Siena VISTA Fellows


2013-2014 V.4

AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program

VISTA Fellows Policy Handbook 1

About the Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Handbook
This handbook is intended to be used as a reference for you during your term with the Siena College Office of Academic Community Engagement AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program (hereafter Siena VISTA Fellows Program). It is a compilation of Corporation for National and Community Service policies and Siena VISTA Fellows Program policies and procedures that guide our operations. We try our best to provide you with clear and up-to-date information; however, from time to time, new policies may be added. It is by no means a complete handbook. We are honored that you have chosen our program to do your AmeriCorps*VISTA year of service. In turn, the Siena VISTA Fellows Program commits to providing you with quality tools and up-to-date information so your service year will be the best that it can be. Acronyms ACE - Academic Community Engagement ASL - Academic Service Learning C4C - Connect 4 Change CEC - Civic Engagement Camp CNCS - Corporation for National and Community Service DEEP - Developing Engaging Educational Partnerships iMPR - Internet Monthly Progress Report IST - In-Service Training NEXT - Non-Profit Excellence, Consulting Services and Transformation OACE - Office of Academic Community Engagement OSA - Optional Staff Activity OSOT - On-Site Orientation Training PDO - Professional Development Opportunity PDP - Professional Development Plan PSO - Pre-Service Orientation SBA - Site Based Advisor SBLP - Siena Bonner Leader Program SBSL - Siena Bonner Service Leader SS - Site Supervisor SSS - Summer Service Scholars VAD - VISTA Assignment Description VISTA - Volunteers in Service to America VL - VISTA Leader VLAD - VISTA Leader Assignment Description VMSU - VISTA Member Support Unit

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Academic Community Engagement Staff
Administrative Staff Dr. Mathew Johnson ‘93, Director of Office of Academic Community Engagement Yalitza Negron ‘08, Assistant Director of Academic Community Engagement/AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Antonius “Tony” Rivera, Assistant Director of Academic Community Engagement/Bonner Service Leaders Dr. Ruth Kassel, Assistant Director of Academic Community Engagement/Academic Service Learning Lori Barringer, Assistant Director of Academic Community Engagement/Operations and Special Projects Professor John Harden, Esq., Academic Coordinator, Lecturer - First Year Seminar April Risley ’12, ACE Coordinator of Quality Assurance and Youth Programs Pam Skripak, Assistant Director of Academic Community Engagement/NEXT/Connect4Change

Siena AmeriCorps VISTA Leaders
VISTA Leaders Marie Lovato, Coordinator of Media Production and Career Enrichment Johan Matthews, Coordinator of Resource Generation and Media Correspondent

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August 2013 Dear AmeriCorps* VISTA Fellow, Welcome to your year of service! We are enthusiastic that you are committing to a year of service during a time in our country where civic engagement is being highlighted as a way of addressing the critical needs in our communities. Our program was founded in August 2007 and the first four VISTAs of the program started in January 2008. Our program has grown tremendously since its inception and has developed strong programs including our own AmeriCorps* VISTA Fellows, Bonner Service Leaders, and Academic Service Learning programs. The mission of our office, the Office of Academic Community Engagement (ACE) is to promote, develop, support, and connect Siena students, faculty, staff with the greater New York State Capital Region and beyond through academically grounded, sustainable, developmental, multifaceted, community partnerships. ACE focuses on fostering, deep, sustainable partnerships with local community partners in hope to build their capacity to better serve those in need through antipoverty initiatives. You join a legacy of over 4,000 members who served before you and have given their time and dedication to assist in pioneering a long lasting commitment to building capacity in local community partners by addressing their needs through indirect service.    As a member in our program,  not only will your service have a positive impact in the community, it will also change you. You will develop new skills and introduce you to new people, and build a better understanding of the functioning of non-profits, schools and other public service agencies as you grow professionally through our program.  Your service term gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself and to explore your limits.   In order to help you progress into a successful year ahead, this handbook has been created to help provide you the tools and guidance of our program expectations of each of our AmeriCorps* VISTA Fellows. We hope you will find this handbook as a useful guide as your progress through your work. If you have any questions or would like to provide any feedback on this document, please feel free to contact any of our Administrative Staff or your corresponding VISTA Leader. We thank you for your commitment and dedication to helping fight poverty in our community and your passion for national service. We look forward to working with you this year! May you enjoy a rich and rewarding service experience!

