Life in AmeriCorps NCCC

Campuses and Regions

Approximately 2,200 members serve in AmeriCorps NCCC Traditional and FEMA Corps each year. Members are assigned to one of four regional campuses, located in Vinton, IA, Sacramento, CA, Vicksburg, MS and Aurora, CO. Members remain on campus during initial training and return to campus between projects for “transition.” The remainder of the service term is typically spent away from campus at assigned project locations throughout the given region.

Pacific Region

Located in Northern Sacramento, on McClellan Park Air Force Base, this campus is near downtown Sacramento and its many landmarks including the California State Capitol. The Pacific Region campus moved from San Diego to Sacramento in August 2001 and is one of many organizations and businesses that currently occupy McClellan Park.

States Served: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and the Pacific Territories

North Central Region

Located in Vinton, IA on what was formerly the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, this campus has three dorm buildings, large fields and a running track. Also nearby is the Creamery Trail, ideal for the avid runner or casual walker. This campus is known for its magnificent sunsets and small-town comforts. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are driving distance from campus, as well as the famous Field of Dreams set in Dyer, IA. The North Central Region campus moved to Vinton in 2008.

States Served: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Southern Region

Located on the grounds of the former All Saints Episcopal School, this campus has nine buildings, five dorms, a chapel and a gym. The property also includes two soccer fields, tennis courts and an outdoor pool. This historic institution, owned by the dioceses of Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Western Louisiana opened its doors in 1908 as an all-girls college. Historical artifacts and cultural information can be found throughout the grounds. The Southern Region campus moved to All Saints in July 2009.

States Served: Alabama, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, The US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico

Southwest Region

Recently relocated to Aurora, CO, just miles from the Rocky Mountains, this campus is in a new facility and has access to dozens of trails. The area offers more than 300 days of sunshine per year and many opportunities to engage in outdoor service projects, hiking, biking and more. The Southwest Region campus moved to Aurora in 2015.

States Served: Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas, Arkansas, and Wyoming

 

Corps Member

Corps Members are assigned to a regional campus to complete initial training and to receive team assignments. Diverse teams of 18-24-year-olds work under the direction of one Team Leader and complete the service term living and serving together. Corps Members are responsible for completing Corps Training Institute (CTI), earning 1700 service hours, participating in physical training and contributing to various team activities.

Team Leader

Team Leaders are assigned a team of 8-10 Corps Members. This role is not a staff position, however, Team Leaders are expected to guide and support the team throughout the service term. Team Leaders are responsible for completing Team Leader Training (TLT), which begins one month prior to Corps Member arrival. Team Leaders conduct daily team activities, and serve as the liaison between the team, the project sponsor, and NCCC staff. Please note – Anyone may apply to be a Team Leader. Prior service experience is NOT required.

Member Development and Training

Training

Team Leader Training (TLT) is held on campus, one month prior to Corps Members arrival.

Corps Training Institute (CTI), is held on campus, during the first 3.5 weeks after Corps Member arrival.  The purpose is to prepare all members for the service term and introduce NCCC’s culture, procedures, and policies.

FEMA Corps Members also complete an additional 7-10 day training, which targets specialized skills for work assignments relevant to FEMA Corps.

Transitions

Between projects, teams return to campus for a brief period of time, typically 3-9 days. During this time teams debrief from the previous project, attend additional training, and prepare for the next project.

Independent Service Projects (ISPs)

Independent Service Projects are additional volunteer opportunities that members arrange. ISPs are separate from the day-to-day team project.

Members are encouraged to seek ISPs which serve an issue area of interest. Traditional Corps Members are required to complete at least 80 ISP hours prior to graduation. FEMA Corps members must complete at least 10 ISP hours in either disaster preparation, response, and/or recovery work.

Team Leaders are exempt from the ISP requirement, but can participate when it does not interfere with other duties.

Service Learning

Members are expected to conduct service learning activities throughout the service term. These activities inform members about the community and explain how the project work benefits the community. Examples include attending a community event, writing a story about the impact of service, reading local history, or visiting natural or man-made points of interest. Service learning provides a deeper understanding of the NCCC mission and the importance of service.

 

Campus Arrival and Departure Travel

AmeriCorps NCCC covers transportation to and from the campus, at the beginning and end of the service term. Most members travel by air. If a member cannot or will not fly, campus staff must be contacted to determine other travel options. Travel is booked by the campus. More details regarding travel are dispersed after an applicant is officially invited to a campus.

Food, Lodging, Transportation, Free Time

Food

Team Leaders manage the food budget for the team. Team Leaders can appoint a food/meal POC or implement a grocery committee if desired.

Typically, teams create a cooking schedule and prepare meals for the entire team. Special dietary needs or preference must be supplemented by the member. Food budgets are sufficient but not extravagant so flexibility and economy are important.

