact network.

National Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The national group includes 11 students from North Carolina colleges and universities.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for community-committed college students from Campus Compact member institutions. The fellowship honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows from North Carolina are:

East Carolina University – Erick Jenkins
Elon University – Amy Belfer
High Point University – Jasmyn Alexander
Meredith College – Kirby Jones
North Carolina Central University – Tyler Walker
North Carolina State University – Ashle Page
Pfeiffer University – Mandee Schaub
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke – Natural Breeden
UNC Charlotte – Erica Cherian
University of North Carolina Asheville – Shannon Bodeau
Western Carolina University – Joanna Woodson

In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors are annually invited to nominate one community-committed student from their institution for the fellowship. These nominees are individuals who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country and abroad.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows will be the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides students with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Congrats to all of the amazing Newman Civic Fellows from our North Carolina network!

Learn about the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows from North Carolina.

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About Campus Compact:
Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1000 colleges and universities— representing some 6 million students—committed to the public purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building community engagement into campus and academic life.  For more information, visit www.compact.org or follow @Campus_Compact on Twitter.

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The present – and future – of alternative breaks

March is spring break time — a perfect time to invite our network to this year’s Civic Engagement Administrator Conference: “The Future of Alternative Breaks.” Held June 6-7 at Elon University, this year’s CEAC (we pronounce it “See-ack”) will offer keynote and breakout sessions that push the boundaries of the alternative service trip model. The call for workshop proposals is open now through April 21. Topics of interest include:

  • Pre-trip orientation/preparation and post-trip re-entry/transition
  • Building sustainable/reciprocal community partnerships
  • Student leadership models and training
  • Reflection tools & tips
  • Co-curricular and academic/credit-based models
  • Assessment
  • Research and Theory
  • Equity and Inclusion

Workshop contacts will be notified in early May. Conference registration is $75/pp ($100/pp if from a non-member campus). Registration is open now through May 19. Though CEAC is typically geared for faculty and staff, student leaders of alternative break programs are also welcome this year.

CEAC participants enjoy learning from each other and hearing about exciting programs taking place in our state and beyond. Here are some alternative service trips highlighted recently in our network:

Students take on service, learning during vacation – ECU students, led by AmeriCorps VISTA members, live and serve at local homeless shelter over break.

APPLES leads alumna to an alternative route – alternative breaks program provides UNC Chapel Hill grad with unique experiences that lead to career in science education.

ECU Students lend helping hand with alternative spring break – students travel to Carteret County to help NC Coastal Federation with oyster habitat restoration.

Duke University Students Spend Spring Break in Fresno Installing Solar Panels – Duke students work with a local agency that installs solar panels for low-income homeowners.

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Engaged Faculty Scholars program supports research, collaboration

The Engaged Faculty Scholars program supports two NC faculty members for one year as they work to deepen the practice of community engagement at their own campus and support the development of community-engaged teaching at another school in the network.  We are currently accepting applications from faculty ready to take on this role in the 2017-18 academic year.

Our current Engaged Faculty Scholars — Dr. Maggie Commins of Queens University and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University — are more than half-way through their term. Both are carrying out individual research and working together to support faculty service-learning practice at Davidson County Community College.

But the work of these scholars doesn’t end when their term of service concludes. Our inaugural team of faculty scholars – Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College and Dr. Ashley Oliphant of Pfeiffer University – recently shared updates that illustrate how projects begun during their year as Engaged Scholars continue to shape engagement on their campus.

Dr. Jonas offered this update:

My project for the Engaged Scholars year focused on exploring how civic identity could be launched through an intentional focus on it in the First Year Seminar. In summer 2016, I trained First Year instructors on the concept of civic identity and the developmental aspects of civic identity development. I worked with instructors during the course to evaluate how this was happening throughout the semester and to explore how to better nurture and develop the knowledge, skills, values and collective action that comprise civic identity. During the fall semester, I also collected data about how First Year students were responding to this intentional emphasis and collected data about faculty perspectives on teaching through this lens. I received a semester sabbatical this spring to analyze that data and write about the results. I am excited to share some of this knowledge at the Gulf South Summit and am working on a journal article to share results and possible implications. This research will impact my work with First Year students and instructors in future semesters. Over the past year, my focus on the developmental aspects of civic identity has expanded to impact the college more broadly. Civic identity is now included as a core outcome within our college’s new general education program and forms the basis for development of the college’s Civic Action Plan.

Dr. Jonas (center) joined Warren Wilson College students participating in a national day of service on MLK day. (Photos by Chris Polydoroff)

Dr. Jonas (center) joined Warren Wilson College students participating in a national day of service on MLK day. (Photos by Chris Polydoroff)

Dr. Oliphant shared this report:

My Engaged Faculty Scholar experience yielded the FUSE (First-year Undergraduate Service Experience) program. In its pilot year, the FUSE program has engaged every freshman student in group service twice. In Fall 2016, the Pfeiffer Journey first-year seminar professors participated with their students in service opportunities organized through the Francis Center for Servant Leadership. Activities in September included harvesting food in the university’s Hunger Relief Garden, preparing and serving that food at The Community Table, and serving in a Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief workday in eastern NC. In January, Pfeiffer used its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service grant from NC/CC to facilitate seven days of service, with activities including moving the Hunger Relief Garden across campus and more than doubling its size. Following the service activities in both semesters, students worked with their first-year writing professors to compose graded written reflections of the experiences for their portfolios. As the program moves beyond the pilot and into its first full year beginning in 2017, Francis Center administrators plan to focus the issue area for FUSE service on hunger relief. The activities in the pilot year made it possible to expand the garden space so that it would have the capacity to host larger groups. Additionally, officials with campus dining services have agreed to use some of the food grown in the campus garden to prepare dining hall meals. As well, dining services has been donating excess food from the cafeteria to the Francis Center’s food recovery program. This recovered food and the produce from the university’s garden are now being used to serve low-income residents at local soup kitchens. Now that all of these programs are working simultaneously, first-year students have the opportunity to work in a variety of ways to help Pfeiffer fight local hunger.

