AmeriCorps VISTAs Openings

ILCC has many openings at our member campuses for passionate young volunteers to gain experience in higher education civic engagement initiatives. Read more about each opportunity below, then follow this link and search for ILCC to complete your AmeriCorps VISTA application.

Service Description: The Department of Community Engagement is seeking an Americorps VISTA to serve as a liaison to all the Centers and Institutes of Adler University. Currently, there are two Centers and two Institutions which include: the Center for Adlerian Research and Scholarship, the LGBTQ Mental Health and Inclusion Center, the Institute for Social Exclusion, and the Institute for Public Safety and Social Justice. These offices and the Department of Community Engagement coordinate a myriad of internal and external projects which include: research on the social determinants of health, juvenile justice initiatives, trainings and clinical consultations, web-based databases, community events, and community organizing. All of the aforementioned projects are in an effort to advance the Adler Mission of Community Engagement, Social Justice, and Socially Responsible Practice. In particular, many of these projects are geared towards addressing systemic, institutional and economic injustice. All the Adler Centers, Institutes and Community Engagement address economic justice via research, public campaigns to raise awareness, services and supports for those that are economically disadvantaged and advocacy. Candidates that are excited and knowledgeable about current and historical social justice issues (e.g. CPS school closings, police brutality, racial and economic disenfranchisement) should apply. This position will support the on-going work of the Centers, Institutes and Community Engagement at Adler. This position also allows for the VISTA to propose his or her own projects which advance the mission of the Department of Community Engagement.

Member Duties: 1. Planning Community Engagement Projects such as: Adler Action Days, educational exhibits on campus, community partner events and the Annual Community Engagement Symposium. 2. Collaborating with all Centers and Institutes with the planning and organizing of workshops, other events. Following-up with sites and students for registration of workshops, orientations & other events. 3. Coordinating in research projects on the social determinants of health and the school to prison pipeline. 4. Maintaining the Community Partner databases.

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Service Description: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) has a long standing tradition of serving the community through community service, practicum and internship opportunities. Through the Community Partnerships Department, there are continuous opportunities to that benefits both the community and the TCSPP students in service, community, education, and innovation, which allowed it to be recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since 2006. In 2015, with the increase of TCSPP’s academic departments service learning initiatives, students involved in these courses have indicated that service has been beneficial to their learning and comprehension of the course material. TCSPP will continue to grow in creating new opportunities for students through partnership development, encourage student Veterans to engage in service opportunities, and provide support to the Chicago family residence through Chicago High Schools in understanding the education system and processes. The Americorps VISTA at TCSPP will be primarily tasked with developing three large, ongoing projects at TCSPP. Firstly, The VISTA will serve as the on-ground liaison to the Military Psychology Student Group. We anticipate an increased veteran population entering graduate school in the next few years and recognize that a strong Military Psychology Student Group is essential. Secondly, the VISTA will continue developing partnerships with local K-12 afterschool programs. Lastly, the VISTA will research challenges faced by first generation students to increase their retention.

Member Duties: 1. Provide support for the Military Psychology Student Group: A. Attend meetings with Student Services Department to ensure Military Psychology Student group needs are met. B. Help recruit current students both veterans and non-veterans interested in being part of the Military Psychology student group. 2. Connect student veterans to volunteer opportunities that support veterans and their families, such as: Illinois Connections for Families of the Fallen, Kids Rank, and Hope Manor. 3. Identify faculty/staff support to to create liaison moving towards the sustainability of the volunteer opportunities and the student group. 4. Work with the Applied Behavior Analysis program to create a tutoring training for our graduate students who are volunteering in this area. 5. Utilize technology to offer this training at the time the student is brought on to volunteer. Give recommendations to the sustainability of the program. 6. Oversee the Site Leadership at the “Homework Help Room.”

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Service Description: The VISTA will work to eliminate poverty by leveraging student volunteer power through service learning to increase the scope and reach of organizations working to eliminate poverty in DuPage. College of DuPage students work with over 50 service partners addressing issues of housing, food security, and education with community organizations such as Community Table, Humanitarian Service Project, West Suburban Community Pantry, Peoples Resource Center, and Triple Threat Mentoring, among others. Serving as a liaison between campus and community organizations, the VISTA will expand and deepen these partnerships critical to eliminating poverty.