Office of Academic Community Engagement Administrative Staff and AmeriCorps* VISTA Leader Team

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Mission and Values
Siena College
Siena College is a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic institution. As a learning community, Siena is committed to a student-centered education emphasizing dynamic faculty-student interaction. Through a blending of liberal arts and professional education, Siena College provides experiences and courses of study instilling the values and knowledge to lead a compassionate, reflective, and productive life of service and leadership. As a liberal arts college, Siena fosters the rigorous intellectual development of its students through a healthy exchange of ideas both inside and outside the classroom. It provides opportunities to develop critical and creative thinking; to make reasoned and informed judgments; to appreciate cultural diversity; to deepen aesthetic sensibility and to enhance written and oral communication skills. It develops in each individual an appreciation for the richness of exploring knowledge from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. As a Franciscan community, Siena strives to embody the vision and values of St. Francis of Assisi: faith in a personal and provident God, reverence for all creation, affirmation of the unique worth of each person, delight in diversity, appreciation for beauty, service with the poor and marginalized, a community where members work together in friendship and respect, and commitment to building a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane. As a Catholic college, Siena seeks to advance not only the intellectual growth of its students, but their spiritual, religious and ethical formation as well. To this end, Siena is composed of and in dialogue with people from different religious and cultural traditions; fosters a critical appreciation of the Catholic intellectual heritage in conversation with contemporary experience; provides ample opportunities for worship and service; explores the moral dimensions of decision-making in business and the professions; and affirms the dignity of the individual while pursuing the common good. The Franciscan Tradition Siena's Franciscan identity requires us to be a student-centered community. Life is lived in, with, and for, other human beings. At the same time, it respects the irreplaceable dignity of the individual and the individual's freedom of conscience. Francis's vision of community was egalitarian and non-authoritarian, concerned with growth and freedom, but he insisted on holding members of the community accountable for their contributions to community life and for their individual behavior. The Franciscan tradition also provides resources which contribute to our academic excellence. Francis called himself simple and unlearned yet had a profound and coherent understanding of human identity, social life and the physical world. This understanding began with careful attention to the real experience of being human, living in a community, being situated in a particular place, but then he put this experience in the context of a tradition. He could also listen to and learn from people formed by other traditions.

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Office of Academic Community Engagement
Academic Community Engagement (ACE) develops and supports academically grounded, sustainable, developmental, multifaceted, community partnerships that connect students, faculty, staff and community members with the needs and assets of the Capital Region and beyond through community engagement. In the tradition of St. Francis, we place the creation and acquisition of knowledge in dialogue with the needs and assets of the greater community through our reciprocal partnerships. ACE echoes the life of St. Francis by engaging all community members in co-creation of knowledge and community change. ACE, together with others, builds a campus culture of service that values the contribution of diverse voices within and beyond campus. Faculty and Staff ACE provides faculty and staff with access to the current research, assessment, and pedagogical methods and materials in academic community engagement. ACE provides faculty, staff, students and community partners training in Problem-Based Service Learning and other forms of academic community engagement (e.g. community-based research, policy options briefs, etc.) and advocates for the integral nature of academic community engagement as part of a Siena education. Students ACE provides students and recent graduates with academic community engagement leadership opportunities through the Siena College Bonner Service Leaders Program, the Siena College VISTA Fellows Program, and other ACE initiatives. Bonner Service Leaders and VISTA Fellows in turn assist faculty, staff and students with development and implementation of academic service learning projects, community based research, and other forms of academic community partnerships. Partners Local Partner Organizations are the backbone of ACE initiatives. Local Partners are co-educators, community anchors, and sources of community voice and community change. ACE also partners nationally and regionally with Campus Compact, The Bonner Foundation, The Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps*VISTA, and other organizations to further develop academic community engagement at Siena and across the region, and to build national distinction for Siena’s Franciscan commitment to academic community engagement. ACE partners locally with a variety of community-based organizations through our nationally recognized DEEP partnership model.

DEEP (Developing Engaging Educational Partnerships)
The Siena DEEP Service Model brings together the best practices from the Community Service, Service-Learning, and Civic Engagement, and Community Development literatures with the resources of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Bonner Foundation, and the rich history of service at Siena College. Infrastructure and Capacity Building

