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.

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.”

Service Description: College of DuPage has one of the longest running and best known service learning programs at a community college in Illinois. In its 20″ year, service learning serves as the focal point for providing classroom-based service opportunities for students. Currently, COD has partnerships with over 55 community organizations, which offer a broad range of possible experiences including volunteer work with food pantries, after school programs, recycling and environmental groups, illness-prevention organizations, and serves numerous populations including individuals with disabilities, seniors, children, the homeless, those suffering from poverty, among many others. Broadly, the Service Learning Program is committed to providing a learning experience that connects the student to a community need, engages them in service to address that need, and creating learning and reflection to connect that experience to course content and the broader view of community.

Member Duties: Serve as Liaison to service learning community partners Design process for gathering performance measures from community partners Conduct site visits and evaluations for each community partner Create collaborations between community partners and programs at Collage of DuPage Explore opportunities for College of DuPage students to participate in Winter or Spring Break service trips Coordinate with the Office of Career Services to organize the bi-annual Service Learning Fairs Expand the Service-Learning program by creating partnerships with community partners who offer impactful community development opportunities.

Service Description: The VISTA will work to break the cycle of poverty by supporting student success for underrepresented student populations on campus; by working to establish a financial literacy program to give underserved young people the knowledge and skills to make critical financial decisions; and by supporting student volunteerism and service learning, which leverages students’ labor to support organizations working to alleviate poverty in a variety of ways. College of Lake County is committed to each student’s success not only at the college level, but throughout their educational experience. CLC student organizations and other groups work with local schools to provide college readiness workshops and access to funding for post-secondary education. Also there is a need for financial literary in terms of paying for college for prospective and current CLC students. A VISTA member would be an invaluable resource to our students and community agencies in making a college education and the start of a successful career a reality for our students. Through CLC’s Campus Leaders for Community Service (CLCS), CLC student leadership and club members volunteer their time, talents and services to various groups within the community. The College is creating a Service Learning program under Student Activities to refine CLCS, incorporate CLC’s Volunteer course and Co-op program, and solidify community partnerships for volunteerism and potential internships or other job opportunities. A VISTA member would be an excellent coordinator of this program teaching leadership through volunteerism and civic responsibility, and helping students make job connections. The College of Lake County is committed to supporting opportunities for access to higher education and to the necessary support services that lead to continued academic and career success for underrepresented students. A VISTA member will support and enlarge efforts and programs currently underway.

Member Duties: 1. Assist several student success groups who work toward recruitment, outreach, success and retention. 2. Reach out to and retain current students by managing a caseload of about 50 underrepresented students, providing them support services toward personal and academic success. 3. Collect, analyze and promote baseline data to measure results and encourage greater participation in existing initiatives and programs. 4. Recruit faculty and students to serve as mentors and tutors to low-income/high risk students. 5. Work to develop a sustainable financial literacy program by working to determine need, and developing a face-to-face and online component. 6. Serve as Advisor to the Service Learning program under Student Activities. 7. Advise students in finding service opportunities so that they can contribute to organizations working to alleviate poverty. 8. Work with CLC’s Career and Job Placement Center to identify internship and job opportunities.

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.

Service Description: As a University partner, the Egan Office of the Steans Center supports schools and community groups in their efforts to mitigate the effects of poverty on children and families and support their efforts to address systemic barriers to equity and justice. The Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships (Egan UECP) program is designed to increase University and community partnerships to address school readiness, socio-emotional learning, positive youth development, parent and community engagement, and high school/post-secondary awareness and preparation. In addition, Egan UECP supports community-driven efforts to promote asset-based community building and community development and to advocate for needed changes at community, state and national levels. The Depaul Egan Americorps VISTA will primarily support the development and integration of a preschool early learning support program through the adaptation of the former Jumpstart Program into the School Partnership Program of the Egan UECP of the Steans Center. Support coordination among Egan UECP, the DePaul University College of Education and preschool partners. Additionally, the VISTA will coordinate with University departments including Access and Attainment, Enrollment Management and the Office of Multicultural Student Success and identify and coordinate with new community partners to expand our college awareness/readiness work.

