Campus Partner FAQs
- How can this program work on my campus?One of our goals is to be accessible to as many students as possible. To that end, Campus Compact staff will work with you to identify the level of support you would like for your campus. If your campus is not yet a member of Campus Compact, the first step is to work with you and your institution's President to enroll as a member of Campus Compact.
The Students in Service program is designed to operate using a train-the-trainer model. We understand campuses have varying resources to promote this program, and we have a structure that can be tailored to meet your campus' individual needs.
Campus Compact will provide you, the Campus Partner (CP), with marketing materials to support recruitment efforts on your campus. Campus Compact will train you and any additional staff you identified to work with this program to give In-Person Program Orientations. You will then be able to orient students on an as-needed basis. You can also use the user-friendly website that has the information you need to administer the SIS program on your campus. If you have questions you can contact your Campus Compact office anytime.
- How does the recruitment and orientation process work?Your state Campus Compact has established a process for recruitment and orientation, and a representative will work with you to adapt it to meet your program's/campus's needs. Campus Compact will provide you recruitment materials. In addition, best practices (partnering with Work Study staff, presenting at service fairs, presenting in service-learning courses, etc.) will be provided and support offered to tailor best practices to your program/campus.
Students interested in the program must first complete the Online Pre-Service Overview by going to www.studentsinservice.org. After completing the Online Pre-Service Overview, students attend the In-Person Program Orientation. Because the In-Person Program Orientation is required, all students must attend a session to receive training for the program and receive program materials/forms.
- Who presents the orientations?Orientations will be conducted by you or another person who helps coordinate SIS locally. Either way, nearly all campuses typically have a large-scale orientation during the fall quarter/semester.
- How often are orientations presented?Because most students commit to service in the beginning of the academic year, Campus Compact encourages a strong emphasis on recruitment and enrollment in the fall quarter/semester. However, the Students in Service program does offer enrollment at any time throughout the calendar year, as long as slots are available. As a result, it is important to have mechanisms in place that allow Members the opportunity to do so (ongoing, rolling, and individualized orientations allow this to happen).
- Will I be the only Campus Partner at my institution?You may or may not be the only contact for the Students in Service program. Campus Compact has multiple contacts on each of our Member campuses, and different individuals have different roles. A Campus Compact goal for the Students in Service program is to make this program accessible to as many students as possible; keeping a "diversified portfolio" of campus contacts allows for the most efficient, effective and all-encompassing outreach possible. However, Campus Compact wants to make sure each campus is aware of students participating in the program, and would like to streamline communication regarding the program to a few key people. As a CP, you play a leadership role as a key point of contact. Campus Compact can help keep you connected to others on your campus to build a local resource and support network.
- What are the specific responsibilities of a Member and/or Site Supervisor?
- Will I need to fill out any forms for the Members?As a CP, you may not have any actual responsibilities for a specific Member. Members are required to choose a Site Supervisor at their service site who will be directly responsible for monitoring paperwork and service activities; however, you are required to review all SIS paperwork and to make sure it is completely filled out and signed by the appropriate people. CPs act as the certifying official on campus and do monitor member's processes such as enrolling and exiting members (being conscious of dates) as well as confirm the dates and signatures of site supervisors who sign the member's time logs.
- Can I or should I serve as a Site Supervisor to any SIS AmeriCorps Members?While you may serve as a Site Supervisor to Members, first consider how you will manage that role. Members are encouraged to select as their Site Supervisor an individual who is directly related to their service activities, usually someone who's actually at their service sites. Sometimes, for ease, several students will identify the same faculty or staff person as a Site Supervisor. Specifically, as a CP you may have multiple requests (perhaps you are a service-learning center coordinator or a faculty internship advisor, in which case multiple students may have contact with you, but they are not volunteering with you). As a CP you may want to ask the Members to select someone at their actual service site as their Supervisor (it's more appropriate considering how hours and direct service content can be monitored, etc.). Site Supervisors are also required to complete an evaluation at the end of the Member's Term of Service, and the questions are best answered by an individual who is at the Member's service site.
- What service activities are appropriate or not appropriate?Excellent question! A Member's service activities should follow program and AmeriCorps guidelines including:
-Service in one or more of the focus areas: Education, Public Safety, Environmental Initiatives, Community Development, or Human Needs.
-Direct Service hours must be voluntary and follow AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities guidelines; the ONLY paid position for which a Member can accrue hours for both a job and for the Students in Service program is a Community Service Federal/State-funded Work Study position.
-Member Development hours must follow program guidelines that have, serious and detailed goals that contribute to a Member's professional development, and service experience.
-Direct Service will constitute at least 80% of the total hours; Member Development hours will constitute no more than 20% of the total hours; Fundraising hours will constitute no more than 10% of the total hours.
