TNCC VISTA and Site Supervisor guidance Fall 2009

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TNCC VISTA and Site Supervisor guidance Fall 2009 Powered By Docstoc
           Communications Update
            October 22-23, 2009
            Lee University, Cleveland, TN
                                               MH/NATIONAL CAMPUS
National Campus Compact and 35 State Campus Compacts provide advocacy, consultations, training,
technical assistance, resources, research, funding, awards, capacity building, partnerships, and
leadership development to promote civic engagement, service-learning, and community service in
higher education. TNCC is an independent coalition organized to increase statewide collaboration
and leverage national resources.
                 MH/NCC TNCC PROJECT GOALS


•   THEME ONE: Institutional Culture
•   THEME TWO: Curriculum & Pedagogy
•   THEME THREE: Faculty Roles & Rewards
•   THEME FOUR: Mechanisms and Resources
•   THEME FIVE: Community-Campus Exchange
                                        MH/TNCC VISTA PROJECT

Project Goal I: Create and expand community service and service-learning
    infrastructure in Tennessee colleges and universities. Tasks and Activities:
• Use the Furco Rubric to assess the levels of infrastructure in all TNCC member
• Promote administrative and faculty action necessary to create/approve a
    permanent organizational structure to carry out responsibilities for sustained
    service-learning and community service activity
• Create documents to assist the institution in framing organizational
    infrastructure (including such documents as: mission statements, vision
    statements, staff job descriptions, short/long-term plans or strategic plans and
    institutional goals, inter-department agreements, administrative and faculty
    responsibilities, training curriculum, etc.)
• Design service-learning curriculum materials and a system for sustained faculty
                                    MH/TNCC VISTA PROJECT

Project Goal II: Create and expand mutually beneficial college-community
   partnerships that link university resources and needs with community
   resources and needs. Tasks and Activities:
• Provide guidelines and resources that facilitate community partnership
   development at TNCC member campuses
• Expand federal work study activities through member campuses
• Create and expand sustainable service programs (e.g. mentoring,
   tutoring, leadership training, service- learning, etc.) that connect higher
   education students with at-risk K-12 students in both in-school and
   out-of-school settings
• Provide on-line resources to support community partner development
                          MH/TNCC VISTA PROJECT

Project Goal III: Develop training programs that will
  ensure sustainability of high quality service-learning
  on TNCC member campuses. Tasks and Activities:
• Provide on-line and print resources to support faculty
  knowledge and skills in service-learning pedagogy
• Develop and implement Faculty Service-Learning
• Provide support for sustainable faculty development
  on TNCC member campuses
                                    MH/TNCC VISTA PROJECT

In Year III of the VISTA Project, TNCC must:
1. Significantly upgrade VAD clarity.
2. Start to require greater specificity.
3. The goals, activities and steps must be building something sustainable
    for somebody, there must be a clear link to growing student civic
    engagement or growing SL infrastructure or growing TNCC
    capacity…and there needs to be some verifiable measurement.
4. To some extent, (in a few cases a great extent) institutions have hosted
    VISTAs for their own purposes.
5. TNCC gave members lots of flexibility the first and second time
    around…but now it’s time for host a VISTA for TNCC reasons.
6. TNCC needs to move the resource to another institution if necessary.
7. “TNCC will be closely monitored for this coming year.” (JH/10/09/09)

Session Overview
•   VISTA and TNCC
•   Project Review & Approval
•   Site Review & Approval
•   Concept Papers and VADs
•   Reporting
•   Cost-Sharing
•   Q&A
                                  VISTA in CONTEXT

Corporation for National and Community Service
     (an agency of the U.S. Government)

•   Senior Corps (RSVP, FGP and SCP)
•   Learn & Serve America (School & Community-based)
•   AmeriCorps
    1. State & National
    2. NCCC
    3. VISTA (indirect service…capacity-builders)
                              JH/COMPACT CHALLENGES

CNCS has occasionally challenged the development of Compact
  projects by suggesting these projects lack a clear poverty focus.
  The way to counter these challenges is to ensure that we can:
      1. Document real (measurable) growth in student civic
      2. Track student engagement to poverty-focused initiatives
           in the community
      3. Document real (measurable) growth in the
           implementation of SL methodology by faculty
      4. Establish a civic engagement baseline for each
           institution (a part of each VISTA member’s VAD*)

       * VISTA Assignment Description

How would this proposed VISTA activity:
• Grow and sustain higher education student civic
• Grow and sustain service-learning in higher
  education institutions?
• Develop institutional community service/civic
  engagement infrastructure?
• Help build greater TNCC capacity/infrastructure?
                                JH/BUILDING CAPACITY FOR