Member Duties: Provide support in the form of research, partnership development and program development to increase positive youth development and civic engagement alternatives for middle and high school students. Work with teachers, students and their parents to increase their knowledge of high school readiness and supports and college/career awareness. Improve the capacity of our partner schools to provide project-based, experiential learning in the STEM and other fields. Increase parent access to family supports and their engagement in their child’s learning, in their child’s school, and within their community. Provide support in the form of research, partnership development and program development and implementation to increase parents’ and community members’ access to education and training including financial literacy, adult basic education and community engagement certification

Service Description: Dominican University’s mission is to give compassionate service while participating in the creation of a more just and humane world, including a world free from poverty. In order to address the pressing needs of the surrounding community, the AmeriCorps VISTA at Dominican will be working collaboratively with the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), the Office of Community Based Learning (CBL), and the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). On the West Side of Chicago, 31.2% of families live in poverty, 46% of the population under 18 lives in households whose income is below the poverty. A number of community organizations and agencies are working to alleviate the effects of poverty, while addressing its systemic causes. The New Communities Program of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation supports comprehensive community development efforts in Little Village, North Lawndale, East and West Garfield Park, and Humboldt Park. Austin Coming Together is a network of service providers, grassroots organizations, and residents to build community capacity and support community wide improvement efforts. Bethel New Life, the Lawndale Christian Health Center, and the Lawndale Christian Community Development Corporation are engaged in innovative service delivery, community building, economic, and community development. The VISTA serving at Dominican University will work to break the cycle of poverty by helping to create sustainable, university-wide structures that facilitate active university-community collaborations and partnerships between the campus and the community, leveraging student volunteer power and university resources to advance the vital work of these community agencies. The VISTA will also oversee an after-school tutoring program where under-served youth can develop the academic and personal skills to advance beyond poverty.

Member Duties: 1. Research and Write Grants that create capacity and expand the reach and sustainability of the center. 2. Supervise afterschool tutoring program to build students’ personal and academic skills. 3. Assist University Ministry with planning of Alternative Break Immersion experiences. 4. Assist and strengthen student reflection, assessment, and evaluation of community engagement experiences. 5. Support Community Engagement Working group’s activities to formalize civic and community engagement on campus. 6. Support the Community-Based learning activities for the Dominican Campus Member 7. Assist the office of CBL in coordinating partnerships and promoting engagement with Dominican’s community partners. 8. Facilitate CBL community organization activities and faculty/student relationships with emphasis on partnerships located on the Greater West Side of Chicago.

Service Description: Central to Governor’s State University’s (GSU) efforts to eliminate systemic barriers to education, the work through the Community Service Civic Engagement Center (CSCEC) implements and assesses initiatives to promote higher education access and success for underrepresented groups. The CSCEC identifies progress indicators (student test scores, reading levels, grades) to lead effective tutoring and mentoring initiatives for low-income and high-risk youth in the surrounding community. Similiarily, the CSCEC collects baseline data to identify the primary needs of low-income and first-generation college students, and plan projects to improve college access and success for these target populations. CSCEC also levies campus and community resources to increase the awareness services that improve access and success in secondary education. In particular, projects build capacity through college prep workshops, academic support, counseling and other retention activities that benefit low-income and first-generation college students. To decrease food insecurity among students at GSU, the CSCEC offers supplemental food and information on local food pantries through the management of the GSU Food Pantry. Through collaboration with the Veterans Resource Center, GSU is also able to provide a stronger foundation for its student veteran population.