Member Duties : Strategically engage with the community partners and assist with efforts to better connect them with COD. Conduct site visits and assist with the evaluation process for each community partner. Create training materials for service learning partners Strategically work with assistant manager, community organizations, and faculty to connect service learning with poverty. Create and implement processes for data gathering from community partners. Grow and improve the service learning at the College of Dupage. Serve as a board member to the Service Learning advisory board Serve as primary liaison to service learning community partners. Collaborate with Career Services office and faculty at COD to create new opportunities for service learning students. Meet with students and assist them as needed; help with course presentations Explore and develop potential opportunities for COD students to participate in Spring and Winter service learning trips.

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Service Description: Our focus is on education, particularly K-12 success and post-secondary success .The Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program (GLP) is a free, two-year academic enrichment program for high school students around the Chicago area. GLP aims to be a catalyst for Chicago’s talented youth as they develop their interests in STEM fields, hone their unique leadership abilities, and take steps towards college and career. We seek to inspire high-achieving youth from across the city to lead and serve through STEM and support their path to higher education. The VISTA will also build capacity for a new college access program called Fast Forward, focused on supporting community college students. These are typically first generation and low-income students.

Member Duties: Provide support for building out a new FastForward program, connecting community college students to resources on campus. Build partnerships with community organizations, and coordinate career exploration and academic enrichment activities for high school students enrolled in the Global Leaders Program (GLP Scholars), a majority of whom are first generation college students, lowincome students, and students underrepresented in STEM Collaborate with GLP staff to develop programming for “Community Innovation Projects”, year-long community service and design projects that GLP Scholars complete during their junior year of high school. Connect with Chicago-area high schools to recruit motivated students into our program, with a particular emphasis on first generation college students, low-income students, and students underrepresented in STEM Provide critical support to the Global Leaders Program by extending program alumni engagement, and assisting with special projects.

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Service Description: The Americorps VISTA at North Park University will be primarily responsible for developing the Catalyst 606 program. The Catalyst 606 is an urban-centric experiential learning curricular program in which students take the same classes in a cohort setting. Each of the courses have been redesigned to incorporate Chicago as the classroom. For example, an Intro to Statistics course called “Just Stats” will examine the role of statistical analysis in assessing urban justice issues such as redlining. The VISTA for 2017-2018 will help develop new tracks for Catalyst 606 that will enable students in other schools and majors to participate. The VISTA will also build capacity for the Office of Urban Outreach by forging new partnerships with community based organizations working on issues of poverty.

Member Duties:  1. The VISTA will be asked to research and develop new partnerships with organizations which address academic readiness, affordable housing options, case management for displaced families, and employability for their clients. The goal will be to develop 20 new partnerships during her or his time at North Park. 2. The VISTA will work with the Urban Outreach Coordinator in faculty recruitment discussions in order to encourage more faculty to participate. The goal is to recruit 10 new faculty to participate in service learning. 3. The VISTA will build infrastructure to increase the number of students participating in Catalyst 6. The goal is to increase the number of cohorts to 4, with over 60 students enrolled. 4. The VISTA will continue to manage and recruit for existing co-curricular student service groups that currently engage in the community. The goal is to recruit 40 new students for the 2017-2018 AY.

Apply here. 

The AmeriCorps VISTA will focus on recruitment and retention efforts for the needs of our First Generations students, our First year Experience students, and our Veteran students. As a college, Prairie State College (PSC) has selected our First Year Initiative project as our Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Accreditation Quality Initiative Project and are prepared to support all activities college wide that are associated with this effort toward post-secondary success. We are looking for a college graduate who is a considerate person and wants to work with students to break down the barriers preventing them from college completion. Someone who is flexible and eager to make a difference in our students’ lives. We would appreciate someone who is a self-starter and able to occasionally work on multiple projects simultaneously. We want someone who is a part of a team, and who will be a positive part of thinking about innovative solutions to assist student success.