Lodging

Teams lodge in a variety of locations and facilities arranged by NCCC staff and/or project sponsors. Examples include: tents, church basement, apartment, extended stay hotel, a different NCCC campus or military base. Sharing rooms and bathrooms with teammates is common.

Transportation

A 15-passenger van is provided for team travel throughout the service term. The van is primarily used to get the team to and from project sites, to and from campus and to the grocery. Members from each team volunteer to become certified drivers. Certified drivers must attend a driver’s class and take a driver’s test at the campus. Only NCCC certified drivers are permitted to drive the van or other government issued vehicles.

Personal Days

Members have three (3) paid personal leave days. The use of personal days must be approved by the Team Leader and Unit Leader. Service hours are not counted on personal days.

Sick days do not count as personal leave days, and are granted as needed.

Members also have two (2) paid days of leave to be used for “Life after AmeriCorps” activities (such as applying for colleges or jobs, interviewing, taking tests like the ACT, SAT, LSAT, or GRE, or writing a résumé).
Members are responsible for making up the service hours missed while on personal or sick leave. Members may also request additional time off, but any additional time requested will be without pay and at the campus Region Director’s discretion.

Holidays

AmeriCorps NCCC observes all official federal holidays. Any such holiday that occurs during the service term is considered paid time off. The residence halls remain open during such breaks for members who wish to stay on campus. Members are responsible for any travel and transportation expenses during breaks.

Please note: Teams may work on a holiday if the project sponsor organization requests so, if it is cost-effective for travel, or if a team is called on a disaster relief assignment. Disaster relief is a high priority for AmeriCorps NCCC and teams may be required to respond to a disaster at any time during their service term (including during previously scheduled holidays/breaks). This may alter published calendars, approved leave requests and flight reservations.

There are several mandatory “All Corps Service Days” that may fall on a Saturday or holiday, and members are expected to participate regardless. On All Corps Service Days, the entire Corps participates in a selected service project.

Free Time

Time not spent on the project site, in training or fulfilling other team duties is considered free time for members. This is typically less than what an individual might have at other jobs. Members are asked to be flexible when deployed to disaster or assigned to a project that requires longer hours. The campus and the Team Leader ensure members have adequate rest and free time to maintain well-being.

 

Campus Life

Members are assigned a room on campus and may have one or more roommates. Room assignments and bathroom facilities are not co-ed. Each campus is different and provides a unique living experience, but all campuses have kitchens, dining areas and communal spaces. 

Safety

Safety is the top priority of AmeriCorps NCCC. The program continually strives to provide safe and healthy housing for all Corps Members and Team Leaders, and to partner with sponsors who provide safe and healthy project sites.

AmeriCorps NCCC members on the left during AmeriCorps pledge. On the right, AmeriCorps member with hard hat.

 

Issued Supplies

At the beginning of the service term, members are issued supplies to maximize utility and success throughout the program:

  • Uniform: cargo pants and shorts, short and long-sleeved shirts, hoodie, cold weather cap, coveralls, work boots, belt, winter coat, baseball cap and a red backpack for traveling. Additional uniform items may be issued.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) include but not limited to a hard hat, protective glasses and a reflective belt/vest.
  • With the exception of winter coats and coveralls, members can keep issued clothing after service term concludes.

Uniform Requirements

Being an NCCC member means looking the part—wearing the uniform is much more than putting on a T-Shirt.

The AmeriCorps NCCC Member Handbook contains detailed instructions about uniform requirements and restrictions. These policies promote the vision and professionalism of the Corps and maximize safety. Please read the uniform section of the handbook to ensure hair color, hair style, piercings and other things are in accordance with uniform policy.

Physical Training (PT)

NCCC Members participate in regularly-scheduled, structured physical training. This is an opportunity to pursue health goals and bond as a team.

The typical workout schedule includes three 45-minute sessions per week. One or more members on each team is designated as the PT coordinator and organizes the sessions. PT sessions can include circuit workouts, calisthenics, running, and structured exercises. Policy surrounding PT may vary between campuses.

NCCC Disciplinary Standards

The AmeriCorps NCCC Member Handbook contains rules, policies and procedures intended to inform and ensure the safety of our Corps Members and the community organizations served. Please review prior to campus arrival.

Night Classes and Part-Time Work

NCCC is a full-time, residential program, which exceeds the responsibilities of a typical 9 to 5 job.  A project sponsor may assign additional work, members must complete additional Independent Service Project (ISP) hours, and members are required to participate in team activities, meetings and selected team role responsibilities.

Due to the high level of responsibility, a member cannot engage in any outside activity (e.g., employment, classes, or personal volunteer opportunities) that either precludes, limits, or detracts from the member serving successfully as a NCCC Team Leader or Corps Member.

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