Program Officer Site Visit CNCS site visit required every five years for a grant Ours will be: August 27-28, 2012 Will go over policies and procedures, grant compliance, member training/development, etc. Would like to interview 2-3 actively serving members if possible. Will any of your members be around? Would they want to participate?
Allowable Service- Definition Service, which can be co-curricular or academically-based, MUST be completed at nonprofits, public agencies, or faith-based and community organizations AND fall under one of these AmeriCorps six key areas: Disaster services Economic opportunity Education Environmental stewardship Healthy futures Veterans and military families Any campus positions/activities that DO NOT meet a local community need or do not have an impact on the local community are not considered allowable ASLIS activities and should not be counted on timesheets.
Unmet Community Needs Think specifically in terms of challenges your community faces: poor access to health care, below average school performance, homelessness or poverty housing, hunger or poor access to healthy foods, etc. How are these needs identified, especially considering your members’ service projects? Questions to think about: What is the specific community need the AmeriCorps project is addressing? How has that need been identified? What are the goals and outcomes associated with the service project?
Example According to the Department of Education, students at a public elementary school are performing below grade level in reading. Members will work with the school to organize a reading program that places community members with students in need of reading support. Short term goals are developing systems for the program to function and recruiting volunteers. Outcomes may include greater reading proficiency among students.
Value Added Value added refers to the additional benefit a community receives by having AmeriCorps members participate in service projects locally, in addition to ongoing volunteerism or what is required of an academic program. Also, value added service could be looked at as service that wouldn't get done otherwise without the ASLIS member. AmeriCorps members should be able to show how they are responding to an identified local need and how they are positively impacting the community in a specific service area. Questions to think about: What extra service does the ASLIS member provide that meets an unmet need that otherwise, without the ASLIS member, would not be met? How does the addition of AmeriCorps change or enhance what was already happening in the community through student service?
Examples Example 1: With the aid of the ASLIS program, a nursing program has formed a partnership with a nonprofit home care facility that provides services to families with children with disabilities. In addition to fulfilling clinical requirements, the students provide respite care to the children for a day, while the caregivers have time to take care of their personal needs. The value added is that AmeriCorps members are placed in nonprofit settings that serve high needs clients, and learn how caregiver services can ease the burden for parents and allow them to take care of their own social, physical, and mental needs. Example 2: A high school develops a mentoring program with a middle school to prevent bullying. As part of the mentoring program, the AmeriCorps member provide academic and social support and teach mentees conflict resolution skills and tolerance development. The value added is that because AmeriCorps members are committed to a specific number of required hours, they provide increased and consistent peer modeling and reduce conflict that impairs students’ ability to learn in a safe, respectful environment.
Member Position Description Audits As a result of the 2011 congressional hearings, AmeriCorps has taken proactive steps to provide evidence-based assurances that members are avoiding prohibited activities and are in compliance with the rules and regulations that govern their service. In September 2011, AmeriCorps instituted a process to sample all active members within the AmeriCorps grant programs quarterly. The pool of members selected is a random sample. AmeriCorps will review Position Descriptions of each member selected as well as requiring grantees to attest that the activities outlined in the Position Descriptions are within the scope of the grant. What does this mean for ASLIS? The Program Coordinator will be reading member position descriptions in the enrollment packet VERY carefully and if not enough detail is given or the service seems unallowable, he/she will not enroll the member and follow-up with the supervisor and member to clarify.