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We provide academic support services for faculty, students, and community partners engaged in community development through academic service partnerships. In each partnership we make, our goal is to build the capacity of: a.) the organization to meet the needs of its clients b.) the student to successfully take leadership roles that emphasize justice and service c.) the faculty to better integrate place-based and problem-based learning into their classes by aligning the needs of community partners with course learning objectives to produce rigorous learning experiences that are also of service to others. Multi-Faceted Our approach to Community Partnerships includes collaboration on: a. Siena VISTA Fellows Site Placements b. Siena Bonner Service Leader Site Placements c. Academic Service Learning Partnerships d. Academic Internship Site Placements e. Occasional Volunteer Site Placements f. Site-Based Team Management of Volunteers g. Community-Based Research Partnerships h. Collaborative Resource Development i. Collaborative Strategic Planning j. Non-Profit Community Networking and Collaboration k. Technical Assistance (Web 2.0, Board Training, etc.) I. An ongoing, three-year plan of collaboration with each partner. Developmental Commitment We are developmentally oriented and committed to sustainable Community Partnerships. Integrated We seek to fully integrate the academic pathways and experiences of students with the service experiences in which they participate. This may take form of Academic Service Learning, but may also take form of assisting students with connecting cognate course work with an issue of particular importance to the community partner with which they are serving or the form of Community-Based Research projects. For examples a student working on refugee resettlement with a community partner may be advised to take a political science course on Refugees and Child Soldiers. Contextualized We encourage and facilitate students and others to reflect on their participation in Community Partnerships through the lenses of social, philosophical, and theological analysis. Bonner Service Leaders The Siena Bonner Program is one of 80 Bonner scholarship programs based at college campuses across the United States. The first Bonner Program was piloted by the Corella & Bertram F. Scott Bonner Foundation at Berea College in 1990-1 and was designed to transform not only the students who are directly supported by the program, but also the campus and community in which they serve and learn. Each program is designed to provide access to education, and opportunity to serve, for college students.
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Like other participants in Bonner Programs across the country, Siena Bonner Service Leaders make a multi-year commitment to integrate academics, community engagement, and leadership into their college experience. Typically, Siena Bonner Service Leaders commit to 8-12 hours of service per week at a service site, which they will serve across their college career. Throughout their multi-year commitment, they seek to understand root causes of systemic issues in the community while participating in professional and leadership development opportunities through the Office of Academic Community Engagement as well as opportunities to travel nationally and internally. VISTA Fellows play a pivotal role in supporting SBSLs by being a Bonner Site Supervisor, professional mentor and trainer, and/or a point of contact and support for Bonner service activities at their service site. VISTA Fellows are encouraged to develop a rapport with SBSLs by playing one of these roles. In return, SBSLs gain professional skills and learn more about national service as an option after college.

ACE Academic Programs
Summer Service Scholars Indirect Service The AmeriCorps*VISTA Summer Service Scholars Program is an OACE program that provides a short-term indirect service opportunity for participants to get involved in anti-poverty activities at one of our local community partner organizations. The SSS Program is a primary opportunity to introduce individuals to national service, perhaps leading to their participation in the year-long Siena VISTA Fellows Program. VISTA SSS members typically serve 10 weeks and receive a modest living allowance and education award at the end of their service-term. Direct Service The AmeriCorps Summer Service Scholars Program is an OACE program that provides a short-term direct service opportunity for participants to get involved in anti-poverty activities at one of our local community partner organizations. AmeriCorps SSS members typically serve 10 weeks and receive an education award at the end of their service-term. Academic Service Learning Academic Service Learning is based on the Problem-Service Based Learning model and Siena includes all forms of academic teaching and learning in which learning outcomes of an academic course or project are met in whole or in part through meaningful engagement with community-based organization. Siena VISTA Fellows are challenged to make at least one academic service learning connection during the course of their service-year. VISTA Fellows are encouraged to set up a meeting with the Assistant Director of Academic Service Learning to discuss the opportunity for an ASL connection at his or her service site. Academic AmeriCorps Academic AmeriCorps Fellows gain professional experience in an internship or practicum and connect their work to larger social movements and like-minded individuals in other disciplines. The internship must be a credit-bearing course at Siena college and students must completed and document 300 or more hours. The student’s internship work focuses on social justice issues involving an underserved population. Students receive an AmeriCorps education award for their participation.

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Connect 4 Change ACE’s Connect 4 Change (C4C) program assists area businesses to meet the Capital District’s most pressing needs while strengthening their own organizations by engaging their employees in volunteer service. C4C is designed to benefit both the Capital District's leading companies and community partners by enabling corporate teams to take a hands-on role in meeting community needs. Specially trained C4C project leaders start by assisting community organizations to identify projects then recruit, train, and deploy teams of corporate volunteers to meet the need. C4C leaders are on site for the duration of each project to ensure the satisfaction of all participants. C4C is the project management service that companies of all sizes turn to when they want to create employee volunteer opportunities. Businesses select the type of service project, location, and timing that best meets their team’s needs, and C4C project leaders manage the rest! Community Based Research Community Based Research takes many forms and is realized in different ways on campuses across the nation and around the world. At Siena, we embrace Community Based Research as a learning tool that seeks to engage the expertise and resources of a classroom or campus community to develop sustainable partnerships dedicated to solving DEEP initiatives. Policy Options Policy Options is an academic service learning framework where students tackle real life issues and work to find best practice solutions and public policy improvements. Policy Options focuses on public policy research, e.g. chronic homelessness or a need for jobs for youth. After extensive background research on the issue, students then analyze their findings and work to craft new policies. With Policy Options, these new policy suggestions are put together in to “policy briefs” or “issue briefs.” A completed policy brief includes the identification of the problem at hand, the scope in which the students are working, analysis of past policy and current policy, and then finally future policy recommendations meant to improve quality of life. Siena Civic Engagement Camp The Siena Civic Engagement Camp is a three week (one week sessions) day camp for high school students ages 14-18. Participants learn about about civic engagement and participate in community engagement projects throughout the course of their camp experience. Corporate Partnership Program The Corporate Partnership Program works with local businesses, corporations, and organizations that seek to provide employee volunteer opportunities with local area non-profit organizations and agencies. The OACE acts as a liaison and helps to connect local businesses, corporations, and organizations with local area non-profit organizations and agencies who wish to partner for a volunteer project. Faculty & Staff Mentor Program The Faculty & Staff Mentor Program connects Siena VISTA Fellows with Siena College faculty members and administrative staff during their service term. The Siena VISTA Fellow and Faculty or Staff Mentor work together throughout the service term to develop academic connections between Siena College and their community partner site. The Faculty or Staff Mentor also assists the Siena VISTA Fellow’s with professional development and career goals.