•   The TNCC VISTA project is an important piece of TNCC’s early
    development. Eventually, this federal resource will be moved to other
    community initiatives.
•   TNCC must focus on how VISTA members can contribute to TNCC
    infrastructure while they are assisting their individual institutions in
    developing service-learning infrastructure and other related capacities.
•   Ultimately, TNCC will become the source to which all TN higher
    education institutions turn for guidance and expertise in the area of
    student civic engagement, service-learning pedagogy, community
    partnership development and the like.
•   We see many early examples of how individual VISTA members are
    contributing to their host institutions…but few examples of how they
    are contributing to the TNCC itself.
                            VISTA CONTRIBUTION TO TNCC

Each institution should consider TNCC when developing a Concept Paper and VAD.
   How does the VISTA service help TNCC? Think about a contribution that the
   VISTA can perform that can benefit the central office for replication to other
   TNCC member institutions for example:
     – Infrastructure templates/Human resource templates/Financial
        management templates/Community development templates/Standard
        operating procedures manual/Training manuals
     – Marketing brochures, flyers, advertisements/Website links/Best practice
        publications/Funding prospects
     – Letters to community partners/Lessons in Liabilities/Risk
        Management/Newsletters/Event management/Special projects/New ideas
        for research/Student reflections
     – Service-learning syllabi/Recruitment of faculty volunteers for faculty-to-
        faculty service-learning mentoring program/Other

Project Review
                       TO INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS

• Poverty-related community need
• Scope of the plan (capacity-building – sustainability)
• Project/site ability to manage
• Equitable distribution of resource across projects
• Alignment with CNCS Strategic Priorities
The CNCS TN State Office allocates a number of “service-
  years” to projects with the expectation that those
  resources will be fully used. From that point on, it is
  up to the project to determine how best to use those
                       JH/TNCC MANAGEMENT OF
                                 VISTA PROJECT

• If TNCC manages well, Mani and the Advisory Council
  will be able to make most decisions internally.
Management challenges include:
• Producing less than allocated – may result in a loss of
  resources to other projects
• Heavy initial production – may result in the State
  Office denying new applications and/or the
  reenrollment of current VISTA members.

  Site and Member
Review and Approval
                          JH/SITE REVIEW & APPROVAL

…generally consistent with ‘Project’ approval criteria:

• The scope of institutional need (local, regional or statewide) as
  described and explained in the Concept Paper
• The extent to which the proposed VISTA member activities make
  sense as a solution to the need.
• The extent to which there is a clear plan for long-term
  community or institutional sustainability.
• The quality/clarity of the VAD (clear benchmarks and target

                      JH/SITE REVIEW & APPROVAL

• The level of project/host/community support
  proposed for the VISTA.
• The site track-record for adherence to federal
  regulations, CNCS policy and for the management of
  and support to VISTA members.
• The extent to which the site has demonstrated an
  appropriate use of VISTA member services in the past
  (i.e. capacity-building, especially the extent to which
  sites and TNCC are sustaining or benefitting from the
  work of former VISTAs.
                              JH/MEMBER APPLICATION
                                    REVIEW PROCESS

Step I

• To the extent possible, we want to help projects avoid recruiting
  slots we ultimately can’t approve. To achieve this end, we will
  limit our review of member applications to only those slots for
  which we have pre-approved a Concept Paper. Approval
  decisions will be based on both the quality of the proposal and
  the state allocation.
• The overall impact on poverty in Tennessee can be maximized
  only if we are able to fill all allocated slots. Because not all
  projects/sites will be able to successfully recruit for every
  approved slot, approving more than the minimum number of
  CPs/VADs per training is a necessary strategy.
                             JH/MEMBER APPLICATION
                                   REVIEW PROCESS

Step 2:

• Step 2 is the process of reviewing all successfully submitted
  member applications and approving an appropriate number
  based on our allocation. If all approved projects/sites recruit
  successfully, the number of member applications may exceed the
  number we can send to training (PSO). In that event, we will
  rely on the site review criteria (plus the strengths of the
  individual applicants) to identify the applications having the
  greatest potential impact on poverty in Tennessee.
• CPs/VADs are accepted only from TNCC
• Applicants that are not approved for one PSO may request to be
  held over for consideration in a future PSO.