Member Duties: 1. Coordinate trainings and workshops for student organizations on Service Center resources and service initiatives. 2. Coordinate educational initiatives for underserved populations K-12. 3. Work with faculty to increase community service initiatives for post-secondary cohorts. 4. Support the coordination and implementation of Service Days, ASB, and anchor services. 5. Manage GSU Food Pantry, and develop and maintain volunteer schedule. 6. Develop and present community service informational workshops. 7. Oversee Community Service Council. 8. Community Service collaborations with the Veterans Resource Center. 9. Support initiatives for tutoring and mentoring low-income and high-risk youth. 10. Identify indicators (student test scores, reading levels, grades) to demonstrate evidence-based community impact. 11. Assess campus and community resources to increase the awareness of opportunities.

Service Description: Illinois Campus Compact has 26 VISTAs at service sites across Illinois with a focus on improving the academic access and success in their community, supporting veterans and military families, developing initiatives which promote economic growth in low-income areas, or a combination of these priorities. ILCC VISTA Leaders are tasked with providing support for these VISTAs in achieving these priorities as well as aiding the VISTAs’ professional growth.

Member Duties: 1. Enhance knowledge of service on college campuses to build stability and sustainability for the projects developed by VISTAs. 2. Plan ILCC Orientation, Regional Trainings, and Post-VISTA training/celebration for VISTAs. 3.Manage monthly reports to accurately reflect the work ILCC VISTAs accomplish at their sites. 4. Collaborate with service sites to develop VISTA assignments that meet the goals and expectations of AmeriCorps VISTA. 5. Review service site VADs for clarity, accuracy and consistency. 6. Explore new methods and strategies that improve recruitment for ILCC VISTAs. 7. Perform site visits for each service site. 8. Design and implement activities which encourage ILCC VISTA collaboration and engagement.

Service Description: Illinois Campus Compact has 26 VISTAs at service sites across Illinois with a focus on improving the academic access and success in their community, supporting veterans and military families, developing initiatives which promote economic growth in low-income areas, or a combination of these priorities. The Communications VISTA will create strong messages that enhance the visibility and capacity of Illinois Campus Compact, positioning our organization as a valuable resource for advancing community engagement in higher education. An ideal candidate will have experience with social media, visual design, and editing; possess strong communication skills, both written and verbal; and will share our passion for aligning higher education with the public good.

Member Duties: 1. Creating and updating web content and social media posts. 2. Drafting and designing newsletters, brochures, and other promotional materials. 3. Reaching out and establishing collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships with our member campuses and community partners.  

Service Description: The VISTA will work to break the cycle of poverty by engaging Chicago Public Schools to create pathways out of poverty through education, supporting K-12 and post secondary success. The 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. The Fastforward program supports community college students from underserved backgrounds in pursuing for year degrees in technical fields. Following its first year with a VISTA member, the VISTA will continue to increase the capacity of GLP. To this end, the VISTA will create sustainable partnerships with organizations and high schools around Chicago. Additionally, The VISTA will collaborate with campus entities to pilot new approaches to the Serving through STEM projects. Lastly, the VISTA will plan and implement alumni engagement opportunities to promote GLP initiatives. The VISTA will also build capacity for a new college access program called FastForward, focused on supporting community college students. These are typically first generation and low-income students

Member Duties: 1. Provide critical support to the Global Leaders Program by focusing on community partnership development 2. Support for building out a new FastForward program, connecting community college students to resources on campus. 3. Build partnerships with community organizations, and coordinate career exploration and academic enrichment activities for first generation college students, low income students, and students underrepresented in STEM 4. Develop programming for “Community Innovation Projects”, year-long community service and design projects that GLP Scholars complete during their junior year of high school. 5. Connect with Chicago-area high schools to recruit motivated students into our program 6. Work on mid-term projects to build program capacity. For example, collaborate with team to prepare a “program approach manual,” or document program reach. 7. Build infrastructure for new community college student-focused programming.