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Non-profit Excellence, Consulting Services and Transformation A loose acronym for “Non-profit Excellence, Consulting Services, and Transformation” the mission of NEXT is to engage consulting teams of students, faculty, staff, and community members in working towards a vibrant, solutionoriented, sustainable non-profit sector across the Capital Region by providing business, operations, and program consulting services to community-based nonprofits. The NEXT program will develop highly-engaged consulting teams of Siena students, faculty, and administrators to support non-profit development that emphasizes innovation, consolidation, and solution-oriented collaboration. Consulting services that NEXT may provide include board function, financial systems, HR, marketing and strategic communications, shared services and mergers, and impact measurements.

Member Benefits and Rights
VISTA Fellows receive benefits that are provided by CNCS and AmeriCorps*VISTA. These include an education award or end-of-service stipend, modest living allowance, health benefits, relocation allowance (if applicable), child care, and post-service federal employment incentives and opportunities. For a full list of benefits, please visit As a member of the Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program, VISTA Fellows are also entitled to additional benefits and rights. Please see below for a partial list:

National Benefits
Living Allowance Siena VISTA Fellows are paid every two weeks, taxable living allowance for their term of service (including holidays and vacation/sick leave). An AmeriCorps*VISTA member’s living allowance is determined based on the poverty line in the local area and is provided to members in order to meet their basic living needs. Siena VISTA Fellows receive a living allowance of $11,352/year which is approximately $946/month (before taxes). Depending on the service term, the living allowance may increase or decrease due to Federal Government and/or CNCS policies. Often VISTA Fellows are also eligible to supplement their living allowance by applying for food stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to supplement heating costs in the winter. Education Award or End-of-Service Stipend Upon completing a year of service, VISTA Fellows can receive and Education Award ($5,550) or an end-of-service stipend ($1,500). VISTA Fellows should visit to specify which benefit they would like to receive at the end of their service term. At the 10-month mark in the service term, VISTA Fellows cannot change which choice they specified. Forbearance VISTA Fellows who are eligible to have the repayment of certain student loan(s) can complete a Forbearance Request for National Service through Under this forbearance, interest continues to accrue on qualified loans
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during the term of service. Upon successful completion of the VISTA Fellows service term, CNCS will pay, on the VISTA Fellows behalf, all or a portion of the interest that accrued during the service period. For the purpose of forms and documentation, Siena College is a Title IV institution. Voting All AmeriCorps*VISTA Members are allowed to vote, including VISTA Fellows in the Siena VISTA Fellows Program. VISTA Fellows are bound by the Hatch Act and should not participate in political activities while representing AmeriCorps*VISTA. For clarification on the Hatch Act, see the PSO Participant’s Manual or visit Limited Health Benefits Members are covered by the AmeriCorps NCCC Health Benefits Program managed by Seven Corners. The health benefits plan covers routine as well as emergency care during service and some pharmacy needs. The plan does not cover medical care for pre-existing medical illnesses and/or injuries nor preventative care measures like physicals. For more information, please visit their website at It is highly recommended to secure a physician in the area within one month of service. Upon termination from service, VISTA Fellows may convert from the health plan provided by CNCS to a private plan administered by Celtic Life Insurance Company. This conversion option is available for those who do not have other insurance options. Conversion to private insurance must be exercised within 30 days of the date of termination from service. More information is available by calling toll free 1.800.365.2365 or online at, click on “Forms”, then click on Conversion Coverage. Life Insurance AmeriCorps VISTA members may purchase life insurance under a group policy with the Reliance Standard Insurance Company. Enrollment in the group plan is voluntary and takes place before or during Pre-Service Orientation. VISTA members must complete a Designation of Beneficiary form in their My AmeriCorps account. A VISTA Member can waive this benefit if he or she does not wish to enroll in the group policy. VISTA Members should click on "Waiver of Coverage" section at the bottom of the form. This life insurance policy can be cancelled at any time during the service year by going online to the “Waiver of Coverage” section on the My AmeriCorps account. Life insurance coverage ends on the VISTA member’s last day of service. Life insurance plans can be converted to an individual life insurance policy without a medical examination, if the VISTA member applies for conversion within 31 days of the end of service date.