- What are some specific examples of what SIS AmeriCorps Members can do?Members can do virtually any type of community service, as long as it is in one of the focus areas for national service. They can serve at domestic violence shelters and food banks/soup kitchens; tutor or mentor youth; volunteer within the criminal justice system, community health programs, or the Red Cross; serve as a volunteer firefighter; support stream restoration, revegetation, or reforestation projects; work with recycling programs or wildlife conservation; etc.
- Can a Member's position be paid?The ONLY paid positions for which a Member can accrue hours for both a job and for the Students in Service program are Community Service Federal/State-funded Work Study positions. All other service must be unpaid (including internships, academic course-related service, and general volunteer service).
- What is community service work-study?
(Federal or State) Community Service Work-Study is a work-study position that is completed in the local community or, if on campus, has significant contact with members of the local community.
Federal or State supported Community Service Work-Study positions are designated by each individual college or university financial aid office because all financial aid offices receiving work-study slots are mandated by the federal government to utilize at least 7% of all work-study slots to help benefit the local community.
Community Service Work-Study students (usually have a high financial need) can be paid as a work-study student and participate in the SIS program (double-dip).
Contact your financial aid office to acquire a list of local non-profit organizations that are eligible to have community service work-study students and they may also be able to provide you a list of students who are eligible to serve as a community service work-study student.
Only students designated as community service work study-students by your financial aid office are eligible to participate in SIS
- Who is responsible for completing and sending paperwork?Ultimately, the Member is responsible for completing, securing appropriate signatures, and sending program-related paperwork to the SIS Coordinator on your campus. Site Supervisors have agreed to assist the Member in completing the tasks that do require their participation, collaboration, and approval/verification. As a CP you may follow up with students who attend a program orientation to make sure they've sent in their paperwork and assuring that the paperwork is complete and correct.
- What if there is a concern with the quality or nature of the Member's service activites?First, contact the site supervisor to have them explain what the Member's service consists of. As an SIS Campus Coordinator, if you determine the service is not what it was originally stated to be and does not fit within the program guidelines, it is within your discretion to not count hours served while conducting these service activities and/or require the student to get a new service site.
- Is serving in a church soup kitchen considered a prohibited activity?
To determine whether an activity is prohibited, a Site Supervisor and Member should consider first the type of the activity, and secondly the location. If a Member is serving food in a soup kitchen that happens to be in a church, that activity in and of itself may be appropriate. Students in Service encourages partnering with faith-based organizations. However, if a Member is expected, as part of the soup kitchen experience, to discuss or promote the particular ideology or mission of the hosting religious organization, that would be an example of an unacceptable direct service activity. This may be a helpful example in determining prohibited activities.
- How does a community organization benefit from hosting an AmeriCorps Member?
-Access to a committed volunteer who can serve for a set period of time.
-Ability to collaborate with a volunteer to identify a community need and outline steps to address community issues.
-Fostering a deeper relationship between community organizations and college/university resources.
-Opportunity to serve as a personal and professional mentor to a higher education student.
-Development of programs or sustainability measures by an AmeriCorps Member for your agency or organization.
-Direct connection to the national service movement and support of national service initiatives.
- Can Member File documents be faxed?Please do not accept faxed documents (i.e. timelogs, site agreements, etc.) All enrollment, service, and exit documents must have original signatures. If a Member faxes a timelog, please return it to them and have them bring the original to you.
- Will AmeriCorps or Campus Compact staff visit my campus?
Throughout the year, the Students in Service staff has an interest in visiting sites around the state to make connections with Campus Partners, Members, and community agencies. Along with program orientations, the Students in Service staff will also endeavor to visit Member institutions. The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) also conducts site visits at Campus Compact offices. During a site visit, CNCS visits one college or university and reviews program administration. CNCS staff also feel strongly about making a connection in the community and invite direct feedback about program experience from Members, community partners, and Campus Partners. Again, while CNCS may not visit every campus, if yours is selected, you will be notified in advance. In that case, the Students in Service staff will bring Member files, meet with you on campus to review the program, be present during the CNCS review, and visit one or more service sites.
- What are "Great Stories?"A significant component of any service-learning program is the element of reflection. Participants must have an opportunity to consider their experiences, and reflect upon the meaning of those experiences. The experiential learning process is a valuable component to Students in Service. Members are strongly encouraged to submit Great Stories throughout their term of service. This story is a reflection piece about a positive experience that occurred at their service site and/or about their service with a client.
We encourage you to stay in touch with your Members about these stories. You may be encouraged after reading the wonderful learning experiences of our AmeriCorps Members. Many times, Members are willing to have their reflections shared with campus officials, other Members, agency staff, parent newsletters, or even boards of directors. Sometimes in the most challenging of service experiences, these kinds of reflections and learning experiences continue to inspire our Members and put their service experiences into perspective. We hope you will be able to share in the positive outcomes of service!
Members should submit their Great Stories online here.