Service Description: Knox College is situated in a community that has faced severe economic hardship in the past two decades. More than two-thirds of the city’s students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches in the school district. Three schools receive regular distributions from the Blessings in a Backpack weekend food distribution program. At the same time, Galesburg is seeing signs of renewal – new small businesses, new buildings, and infrastructure improvements. Knox faculty, staff and students have contributed to this renewal. Knox’s civic outreach has continued to grow in varied areas – from food distribution to arts programming, from tutoring to advocacy. Knox’s president has established a vision for Knox’s engagement with its host community and spurred new initiatives and deeper engagement. As part of that vision, Knox seeks to grow its engagement efforts and work toward Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2020. In order to truly accomplish this vision, the College seeks to paint a comprehensive picture of the variety and depth of engagement across campus. We seek to expand the ways Knox helps to meet the needs of our larger community and world. To that end, the Americorps VISTA at Knox will work with the Kleine Center for Community Knox College to develop new community partners, further streamline processes and protocols, and create opportunities for the Center to showcase this important community outreach. The Kleine Center for Community Service planned, placed, and/or tracked more than 58,000 hours of community service contributed by Knox students in 2014-15. Building partnerships with the community, tracking the work of students, and ensuring the safety of all participants requires attention to detail, a service orientation, and constant communication. Under the supervision of the Kleine Center, the VISTA provides this important bridge and strengthens Knox’s ability to serve the community.

Member Duties: 1. Create ongoing data gather systems for academic programs, internships, and departments (courses, immersion terms, practicums, self-designed major/minors, conference presentations, etc.) that measure their contribution to the community. 2. Manage and grow the Peace Corps Prep Program 3. Establish new partnerships with community partners to extend the reach of KnoxCorps, Justice Corps, and Disaster Corps Programs 4. Develop assessment and provide support for the Gale Scholars Program (for local first-generation, low-income students) 5. Implement further activities and programming, for the First-Gen Club which expand its reach and improve its support to first-generation college students.

Service Description: The SLCEC works to eliminate poverty in a number of ways. First, by educating School of Education faculty about service-learning and civic engagement instructional practices and strategies, we encourage university and high school students to be involved in their communities. This leads those students to work on projects that reduce poverty. For example, one of our Special Education teacher training faculty recently led a service-learning project with her pre-service teachers. They engaged students with disabilities in a project that helped to develop their employment potential. This kind of project improves the possibility of them applying for and getting access to job opportunities. In many other projects that faculty are introducing into their classrooms, students are learning about issues such as hunger, food deserts, homelessness, affordable housing, immigrant and refugee issues and then working on projects in the community that support and advance the work of community organizations working on these issues. Secondly, the SLCEC hosts regular civic learning events for high school and middle school students. Each of these events helps to develop the civic engagement skills of under-served CPS middle and high school students, empowering them to advocate for their communities and address the systemic causes of poverty. The VISTA will work to break the cycle of poverty by supporting the development of civic knowledge skills, dispositions, and behaviors that enable young people to be equipped with 21st century skills that translate into workplace readiness, civic engagement, and personal and collective advocacy.

Member Duties:1. Provide coordination support for all SLCEC faculty and student events (civic learning experiences, meetings, professional development, summits, events, conferences). 2. Expand SLCEC by identifying, recruiting, and connecting universities; Build relationships with partner universities to identify and build on member self-interest. 3. Organize and coordinate projects and campaigns that advance civic engagement. 4. Manage all aspects of SPACE online student journal, and Maintain and grow existing SLCEC website. 5. Increase participation and co-coordinate civic learning experiences for high school students (Model UN, Electoral Simulation, Civic Leadership Institute). 6. Increase number of student manuscripts submitted for SPACE, the SLCEC online student journal. Member Activity: Grow SLCEC membership by 2-3 universities during 2017-18.