Member Duties : 1. Collaborate with the Higher Learning Commission to analyze and develop first-year student assessment. 2. Identify barriers to first-year student success. 3. Develop college-wide assessment projects. 4. Collaborate with the FYE Program to develop avenues for student success. 5. Design and coordinate first-year student orientation and FGCS workshops 6. Support Retention Alert initiatives for FYE 7. Identify potential partnerships to levy resources for veteran stuents at PSC 8. Plan workshops to promote veteran student employability

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Service Description: Individuals with bachelor’s degrees earn substantially higher incomes than individuals with high school diplomas or GEDs. As such, higher education is one of the few factors that can significantly improve life outcomes for individuals in the United States, especially around social and economic mobility and poverty alleviation. The VISTAS work with SES directly influences the experience of low-income students at Northwestern University, by helping to manage critical resources for students, while assisting with building capacity across campus with faculty, staff, and administrators. Through Student Enrichment Services, the ILCC VISTA will support and develop programs and initiatives to serve low-income and/or first generation Northwestern University students to enhance their academic success, personal development and professional growth. The VISTA’s support to the SES office builds the staff’s capacity to actively engage and support a greater percentage of students across Northwestern’s campus.

Member Duties:  1. Manage the laptop loaner program, a service which provides students with the ability to loan a laptop for the entire quarter. 2. Manage the winter gear program, a resource that provides SES students access to free winter gear to adequately prepare students for Chicago’s cold winter weather. 3. Develop programming and support for the Ryan Scholars Program, a group of SES students who demonstrate a commitment to service and leadership as well as outstanding academic performance. The VISTA will plan and execute quarterly events for Ryan Scholar students with a focus on cultural, educational, and community building activities.

Apply here.

Service Description: The Americorps VISTA at Rockford University focuses on programs and events related to student success and retention, civic engagement, and Community-Based Learning. All students are encouraged to take part in engagement opportunities, increasing numbers are taking CBL classes, a large population on campus are first generation college students, and a small number are veterans. The VISTA not only will have a high level of impact on our campus and greatly enhance the college experiences of many of our students, but will also help our University strengthen ties to the surrounding communities through CBL and service activities. Through the Office of Student Success and Retention (OSSR), Rockford is able to reach those students who need the most help. From guiding students as they transition to college, assisting them in setting academic goals, to providing tutors, OSSR is the student’s partner in academic success. It also coordinates several campus-wide efforts to increase student success and retention, with an intentional focus on first generation college students and students that have been conditionally admitted to the University. Rockford’s Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement aspires to develop transformative leaders prepared to influence the world. Throughout the academic year, the Jane Addams Center provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to volunteer and be engaged in service with local community partners. In collaboration with our campus and community partners, the Center provides educational workshops and deliberative dialogues. Finally, Rockford’s Community-Based Learning (CBL) program supports Rockford University students in reflective experiential learning through community partnerships, local-to-global, that provide mutually positive educational outcomes. The goals of our CBL program are based on the conviction that Rockford University is a citizen of the community and that the community has a stake in Rockford University, as well.

Member Duties: 1.Provide on-going case management to at-risk students by developing, reviewing, and monitoring “Student Success Plans”. Work collaboratively with faculty and staff to monitor assigned students progress. Track progress of at-risk students and measure the impact of prescribed interventions. 2. Disseminate reports that track progress of at-risk students and measure the impact of prescribed interventions. Collaborate with Director of OSSR on Academic Alerts for at-risk students. 3. Organize, manage and monitor the student mentor program. 4. Plan and coordinate student community engagement opportunities such as the PLUNGE and MLK day of service. 5. Collaborate with the Jane Addams Center to plan the “Veterans in the Classroom Workshop” 6. Develop a Faculty-Community Network to better streamline our process for connecting faculty with community partners.