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Benefits of the program to selected Scholars include:

  • Financial stipend of $1500
  • Up to $500 travel reimbursement for visiting the partner institution (the mileage reimbursement rate is .555 per mile)
  • Up to $500 for professional development (e.g. conference or training attendance support)
  • At least one free civic engagement publication

Colleges and universities are also encouraged to provide a match of cash, course release, and/or other resources and recognition.

Applications to be a 2017-18 Engaged Faculty Scholar are due on May 12.
Learn more and apply.

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AmeriCorps Week honors those who serve

This week we are celebrating AmeriCorps Week and honoring the one million individuals who’ve served as AmeriCorps members since the program’s founding in 1994. We are especially grateful for our 14 current AmeriCorps VISTA members and more than 200 alumni of our program, who have made lasting contributions to the field of campus-community engagement in North Carolina – from supporting a Campus Kitchen project or campus food pantry, to coordinating an MLK Day of Service event, to breaking ground on a community garden, to brokering a new service-learning class. Our VISTAs have also strengthened non-profit organizations like Feast Down East, Community Empowerment Fund, and the Partnership for Appalachian Girls Education (PAGE) that first began as student or faculty projects. Our VISTA project has even helped seed new VISTA projects, at Virginia Tech and now at Wake Forest University.

Along the way, our VISTAs have embodied commitment to the greater good, inspiring thousands of college students with their focus on poverty, social justice, and improving communities. And our alums have gone on to work in higher education, non-profits, or the private sector with a deeper understanding of challenges facing the most vulnerable and a greater sense of their personal efficacy to make change.

Like military service members, all VISTA member take an oath of service to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” VISTA members also commit to the ideals expressed in the AmeriCorps pledge:

I will get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.

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To learn more about the work and life of an AmeriCorps VISTA, check out this selection of blog posts written by past VISTA members:

George Barrett, VISTA, Marian Cheek Jackson Center (2014-15): Little did I know this house would become my home – ” If I have learned anything in my few months, it is that COMMUNITY is a dynamic and complex web that cannot not be packaged in a neat and calculated elevator speech. … Every day is different. Every day is active. Every day is community.”

Natasha Vos, VISTA, Wake Forest University (2014-16): Foodie? – “Fresh and healthy food should not be a luxury afforded to those living in the right part of the city with the most money. If you care where the ingredients in your food come from and how they were prepared, then you should also care about where they end up.”

Devin Corrigan, VISTA, UNC Greensboro (2013-14): Looking Back while Moving Forward: Reflections from an “organized” VISTA — “Bad days will happen. Things go wrong. Buses cancel two days before the big event. You drop the ball on a project. It’s important to build your safety net before you are falling.”

Shifra Sered, VISTA, East Carolina University (2013-14): Let’s Talk Taboo: My experiences with race and poverty as a NC Campus Compact VISTA – “I believe that AmeriCorps does important and necessary work that, on an individual level, can make all the difference in someone’s life. I believe it should continue to provide volunteers to strengthen non-profits and engage with communities. However, I also believe that the work of AmeriCorps is not done in a vacuum and must take into consideration the ways structural inequalities work in our communities, in our organizations and within AmeriCorps itself.”

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Social Change Forum explores connections between community engagement and social innovation

On February 14 at Duke University, nearly 100 faculty and staff from 19 colleges and universities gathered to explore how “both sides of the house” — community engagement and social entrepreneurship — could learn from the other and thereby achieve greater community impact and deeper student learning.

Dr. David Scobey speaks at the Social Change Forum.

Dr. David Scobey speaks at the Social Change Forum.

“I see both common ground and creative tension between community engagement and social innovation — and both the commonalities and the tensions seem to me a good thing,” declared Dr. David Scobey in his plenary remarks, “Social Innovation and Community Engagement: Collaborations, Disagreements, and the Value of Both.”

The University of Michigan scholar drew on more than 20 years of higher education experience to sketch the core common values and shared history of these approaches, as well as what makes each distinct: their parallel development in different areas of the academy, their approaches to social change, and the resulting student experience and mindset.

In Scobey’s framework, students undertake community engagement as “civic apprentices,” undertaking service work that – at its core – involves recognizing and building relationships, while students operate in the social innovation mode as “creative interventionists,” quick-strike problem solvers with a focus on results. Scobey offered examples of  individuals and organizations who have made lasting social change by effectively marrying these approaches, creating imaginative solutions grounded in deep understanding of human and social context.

Duke's Eric Mlyn pointed out one difference between the two approaches: quality of snacks.

Duke’s Eric Mlyn points out one difference between the two approaches: the quality of snacks.

Along with Scobey, participants heard from Duke Engage director Dr. Eric Mlyn, who co-authored with Dr. Amanda Moore McBride a 2016 article “Social Innovation and Civic Engagement: Toward a Shared Future?” that was pre-reading for the forum. A team of Duke faculty also shared results of their research into student perspectives of “service-learning” and “social entrepreneurship.” Other presenters offered up programs as “collaborative models”:

The gathering opened with a “community expertise” exercise that let participants begin to explore their own conceptions of the goals, strengths, and challenges of both the community engagement and social innovation approaches. View the program here.

Participants discuss their own views of community engagement and social innovation.

NC Campus Compact was pleased to partner with Duke University’s Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Service-Learning, and the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative to host this special event.

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