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 advisor 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

Service Description: The VISTA will work to disrupt the cycle of poverty by building capacity for the HP3 program. National Louis University is a minority serving institution whose student body includes members from the poorest communities across the city, and HP3 is NLU’s program offering affordability, broad access, personalized instruction, and wrap-around support specifically deigned to close the college degree attainment gap. In addition, the VISTA will support service learning initiatives which leverage student volunteerism to directly support community agencies working to address poverty in a variety of ways. The VISTA will build capacity by supporting the expansion of a work study program that will carry out these programs in the future. Additionally, NLU provides opportunities for HP3 students to practice lessons learned in the classroom. HP3 utilizes service-learning pedagogy to reinforce lessons from their NLU classes to tutor and mentor elementary and fellow high school students in CPS. These students gain first-hand experience concerning the skills and knowledge required to work in higher education while improving civic engagement on campus. Next year, NLU aims to expand the work study program to include more students working more hours. In addition to providing increased support and capacity for the HP3 program, the AmeriCorps VISTA works through the Civic Engagement Center to improve existing engagement initiatives and develop new initiatives. To do so, the VISTA will assess and analyze the impact of these initiatives to increase student academic success as well as their employability. Similarly, the VISTA will expand community engagement by establishing new partnerships and meeting with faculty to encourage community-engaged learning. In order to sustain the work done through the Civic Engagement Center, the VISTA will also pursue grant opportunities and sponsorships.

Member Duties: 1. Find and improve service-learning opportunities for the HP3 participants. 2. Create Federal Work Study positions for National Louis students to work with HP3 participants in a tutor/mentor capacity. 3. Develop tutor/ mentor training and support services. 4. Support faculty to implement and encourage community engaged teaching and research opportunities. 5. Advise student organizations that partner with Chicago economic development-related organizations. 6. Assess student satisfaction and impact of community engagement on educational access and success. 7. Conduct site visits to institutionalize and sustain community partnerships with Chicago and non-profits. 8. Facilitate research and writing of grants for center sustainability and identify sponsorships to support the CEC. 9. Develop university-level community engagement data collection tools to document community engagement activity for the Carnegie designation.

Service Description: The National Louis University’s (NLU) Americorps VISTA mission will consist of developing and implementing campus strategies that address the needs of veterans and military-connected students who may fall into the “at risk’ category, address poverty-related needs of veterans and their families in the local community.  Another area of concentration will be to increase the retention and graduation rates of our veteran and military-connected students.

NLU’s Veterans program is currently transitioning from the McCormick Foundation Education to Employment (E2) Initiative grant to a bonafide Veterans program.  This transition will take time and effort to develop a meaningful and effective program.  The support and work the Americorps VISTA provides will be key if we are to provide the best services possible to our veterans and military-connected students.  The Veterans program mission supplements the university’s education mission by increasing student veteran/military-connected student enrollment, providing support while they are a student, and finally providing career search assistance to aid in finding meaningful work upon graduation. The veterans program provides a holistic support for student veterans through a variety of wrap-around services to include: financial, mental health, career, legal, spiritual, academic, to ensure their successful graduation and readiness for employment.

Member Duties: The Americorps VISTA primary duty is engagement with veterans and military-connected students to provide support and ensure their academic success. This is accomplished by working with NLU’s Student Veterans of America chapter, student services and civic engagement to create opportunities for community engagement, philanthropy, and connect them with other student veteran organizations. The Americorps VISTA is responsible for coordinating and planning the multiple events: student speaker series, Toys for Tots drive, community service projects, i.e. National Day of service, etc.  Our current VISTA has taken the initiative and has connected with his NLU VISTA colleague who is working in civic engagement. This partnership has created a relationship that helps connect the student population with student veterans.  This connection is vital to establishing a connection between veterans and students which will help our citizens better understand the veteran population and ultimately improve understanding between the two groups.