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Service Description: The Americorps VISTA at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities (WIU-QC) is essential for developing new programs aimed at supporting both current students at WIU-QC as well as students at low-income schools in the surrounding community. On campus, the VISTA will collaborate with the Higher Learning Commission’s Persistence and Completion Academy to identify at risk populations on campus, assess these students’ needs, and develop strategies and programs that address these needs. Additionally, the VISTA will connect with local middle and high school mentoring programs that serve economically disadvantaged students. After assessing the need of these programs, the VISTA will develop partnerships with campus entities to recruit volunteers, levy resources such as books or funds, and also help expand programs to new locations. In collaboration with the Student Affairs office, the VISTA will also coordinate with the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce to administer a grant from the Lumina Foundation, which aims to increase access to higher education in the Quad Cities. To support the growing number of Veteran Students on campus, the VISTA will develop outreach and collaboration with local veteran organizations to create a sustainable resource for veteran students at WIU-QC.

Member Duties: 1. Planning and outreach to local veteran’s organizations to create a sustainable resource for our student veterans. 2. Take part in committee meetings for the Higher Learning Commission’s Persistence and Completion Academy, help gather and assess information and assist in developing strategies and programs. 3. Work with the QC Chamber of Commerce as they administer a grant from the Lumina Foundation, which aims to increase access to higher education in the Quad Cities. 4. Connect with current local middle and high school mentoring programs that serve economically disadvantaged students. The VISTA will work to help grow these programs through the recruitment of volunteers and also help develop programs at new locations. 5. The VISTA will work with Career Development to create programs that increase post-graduation employability and economic stability of select student groups.

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Description: The VISTA will work to interrupt the cycle of poverty by sustaining the relationship between Loyola and the community of Rogers Park Schools. 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. VISTA will work to maximize Loyola University Chicago vast set of resources throughout the disciplines and centers that can be accessed to strengthen neighborhood schools. The VISTA will build capacity by setting up structures for the School 2020 Program by creating processes and infrastructures that facilitate long-term, mutually beneficial links between the University and Rogers Park neighborhood public schools.

Member Duties: Create systems and strategies that allow Schools 2020 to stay abreast of evolving needs and assets in the community and in our partner schools; Develop Schools 2020 volunteer infrastructure. 

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Description: The AmeriCorps VISTA member at Wright College would be responsible for supporting initiatives to strengthen the community engagement efforts of the college with community-based organizations (CBOs) in Northwest Chicago. ¿ The VISTA member will be responsible for assisting service-learning coursework, learning opportunities, and facilitating new service-learning partnerships, in which designated Wright courses include experiential components with partnering CBOs. ¿ The VISTA member will create new databases for tracking resources and partnerships, in addition to facilitating improved communication with the community. ¿ Wright College seeks to increase work-study student placements, student internships, and student ambassador opportunities at CBOs; the VISTA member will work in collaboration with the college leadership team to increase these placements in the 2018-2019 academic year. ¿ Wright College is an active member of The Democracy Commitment, a national initiative that aims to develop and expand civic learning and engagement across America’s community colleges. The VISTA member will support efforts to increase participation events and programs, particularly student-led, working to increase dialogue on the democratic process, race, and equity initiatives. ¿ The VISTA member will provide administrative support for potential Continuing Education courses in partnership with CBOs.

Member Duties: The VISTA will work to interrupt the cycle of poverty by supporting initiatives to strengthen the community engagement efforts of the college with community-based organizations (CBOs) in Northwest Chicago. The Vista will work to ensure that the mission of Wright College of providing transformative educational and career pathways for low-income, first-generation college students continues to directly aligns with the core mission of AmeriCorps VISTA for the elimination of poverty.