Siena Benefits
Saint Card (Siena Identification) All VISTA Fellows receive a Saint Card at the start of their service year and is used to access the gym, check out library books, and gain access to the cafeteria. The Saint Card can be obtained through the Saint Card Office in the Sarazen Student Union. Access to Gym, Library, and Cafeteria

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VISTA Fellows are welcome to enjoy access to the gym, library, and cafeteria. Utilizing the Saint Card, VISTA Fellows can swipe their card to gain access to these amenities. The cafeteria is also a casual area where VISTA Fellows often conduct meetings. Contingent on Siena College Funding and good standing within the program, VISTAs are provided access to the dining hall, through a meal plan provided by the Saint Card office. Faculty/Staff Parking Permit VISTA Fellows who own cars and anticipate parking on campus are eligible to receive a Faculty/Staff Parking Permit. VISTA Fellows can obtain the necessary form to apply for a permit through the OACE. Parking permits are available at the Public Safety Office. VISTA Fellows should bring their parking form and proof of registration to obtain a Faculty/Staff Parking Permit.

A VISTA Fellowship is considered a full-time (40 hours per week), professional position. VISTA Fellows are expected to work 35 hours per week at their sites and 5 hours per week participating in programmatic activities on-campus, although depending on programatic activities the balance of time may vary. While on campus, VISTA Fellows are expected to attend meetings, trainings, and make connections with the campus community. Each VISTA is to be mindful of the usage of their time on campus. If the VISTA is not on campus to meet a program expectation, then the VISTA should return to their service site. The major tasks of the OACE of change throughout the seasons. In the Summer, the OACE is preparing for the new VISTA Fellows Team’s arrival and saying farewell to the VISTA Fellows Team transitioning out. In the Fall, OACE is preparing to host the Annual Halloween Extravaganza, an annual fundraiser for one of our community partners. In the Winter, our VISTA Leader team is in full-swing VISTA recruitment mode for the next service year. In the Spring, we are interviewing and hiring new VISTA Fellows for the coming service year. During the Fall and Spring, VISTA Fellows will receive a calendar of dates, times, and descriptions of major events and activities coming up. Siena VISTA Fellows are encouraged to participate in ACE and Siena VISTA Fellow Program events and activities to get to know ACE Administrative Staff and fellow program participants. Siena College Operating Hours During the academic year (late August through late May) Siena College operates Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (1-hour lunch). During the Summer (mid-May through mid-August) Siena College operates 8:00 AM - 4:15 PM (1/2hour lunch) and Friday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. On and Off-Campus VISTA Hours On-Campus VISTA Fellows operate based on Siena College operating hours. Off-Campus VISTA Fellows operate based on the operating hours of their service site. Each VISTA Fellow is responsible for discussing hours of operations with their designated Site Supervisor during the first week of their service.