Service Description: We believe a VISTA can work with us to expand the capacity of community partners to work effectively with NCC faculty. More specifically, the VISTA could a) serve as a resource and liaison for faculty who are teaching courses with CEL, helping them tap into the resources of Illinois Campus Compact; b) work with community partners to find ways to connect their work to NCC courses, faculty, and students; c) begin compiling information for a comprehensive community partner database; d) explore ways to recognize the efforts of faculty, students, and community partners; e) educate students about future opportunities with post-graduate service like AmeriCorps.

Member Duties : Deepen existing relationships and forge new and true partnerships. Conduct focus groups, surveys, or site visits and a standardized inventory to better understand community needs and resources. Leverage our unique location and extend networks of community partners to compile information for a comprehensive community partner database. Explore ways to recognize community partners contributions. Help our office more fully utilize the resources of Illinois Campus Compact. Assemble a repository of resources including inspirational models, sample syllabi, and assessments. Serve as a liaison to community partners. Create a website and fliers that feature Community Engaged Learning courses, student organizations, and volunteer opportunities. Mentor students engaged in Community Engaged Learning and Research. Promote future opportunities with post-graduate service like AmeriCorps.

Service Description: The Americorps VISTA at North Park University will be primarily responsible for developing the Chicago Intensive program. The Chicago Intensive 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 2016-2017 will help develop new tracks for the Chicago Intensive 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 Chicago Intensive. 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 2016-2017 AY.

Service Description: The Americorps VISTA at North Park University will be primarily responsible for developing the Chicago Intensive Project’s STEM initiaitves. The Chicago Intensive is an urban-centric experiential learning curricular program in which students enrolled in the program take the same classes which have been redesigned to incorporate Chicago as the classroom. For example, the entire cohort will take an Intro to Statistics course called “Just Stats”. Students will learn how to utilize statistical analysis in assessing urban issues such as redlining and gentrification. The VISTA for 2016-2017 will build on the work of our current VISTA and help develop new tracks for the Chicago Intensive that will enable students in STEM disciplines to participate. This will mean the VISTA will both work on campus to build infrastructure for the program. The VISTA will also work off campus to build partnerships with more community based organizations working on issues of poverty where we can place students. One of the key measureable outcomes of the program is for each student in the cohort to see both the assets and disparities evident within each community and to understand how their academic interests can interface with them.

Member Duties: 1.Develop new tracks for the Chicago Intensive specific to STEM disciplines and engage STEM faculty 2.Manage and recruit for existing co-curricular student service groups related to STEM disciplines. 3. Research and develop new partnerships with organizations that are augmenting academic readiness, affordable housing options, case management for displaced families, and employability for their clients. 4. Assist the Urban Outreach Coordinator and community-based organization in crafting roles and responsibilities for student practicum placements. 5. Work both on campus to build infrastructure for the program and work off campus to build partnerships with more community based organizations working on issues of poverty to place students.

Service Description: The VISTA position at Northeastern Illinois University will assist in the coordination of community partnership and civic engagement programs with a focus on programs and services that support low income and first generation college students and support work being done to narrow academic achievement gaps and increase college enrollment of low income and first generation college at a diverse Hispanic Serving Institution. The VISTA will work to interrupt the cycle of poverty by supporting college success among low income students at Northeastern University. To this end, the VISTA will work alongside the university’s Economic Inequality Initiative for programmatic development. The focus of which are to promote academic success among low-income and first generation college students through civically engaged partnerships.This also includes coordinating monthly Speak Out series on issues regarding economic inequality. Additionally, emphasis is placed on economic education initiatives such as financial literacy. The VISTA will build capacity by helping to develop work study programs that will serve as internships for upper level students, while expanding the reach of the food pantry.

Member Duties : 1. Support work being done to narrow academic achievement gaps and increase college enrollment of low income and first generation college students. 2. Provide support for the Student Food Pantry and other program initiatives to support low income college students. 3. Promote greater civic involvement among low income first generation college students and education on issues related to economic inequality including financial literacy. 4. Coordinate monthly speak out series on issues that impact on educational inequality. 5. Provide support for community service activities including the 9/11, MLK, and Chavez Days of Service including involvement of Roosevelt High School and other public schools in the North River Area of Chicago.