Changes to the Enrollment Workbook New Member Position Description Form- asks about the community need being addressed, beneficiaries and how their service will overall benefit the community Added pre-service reflection questions on the former Site Agreement and Member Development Plan Form since many of you pointed out that the questions were redundant
New Enrollment/Exit Forms The old AmeriCorps enrollment and exit forms technically expired in 2010, so please use the new forms from the enrollment packet and on our website. The new forms look almost identical so be sure to check the top of the form and see if it says “National Service Trust Enrollment/Exit Form” as opposed to “AmeriCorps Enrollment/Exit Form”
CORI New iCORI system online New CORI Acknowledgement Form ▫ Asks for more information but the only required items are: last name, first name, date of birth and last six digits of SSN ▫ SSN was not required before so please make sure members included the last six digits
2012-2013 Education Award Amounts Position# of HoursAward Half Time900$2,775 Reduced Half Time675$2,114 Quarter Time450$1,468 Minimum Time300$1,175
FBI Fingerprinting For each covered individual a program hires or enrolls on or after April 21, 2011, who is age 18 or older and whose position will involve recurring access to vulnerable populations, in addition to a National Sex Offender Public Web site check, the program must conduct: (1)A search (by name or fingerprint) of the state criminal registry for the state in which the program operates and the state in which the individual resides at the time of application; and (2)A national search by submitting fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI Fingerprinting- Gap Period A covered individual hired by, or enrolled in, a program on, or after, April 21, 2011, who then departed the program before the effective date of the regulation (TBD), is not subject to the special rule for recurring access to vulnerable populations.
FBI Fingerprinting- Update Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and CNCS are in negotiation July 15, 2012- CNCS has to respond to the OMB’s suggestions End of summer: Expected to publish final Regulations and initiate FBI fingerprinting (we then have 60 days from final Regulations being published to comply)
Stipends While all AmeriCorps service must be unpaid, there are instances in which a member may receive a stipend from their academic program or from the community-based agency during their service at that site. Hourly wages are not allowed, but stipends may be allowed under the condition that they do not amount to an hourly wage or a living wage. The stipend may not exceed the living wage for the area in which the member is serving. We recommend that you consult the Living Wage calculator to determine the rate. http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/index.php http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/index.php The Campus Supervisor must write a note, on the organization's letterhead, explaining that the member is receiving a stipend, the amount is not based on an hourly wage, and does not exceed the living wage. Stipends/positions must be approved by the Program Coordinator.
The 30 Day Rule We must notify CNCS within 30 days of a member’s enrollment and exit from the program. If a member finishes his/her hours early, exit paperwork must be turned in within 30 days of the last day of service. This means completing their last timesheet/exit form/exit survey within 30 days of that last day of service. If exit paperwork is not passed in right away, the member must continue to pass in timesheets so there are no gaps. Please remember to turn paperwork in on time! Do not hold onto exits. Mail them in when you get them so we comply with the 30 day rule.
End of Term Evaluation This form was a new requirement last year. It is a one page form to fill out and send in with exit paperwork for each member.
Accessing the Education Award Once members have passed in their exit paperwork, MACC will exit them out of the system. It is then the member’s responsibility to create a My AmeriCorps account and initiate an education award request. AmeriCorps will not contact the member or send the award without a member request. For information on My AmeriCorps, please see the Member Handbook or the My AmeriCorps PowerPoint on your jump drive.
Friendly Reminders What is a COMPLETE enrollment workbook? Only send complete workbooks! Does your member need a CORI? Did you send the CORI Acknowledgement Form? Criminal Record Check Verification Form? Did you give me enough time to enroll members within 30 days of their enrollment dates? Make copies of everything before you send it to me! Make sure you are using the CURRENT version of a form (look at the dates!) Find current forms on the MACC website/ASLIS/Forms. If necessary, delete old files and throw out/delete old jump drives. Make note of member enrollment dates, look at first timesheets. Do they have hours before the enrollment date?
The Future of ASLIS 2012-2013 is the last year of this three year grant We will be re-competing in January 2013 We will be designing a new program/model for re- competition that aligns better with CNCS priorities and the National Performance Measures We will hold a focus group in the fall to gather campus input on what that new model should look like
The Future of ASLIS- Costs If we have to start conducting FBI fingerprinting in addition to CORIs on members, the new program will most likely require a host site fee. This fee will help cover the costs for a complete AmeriCorps background check because CNCS is not providing grants any additional money for the checks. At this time, our estimate is that it would be around $200 per campus.