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Since flex time is an agreement between the VISTA Fellow and Site Supervisor, the OACE does not need to know about the use of flex time unless the VISTA Fellow is using more than 4 hours worth of flex time in one day. If the VISTA Fellow will be using more than 4 hours of flex time in one day, then the VISTA Fellow should inform the Assistant Director of VISTA and their designated VISTA Leader. It is important for the Siena VISTA Program to know when the Siena VISTA Fellow will be away from his or her site for extended periods of time, especially in the case of an emergency. Personal/Vacation, Sick, Compensatory (Comp) and Flex Time Siena VISTA Fellows are allowed by CNCS to take 10 personal/vacation days and 10 sicks days during their service term. Additionally, Siena VISTA Fellows are allowed by the Siena College VISTA Fellows Program to take compensatory (comp) time for program required activities that take place on the weekends. Personal/vacation, sick, and comp time time must be approved by the Assistant Director of VISTA before a Siena VISTA Fellow requests time off with his or her Site Supervisor. Requests for time off are submitted to the Assistant Director of VISTA via an electronic Qualtrics survey link that can be found on He or she will respond to the VISTA Fellow within one week, but please allow for flexibility, depending on the demands of his or her schedule and the season (Siena VISTA Fellows are encouraged to submit their holiday time off requests in early December before the Siena College holiday break). Please note: If a Siena VISTA Fellow is continuing in the program for a second year of service, then time off requests can only be made during the Siena VISTA Fellow’s current service term. Future service term requests are allowed after the successful completion of his or her current service term. Additionally, any personal/vacation, sick, comp, and/or flex time will not rollover into the next service year. Personal/Vacation Time Requests must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the personal/vacation time desired. Requests can be submitted earlier if personal/vacation time is known in advanced. Sick Time Sick days must be submitted within 24 hours of returning to the office. As a courtesy, on the actual sick day the program asks that the VISTA Fellow notify Assistant Director of ACE, Site Supervisor, corresponding VISTA Leader via email. Siena VISTA Fellows can request a sick day in advance for medical appointments. Sick time may also be used if a family member/partner/child is sick. In the event emergency sick time is needed, the VISTA must contact the Site Supervisor and the Site Supervisor must contact Assistant Director of ACE for proper reporting. Compensatory (Comp) Time The OACE and the Siena VISTA Fellows Program may require Siena VISTA Fellows to participate in weekend activities related to their service term like the ACE Mid Year Retreat, VISTA interviews, conferences hosted on campus, etc. Siena VISTA Fellows are awarded compensatory (comp) time which equals the amount of days the Siena VISTA Fellow was required to be present. Comp time can be used as personal/vacation or sick time. Siena VISTA Fellows should fill out either the personal/vacation or sick time Qualtrics survey to request comp time. In the Qualtrics survey, Siena VISTA Fellows must indicate the desire to use of comp time or else it will be assumed that the VISTA Fellow is requesting personal/vacation or sick time (depending on the survey he or she submits) and will be automatically deducted from his or her 10 personal/vacation or 10 sick days allotted by CNCS. Flex Time VISTA Fellows are allowed to take flex time, which is an alternative work arrangement that allows VISTA Fellow’s to compensate their time for non-traditional hours worked. Flex time policies differ from work place to work place, so VISTA Fellows and Site Supervisors should talk about flex time and come up with a flex-time agreement at the start of the service year.

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Time Off Requests for VISTA Program Requirements The Assistant Director of VISTA, in most cases, will not approve any time off requests that conflict with required programmatic activities like PDO and staff meetings. If a Siena VISTA Fellow has a service site activity that conflicts with VISTA program requirements, then he or she should contact the Assistant Director of VISTA. On a case by case basis, the Assistant Director of VISTA many allow a Siena VISTA Fellow to miss a VISTA program requirement. Emergency Leave & Bereavement Emergency Leave VISTA Fellows are provided by CNCS 5 emergency days in the unfortunate case of an emergency caused by illness or death in the family. VISTA Fellows should contact Assistant Director of VISTA as soon as possible. The emergency time is granted to VISTA Fellows on a case by case basis and must be approved by the CNCS NY State Office. Bereavement If a VISTA Fellow will need time for mourning, then the VISTA Fellow must contact the OACE immediately with request of time needed. The Assistant Director of VISTA will contact the CNCS NY State Office to make specific and necessary arrangements, including in assisting with travel arrangement depending on the VISTA Fellow’s circumstance. Holidays Siena College observes most standard holidays and some religious holidays. On-campus VISTA Fellows follow the holiday schedule of Siena College, while off-campus VISTA Fellows follow the holiday policy set forth by their service site. VISTA Fellows should have a discussion with their Site Supervisor if the holiday policy is not clear. Please note: VISTA Fellows are encouraged to participate in MLK Service Day activities, but each Siena VISTA Fellow must get permission from his or her Site Supervisor before participating. National Service Day From time to time VISTAs are provided the opportunity to participate in National Service (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, AmeriCorps Kick off Event), are excused from serving at their site at the discretion of the Assistant Director of ACE. National Service Days can be located on the Google Calendar via the ACE Website. Site Holiday Schedule VISTA is responsible to let ACE office know if site is closed for more than 24 hours at a time and submit a work plan a month prior to the office closing. Winter Break The Siena College campus is closed for two weeks during the holiday season. On-campus VISTA Fellows are expected to work remotely during this time. Each VISTA Fellow is responsible for creating a professional work plan which is to be submitted to the OACE one month prior to the holiday break. Off-campus VISTA Fellows are also expected to work during the time the Siena College campus is closed and should continue to follow the time policy set by their designated service site. If a VISTA Fellow would like to take time off during this period, then they must follow standard procedure and submit an electronic time-off request via to the Assistant of Director of VISTA. Alternative Spring Break
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In some cases, VISTA Fellows are placed at service sites in which there is an option to participate in an Alternative Spring Break. VISTA Fellows may be allowed to participate if the trip has a connection to their service work. VISTA Fellows who foresee attending an Alternative Spring Break must submit an electronic request via Qualtrics available on to the Assistant Director of VISTA two months prior to departure of an Alternative Spring Break trip. Within two weeks, the VISTA Fellow will receive a notification indicating whether the time has been approved or not. The OACE reserves the right to question any motive for the Alternative Spring Break trip or to refuse approval.
National Service Disaster Relief Policy

If a VISTA would like to dedicate time to serve in relief efforts in an area affected by natural disasters, they must submit a proposal to the Assistant Director of VISTA and their Site Supervisor. This proposal should include the dates and times requested, information about service activity, and program or organization volunteering with. All requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If approved, personal time must be used.