Service Description: The Americorps VISTA at Northern Illinois University (NIU) works with the Office of Service Engagement and Experiential Learning to develop support for low income and first generation college students by developing impactful civic engagement opportunities and community based learning initiatives. To accomplish this, the VISTA will establish partnerships between campus entities and local community organizations. Through collaboration with additional campus entities, the VISTA will build upon the recently implemented NIU Service Leaders program, which organizes mentorships between first generation college students and low-income and high-risk youth. The Service Leaders program collaborates with multiple elementary schools as well as local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. For the 2016-2017 school year, the VISTA will execute regular needs assessments and community inquiries to locate areas of greatest need. Furthermore, the VISTA will expand the program by building additional partnerships with local schools and organizations in these areas of need. Additionally, the VISTA will build a collaboration with other campus constituencies to develop support for first generation college students. To support FGCS students, the collaboration will ensure that these students are provided a supportive community which fosters a welcoming environment for FGCS and provides easy access to campus resources available for FGCS.

Member Duties: 1. Assess the needs of the local community to find the greatest impact for the NIU Service Leaders program. 2. Coordinate NIU Service Leaders program partnerships for low-income and high-risk students. 3. Collaborate with NIU faculty and staff to recruit civic-minded first generation college students. 4. Design and implement program assessment for the Service Leaders program 5. Plan events for first generation college students that foster a supportive community and provide access to FGCS resources. 6. Identify and compile a series of web-based resources for FGCS and their families. 7. Expand NIU’s collaboration with the University Summer Village Youth program.

Service Description: The Americorps VISTA member works to increase the capacity of two major initiatives at Northwestern University. Firstly, supporting first generation college students at Northwestern to develop financial literacy, obtain and maintain secure and stable housing while in college, and develop skills that will lead to employment post-graduation. Secondly, supporting and developing the capacity of Northwestern students who volunteer with economic development-related community organizations. Through the Office of 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 will host a number of workshops and activities for students focused on financial literacy and wellness, career development, social identity development, support the QUEST Scholars Network and help to manage the Katz Enrichment Fund allowing students to fully participate in the Northwestern experience by removing financial barriers. 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.

Member Duties: 1. Work with service organization leaders to assess organizational collaboration and training needs. 2. Develop a strategic plan in partnership with student leaders to meet identified needs. 3. Design training/ pre-service preparation for students. 4. Conduct site visits and build capacity for volunteer placement and support. 5. Use assessments and focus groups to identify the needs and areas of support for FGCS at Northwestern University. 6. Advise the Student Advocacy Committee to oversee outreach and event planning 7. Develop support and training for the Student Enrichment Services mentoring program 8. Connect mentors to support resources, and advise mentors in troubleshooting and conflict resolution.

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. Furthermore, 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.

Service Description: 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 students at PSC 8. Plan workshops to promote veteran student employability.

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.

Service Description: The Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation’s (MISJT) broad mission is to raise consciousness and challenge social injustice through scholarship and activism that lead to progressive social change. Mansfield Institute brings together faculty, students, staff and the community as we disrupt the cradle-to-prison pipeline (“pipeline”). Together with faculty and students, we engage in social justice-based research, scholarship and action. Through this work we: • change the world as our students gain knowledge, skills and experience to become leaders in the change • create connections to careers in social justice • develop research and knowledge grounded in our surrounding communities • We engage with the grassroots work going on in the community. • We engage with and build strong relationships in the community with organizations that work to dismantle the pipeline. • We simultaneously work with systems’ leaders in the Chicago Public Schools and in the Juvenile Justice and Criminal justice systems in Illinois. • We engage with national and international organizations and academic institutions.