Concept Papers
   & VADs
                            JH/CP AND VAD GUIDELINES

• There should NOT be staff-type or direct-svc-type activities in
  the CP and VADs. A VISTA should NOT monitor, coordinate,
  maintain or be a documentarian. To ‘some extent’, a VISTA may
  do these during initial implementation stages..but the idea is for
  the institution (and/or partners) to take it over (sustainability).
  Thus, the VISTA SHOULD be building monitoring systems,
  developing coordination plans, creating record systems, etc.
• Institutions should not see the VISTA member as being their new
  capacity rather than using him or her to build new/sustainable
  ‘non-VISTA’ capacity. Ask yourself, “who will do these when
  VISTAs are gone.” The VAD should help the institution and VISTA
  member understand that ultimately, it is a local responsibility –
  and that local capacity must be created.
                             JH/CP AND VAD GUIDELINES

So…make certain that VISTA members:
• Do 'indirect' (capacity-building) service…NOT direct service
• Follow a well-developed VAD (w/measurable and clearly defined goals
   and objectives)
• Do not have staff roles as a VISTA’s primary responsibilities (i.e.
   coordinators, managers, clerks). Proposing a staff position to
   coordinate part of a program is not an appropriate role for a VISTA
• Serve full-time (i.e. no school or employment)
• Have an on-site supervisor that is aware of the 'basic' VISTA

NOTE: The CP and/or VAD should clarify "Who will do this when the VISTA
  is gone?“
                          JH/CP AND VAD GUIDELINES

• Growth of service-learning at your institutions is critical
• Make sure that VISTA members are being programmed to build
  tracking systems to measure growth in SL and student civic
  engagement (if tracking systems are not already in place).
• Make sure the VAD activities/steps are clear and well-defined.
  VISTA members must know the specifics of what needs to be
  done, by when and who is ultimately responsible. Activities and
  Steps calling for a VISTA to “assist…help…work with…” etc. will
  ultimately lead to confusion and limited accomplishments.
                           JH/CP AND VAD GUIDELINES

• A strong CP will provide data on the current number of faculty
  implementing SL methodology, current number of students
  engaged in SL as part of their curriculum, current number of
  sustaining community partners, etc. If this information is not
  known by the institution, then the collection of such data should
  be a part of the proposal and VAD. In other words, CPs should
  either say that this information is not known and propose that
  the VISTA develop a means of measuring it…or the CP should
  provide it as supportive data (this is not necessarily related to
  the Furco Rubric).
• CPs/VADs for a 2nd or 3rd service year must build on the
  accomplishments of previous VISTA service. The duplication of
  prior service activities is a sign of wasted resources.
                                               VAD EXAMPLE

Scenario: The ultimate SL goal is to have SL methodology become a
   standard part of all teacher preparation programs.
…a VISTA could:
• Research and disseminate information (especially within the
   College of Education) about teacher prep programs/courses that
   teach SL methodology
• Conduct SL methodology focus groups with faculty
• Design a SL curriculum for various K-12 levels
• Design a SL curriculum that could be a week or 2-week long
   segment of existing K-12 methodology courses
• Create or update an existing teacher prep SL methodology

                                        JH/TNCC QUARTERLY
“TNCC” Quarterly Reporting
• Structure the narrative to aggregate all TNCC VISTA member
   accomplishments for the reporting period.
• Concentrate on impact rather than activity.
    – Example: It would be more helpful to report that a VISTA
      established 4 sustained SL partnerships with local nonprofits than
      to report that the VISTA made 30 presentations to local nonprofits
      or that s/he developed and distributed 10,000 SL brochures. We
      want to be able to begin answering the 'so what' questions.
• To date, there has been several hundred thousand federal tax
  dollars spent in moving TNCC toward full sustainability...and
  helping individual institutions develop partnerships and grow
  student engagement in their communities. How can VISTA
  accomplishments (impact) be quantified so that we have a sense
  of value for the federal investment?

“Site” Reporting (designed primarily by TNCC)
    – When reporting community partnership
      development or grant funding, provide
      organization names, locations, dates, etc.
    – Specify data (i.e. not ‘many’ or ‘several’, etc.) and
      fully describe particularly impressive or unique
    – Report/explain when VISTA member service
      accomplishments become sustainable.
    – Include VISTA member input – but don’t relinquish
      control of reporting to VISTAs.
                                         JH/VISTA Member

“Member” Reporting (designed by TNCC & institution)

• Include accomplishment details on VAD document…cumulative
  as the service year progresses
• Submit the completed VAD during the 12th month of service
• Future Plans Forms (on-line in My AmeriCorps Portal): The
  VISTA member initiates…form is open 90 days prior to Close of
• The CNCS State Office recommends that every VISTA “site”
  supervisor provide their President [1] a copy of the VISTA’s
  completed VAD and [2] a member’s written narrative reflection
  of their service year, accomplishments, challenges and
  suggestions.     (tangible evidence of TNCC investment)


• Cost-sharing expands available resources and is
  strongly encouraged, particularly in projects wishing
  to have AmeriCorps*VISTA resources beyond the
  third year.
• As a cost-share project your organization contributes
  the living allowance – current, $10,296.00 per year
  for each VISTA member.
• TNCC requires that the $10,296.00 check be sent to
  TNCC/Lipscomb University BEFORE the VISTA
  candidate is approved for training (PSO).

     Q & A
Jerry Herman - Mani Hull
    And Participants

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