Snow Days, Inclement Weather, and other Unforeseen Circumstances Occasionally the Albany area gets heavy snow in the Winter and travel on roads is difficult. VISTA Fellows should speak with there Site Supervisor about their service site’s policies and what to do incase they cannot travel to work on snowy days. If a Siena VISTA Fellow cannot report to their service site due to unforeseen circumstances, like a power or internet outage, he or she should work from Siena College’s campus and inform the Assistant Director of VISTA and his or her designated Siena VISTA Leader of the situation. Jury Duty VISTA Fellows selected to serve as jurors are allowed to participate and will continue to receive all benefits, including living allowance, regardless of any reimbursement received from the court. If a VISTA Fellow is selected as a juror, then they should inform their designated VL and the Assistant Director of VISTA. Working From Home VISTA Fellows are not allowed to work from home unless authorized by the CNCS New York State Office. VISTA Fellows are expected to report to work every day as working from home is often not as productive as working in the office environment.

Request to Leave Program Due to Compelling Circumstance
If a VISTA Fellow is unable to complete his/her service obligation due to illness or personal issues beyond his/her control and were unforeseen at the time of entry into the Siena College VISTA Fellows Program, the VISTA Fellow may be released from the Program due to a Compelling Personal Circumstance. Under this policy, VISTA Fellows are authorized to receive a pro-rated Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or end-of-service stipend. Compelling personal circumstances include those that are beyond the participant’s control, such as but not limited to: ✴ A participant’s disability or serious illness;

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✴ Disability, seriously illness, or death of a participant’s family member if this makes completing a term unreasonably difficult or impossible; ✴ Conditions attributable to the program or otherwise unforeseeable and beyond the participant’s control, such as natural disaster, a strike, relocation of a spouse, or the non renewal or premature closing of a project or program, that make completing a term unreasonably difficult or impossible; ✴ Those that CNCS has, for public policy reasons, determined as such, including military service obligations. Compelling personal circumstances do not include leaving a program: ✴ To enroll in school; ✴ To complete basic training for military enlistment; ✴ To obtain employment, other than in moving from welfare to work or in leaving a program that includes its approved objectives the promotion of employment among its participants; or ✴ Because of dissatisfaction with the program.

Non-Discrimination Policy
The OACE shall comply with all applicable state and federal rules and regulations which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identification, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the OACE Administrative Staff.

Requirements and Conditions of Service
Dress Code
VISTA Fellows are expected to adhere to the OACE Dress Code, which is a basic guideline on how to dress professionally in the workplace. As a member of the OACE, a VISTA Fellow will have a high level of community interaction and, fair or unfair, initial impressions are formed based on dress. For VISTA Fellows who are recent college graduates, it is especially important to dress professionally on a college campus. Professional appearance helps Siena faculty, staff, and administrators understand that VISTA Fellows are members of the OACE and are not students. Siena VISTAs are in a unique position because not only will each VISTA Fellow be interacting with the Siena Community but also with members of the community at his or her service site. Depending on the culture of the service site, the dress code may be different than another VISTA Fellow’s dress code on a day-to-day basis, however, when visiting the Siena campus, all VISTA Fellows are expected to be in more formal dress. As a general guideline, when in doubt about the dress code, air on the side of formal dress.

Business Casual

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Business casual refers to how you will be dressed in your day-to-day work routine. For on-campus VISTA Fellows, every day dress means business dress. When you will be working in your office for the majority of the day and mainly interacting with co-workers at your particular site, business dress is appropriate. For off-campus VISTA Fellows, every day dress may mean something entirely different. Depending on the culture of your service site, every day dress may be jeans and a t-shirt. That is a discussion that all off-campus VISTA Fellows should have with their Site Supervisor. See the following table for guidelines on business casual dress: Men Appropriate Jackets Sport coats, blazers, suit jacket, or no jacket Not Appropriate Leather jackets, athletic warm-ups or other informal wear Women Appropriate Jackets and Dresses Blazers; dresses conservative no shorter than 2 inches above the knee in long or short sleeves. Tops Sweater sets, cardigans, blouses, sleeveless blouses (thick straps) ok in the summer time. Bottoms Dress capris, dress slacks, dress khakis, dress gouchos, skirts no shorter than 2 inches about the knee Shoes Wedges, conservative closed toed shoes Accessories Scarves, conservative belt, no jingling, clinking, flashy, or distracting jewelry. Exposed belt loops require belt. Stockings when seasonably appropriate. Not Appropriate Spaghetti straps, tight dresses, sundresses, and jumpers.