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Service Description: As Volunteer Coordinator of Parkland College, the Americorps VISTA will focus primarily on improving student success and retention as a whole. Specifically, the VISTA will execute thoughtful coordination and expansion of the Garden Hills Homework Club (GHHC) afterschool service-learning model as well as spearheading additional initiatives concerning veteran-related issues that arise through collaboration with various organizations in Parkland’s Community College District 505. Furthmore, the VISTA will commit initiatives such as the campus’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day, supporting and expanding the College’s food pantry towards eliminating poverty in the College’s District 505. As the primary coordinator of the GHHC, the VISTA at Parkland directly works towards the education and personal success of our community’s low-income youth. The Homework Club has a three-pronged approach to promote higher education, encourage learning in a safe environment, and create positive role models for students. Firstly, tutors provide extra support to students’ homework and reading to solidify the lessons they learn in school. Secondly, Garden Hills students participate in cultural enrichment activities at Parkland College including visits to the Staerkel Planetarium, Dental Hygiene Clinic, theatre, library, and computer labs. Lastly, the students participate in three mini-workshops each semester led by Parkland students which supplement their education. Over the course of this previous academic year, we continue to be greatly humbled by the increased visibility and the growing numbers of veterans on Parkland’s campus. To this end, the VISTA at Parkland College collaborates with the Veterans Center at Parkland to support the burgeoning Student Veterans Association at Parkland College. Through the VISTAs efforts, Parkland College has also been able to provide comprehensive training preparing staff and faculty at Parkland for the possible classroom needs of veteran students.

Member Duties: 1. Recruit and train tutors for Garden Hills Homework Club (GHHC) 2. Develop training manuals and conduct orientations for new tutors. 3. Coordinate semesterly field trip to Parkland College. 4. Collaborate with Parkland courses to plan 2-3 mini-workshops that supplement students’ studies. 5. Provide fulfilling civic engagement opportunities for Parkland’s Student Veterans Association. 6. Partner with local VA chapter to bring VA resources to Parkland. 7. Expand community partnerships around Champaign-Urbana. 8. Plan semesterly volunteer fairs to connect Parkland students directly with community development opportunities through Parkland’s Community Partnerships.

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Service Description: Columbia College is an Arts and Media college and we are currently undergoing a new strategic planning process. Columbia wants a stronger focus on Experiential Learning (Service-Learning) and Community Engagement. The AmeriCorps VISTA member will participate in weekly departmental meetings, monthly cross-center planning meetings, and other opportunities to implement and monitor Student Engagement activities. They will participate in professional development opportunities offered to all Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) staff. These meetings and trainings will support the VISTA in working with the Student Engagement Manager to develop and track both the processes and benchmarks for each student engagement initiative’s success. The VISTA will work across all of CCAP’s programs, to continue building the Center’s capacity to serve college students with substantial learning and service opportunities. The VISTA will participate in a variety of cross departmental teams and will work together to enhance the Center’s communication, human resource, and technology infrastructure to better serve student mentor outreach and placement. However, within CCAP, the VISTA will focus its energies onto three program areas: the Community Schools Initiative (which works exclusively with at-risk youth populations), BIGArt (a series of service-learning initiatives that target first year college students’ art work in the community, and finally, the Community Partnerships’ Urban Missions program (which places students in non-school based sites to work as mentors to at-risk youth). Additionally, the VISTA will collaborate with the Conway Center for Achievement to develop initiatives which support low-income and first generation college students. The VISTA will also serve as part of the cross-college Veterans Task Force to support veteran students and military families through the Student Veterans and Family Center.

Member Duties: 1. Coordinate the Center for Community Arts Partnerships’ experiential learning programs, and develop tracking and assessment systems. 2. Collaborate with Columbia College departments and offices to build a stronger infrastructure. 3. Enhance the Center for Community Arts Partnerships communication, technology, and tracking infrastructure to better serve mentor outreach and placement. 4. Establish new community partnerships to broaden the scope of our experiential learning opportunities. 5. Serve as part of a cross-college task force to support veterans and military families. 6. Attend Student Veterans of America meetings to connect with veteran students and identify areas in which they could be supported more by the college.

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Service Description: Within the office of Leadership & Community Engagement, the ILCC VISTA will support and advise student organizations that partner with Chicago and Evanston economic development-related organizations. In this capacity, the VISTA will provide Pre-Service Orientation and Training for volunteers prior to engaging in community service with these community partners, provide resources to help organization leadership and general members to develop knowledge and skills necessary for ethical and effective service, and conduct site visits to institutionalize and sustain community partnerships with Chicago and Evanston non-profits. The VISTA will build capacity in 3 critical areas: to lead our focused partnership with Gale Community Academy in Rogers Park, to establish a sustainable series of campus Justice Talks, and to explore connections between residence life and service-learning programming. Much of the proposed workload for the VISTA position would be developing new initiatives and programming that would build capacity of the Leadership and Community Engagement office. If these efforts show promise and early success, the Leadership and Community Engagement office would petition to use federal work study money to support a team of student workers to sustain some of the work the VISTA establishes.