Member Duties: The opportunities for professional and personal growth at the Mansfield Institute are numerous. The Special Projects Coordinator for the Mansfield Institute will work to support a wide range of initiatives, such as coordinating a Restorative Justice Program at a K-8 Chicago school, hiring and training students to work as Peacekeepers, developing presentations for university courses and school district administrators, and organizing and participating in transformative service learning project to create a restorative city neighborhood by neighborhood. Clear concise writing, effective communication, organization, and an ability to anticipate project needs are necessary skills as the Special Projects Coordinator. This position is especially valuable to anyone interested in developing new skills, interested in working in a fast paced environment, and in seeing the philosophies and values of equality, justice, and inclusivity put into practice.

Service Description: Student Veterans of America-Illinois (SVA-IL) is a leader committed to improving veteran educational outcomes across the state of Illinois. The mission of SVA-IL is to rally, equip, and empower student veterans and student veteran organizations throughout Illinois. SVA- IL provides programs, mentorship, events, motivation, and volunteer opportunities, designed to maximize student Veteran potential as strategic assets through academic advancement, leadership development, career progression and civic engagement. Directly serving 52 Student Veterans of America chapters and collaborating with over 200 veterans service coordinators at institutions of higher learning throughout Illinois, this unified approach makes SVA-IL a standard bearer for state models in delivering best-in- class veteran talent to the nation. Student Veterans of America – Illinois fosters a collaborative environment, promotes best practices, empowers student veterans, and creates sustainable social impact. It is estimated that there are more than 35,000 Student Veterans currently enrolled at over 190 colleges and universities in Illinois. SVA-IL purposes to develop a coalition of SVOs across the state of Illinois that results in increased engagement of the student veterans, improved retention and graduation rates, and the attainment of meaningful employment upon graduation.

Member Duties: 1. Prepare and execute state-wide communications plan. 2. Manage Veteran Campus Coordinator contact list. 3. Promote engagement opportunities. 4. Establish Student Veteran Mentorship program. 5. Partner with American Legion to develop veteran focused projects. 6. Serve as central point of contact to assist student veterans with community service. 7. Design, develop and execute student engagement opportunities. 8. Leverage existing frameworks for networking opportunities 9. Establish employment pipelines through Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium.

Service Description: The VISTA at University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS) advances the three CNCS priorities (education, economic development, and veterans) by collaborating with the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center’s ongoing initiatives. Additionally, the VISTA seeks to create sustainable partnerships which enhance the lives of the community as well as the success of students at UIS. The VISTA also develops student veteran services across campus and supports the formation of the Military Veterans Student Organization. Through the work with the Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center, the VISTA improves and expands the afterschool enrichment initiatives at UIS. The Lee Elementary Homework Club follows 21st Century Afterschool Enrichment practices which provide academic enrichment during non-school hours for high-poverty and low-performing schools. The VISTA ensures the program meets its goals by training and recruiting tutors from UIS as well as designing reflection opportunities to reinforce lessons. Additionally, the VISTA is responsible for building the capacity of the newly formed Addams Elementary Reading Hour which serves to enrich the reading competency of elementary students by pairing them with college students. Specifically, the VISTA will organize recruitment and training efforts, and develop standard practices for the initiative. Finally, the VISTA supports the development of student veteran resources on campus. Specifically, the VISTA collaborate with the Veteran’s Affairs Coordinator to design a Green Zone aimed at making UIS more welcoming to veteran students by educating the campus community about barriers veteran students may face on campus. The VISTA also coordinates Veteran Week events by collaborating with community and college partnerships. By connecting with veteran students and resources, the VISTA also provides UIS the tools to solidify its Military Veterans Student Organization

Member Duties: Assess, develop, and implement programs aimed at improving theeducational success of Veteran and low-income students. The VISTA will address poverty by connecting students to community organizations to do service, and by providing resources and programming for Veteran and Military Families and first generation students. The VISTA will build capacity by recruiting volunteers, bolstering current programming, and researching new programming opportunities Lee Elementary Homework Club and the Addams Elementary Reading Hour.

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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