Member Duties: 1. Build networks and support partnerships to create and maintain a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship between Gale Community Academy and Northwestern University. 2. Provide programming support both onsite at Gale as well as on campus to decrease the gap in academic skills and knowledge between low income students and their peers 3. The VISTA will spearhead a monthly series of speaking events, called Justice Talks, in which community leaders speak to students about social justice issues and help them connect with community based organizations for service opportunities. 4. Plan a year long curriculum to highlight critical social justice issues facing Evanston and Chicago. 5. Schedule, coordinate, and promote monthly speaking events. 6. Create and maintain partnership networks connecting residence hall staff to community agencies. 7. Collaborate and brainstorm opportunities for residence based service learning and social justice education.

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Service Description: As the Campus and Community Engagement Coordinator (CCEC), the VISTA at Millikin plays an integral role in the development and implementation of programs that are grounded in retention research and positively impact the success of Milikin’s students. The CCEC will lead initiatives with local elementary schools, assessing students’ success and preparedness for career employability, and create partnerships to support first generation student retention. Millikin’s formal partnership with Dennis Elementary School has significantly increased our interaction with its students (pre-K through 8th grade). As a part of the Decatur Public School system, Dennis has more than 400 students with 80% of these students come from families below the poverty line. This partnership, called the Dennis Lab School, has provided elementary students the opportunity and resources to work directly with Millikin faculty and its students, and aims to increase its impact in 2016-2017 school year. Additionally, the CCEC develops partnerships with local organizations and Millikin constituencies to advance student engagement and their employment readiness. To this effect, the CCEC designs assessment based on the National Association of Colleges and Employers standards for new collaborations as well as ensuring that past partnerships meet standards for improving student success. To further assist Millikin’s students succeed, the Millikin provides advising services through its secondary advising program which focuses on students at risk for attrition. Students receive weighted scores based on a variety of factors that have been shown to be strongly correlated to attrition. Some of these include GPA, ACT score, ethnicity, being a first generation college student, and academic alerts for grades. These students are assigned a secondary adviser from Student Development division, who meet with the students on their caseload to provide support and help remove barriers to college success.
Member Duties: 1. Connect Millikin students to meet the service needs of Dennis Lab School. 2. Identify after-school programs that may exist in the community and explore opportunities for Millikin students to serve as tutors/mentors. 3. Collaborate with the Office of Residence Life to ensure that all first year students in the residence halls take the Success Factors assessments at the beginning and end of the year. 4. Coordinate the Weekend Service program to actively engage our first year students. 5. Identify and create new partnerships across campus to implement Success Factors programming. 6. Assess career readiness through the curricular and co-curricular experiences of our students. 7. Explore and implement new ways for students to develop career readiness competencies. 8. Research methods for student retention to aid the Secondary Advising Program


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Service Description:  The SVA VISTA will break the cycle of poverty by assisting student veterans complete their degrees and also create opportunities for student veterans to find employment upon graduation. This VISTA will build capacity by coordinating the Student Veteran Organizations of Illinois, driving recruitment efforts for the Student Veterans of America Summit, and maintaining and expanding current network opportunities.

Member Duties: The VISTA will establish regional spheres of influence by managing veteran coordinator list. To ensure that all veterans have access to volunteer systems, employment systems, and other activities. Prepare and execute state-wide communications plan to engage all student veteran organizations. Manage Veteran Campus Coordinator contact list to advertise and promote engagement opportunities. Design, develop and execute social impact design that will connect veterans to different community resources that will allow them to connect to their communities.Work with Student Veterans of America Chapters in Illinois to encourage student involvement with outside community organizations. Serve as the central point of contact to assist student veterans with community service.Design, develop and execute employment-networking opportunities and student engagement opportunities to allow student veterans employment opportunities. Develop programs to help incorporate student veteran family members.

Apply here.

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