Tops Pressed short or long sleeved button down dress shirt. Sweater or vest, with tie showing. Polos. Bottoms Pressed and tailored slacks or khakis

Untucked or wrinkled shirts, flannel or casual bottom down shirts.

Spaghetti straps, teeshirts, see-through shirts, low necklines, midriff bearing.

Cargo pants, jeans, corduroys

Denim, leather, cargos, skorts, mini skirts, leggings, ill-fitting pants (no tightness, underwear lines, or bagginess) Sneakers, flip flops, sandals, full open-toed shoes (unless needed for the weather) White socks, athletic socks, visible piercing besides one conservative earring in each ear.

Shoes Loafers, shined dress shoes Accessories Mandatory tie when seeing customers, leather belt, dress socks. Jewelry - one ring per hand, conservative watch, modest earrings, modest bracelet, no visible chains, 2-3 pieces max

Boat shoes, canvas shoes, sneakers, sandals, boots White socks, athletic socks, canvas belt, visible piercings

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Men General Appearance Neatly trimmed hair, mustache, side burns, and beards. Tucked in shirt. Appropriately fitted pants (not baggy). Light dose of cologne, if any Business Formal Sloppiness, wrinkles, ungroomed hair, illfitting clothing, visible tattoos*

Women General Appearance Hair brushed and neatly styled, not in face. Subtle makeup, light perfume, if any Sloppiness, wrinkles, ungroomed hair, illfitting clothing, visible tattoos

Business Formal refers to how VISTA Fellows should dress when interacting with professional members of the community. Professional members of the Siena community include the Board of Trustees, college faculty, staff (including VISTA Fellows), and administrators, etc. Professional members of the external community include key stakeholders, political officials, community partners, and other important members of the community. See the following table for guidelines on business formal dress: Men Appropriate Jackets Pressed, tailored suit jacket in a conservative color Tops Coordinated pressed long sleeved button down shirt under jacket. Short sleeved ok in the summer. Bottoms Suit slacks, pressed and tailored, dress corduroys Not Appropriate Sport coats, blazers, leather jackets Women Appropriate Jackets Suit jacket with matching skirt or slacks Tops Blouse or shell. Sleeveless acceptable under jacket. Low necklines, midriff bearing, seeing through, blouses below belt line, tee-shirts. Not Appropriate

Polos, vests, sweaters, banded collars, turtlenecks

Khakis, chinos, cargos, jeans, shorts

Bottoms Suit skirts, slacks. Skirts no shorter than two inches above knee.

Khakis, chinos, skorts, mini skirts, leggings, capri’s, cargos, ill-fitting pants (no tightness, underwear lines, or bagginess) Sneakers, loafers, flip flops, sandals, open toed shoes

Shoes Shined dress shoes, conservative colors

Shoes High, mid, or lowheeled close-toed shoes in conservative color.

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Men Accessories Mandatory tie, dress socks, leather belt. All coordinated. Jewelry one ring per hand, conservative watch, no earrings, bracelets, visible chains General Appearance Nearly trimmed hair, mustache, side burns, and beards. Tucked in shirt. Light dose of cologne, if any. Canvas belt, white socks, athletic socks, visible piercings

Women Accessories Scarves, conservative belt. No jingling, clinking, flashy, or distracting jewelry. Stockings if skirt goes above your knee. General Appearance Hair brushed and neatly styled, not in face. Subtle makeup if any. Light perfume, if any. White socks, athletic socks, visible piercing besides on conservative earring in each ear.

Sloppiness, wrinkles, ungroomed hair, ill fitting clothing, visible tattoos*.

Sloppiness, wrinkles, ungroomed hair, illfitting clothing, visible tattoos.

VISTA Assignment Description and Site Application
VISTA Assignment Description Each VISTA Fellow receives a VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) that serves as their job description. The VAD outlines capacity building goals and activities that the VISTA Fellow will take on during there service term. The VAD is a flexible document as the OACE recognizes that goals and activities can change throughout the year. Any updates or changes made to the VAD should be communicated to the VISTA Fellow’s designated VISTA Leader and to the Assistant Director of VISTA. If the VISTA Fellow is performing job responsibilities that are not capacity building and anti-poverty activities, then they will be required to meet with the OACE Administrative Staff and discuss job expectations and responsibilities. If the Site Supervisor is giving job responsibilities to VISTA Fellow that is outside of the VAD and is not capacity building and anti-poverty focused, then the OACE Administrative Staff should be notified. VISTA Site Application Each Siena VISTA Fellow service site must fill out a service site agreement and application in order to be apply for or renew a Siena VISTA Fellow position. The Siena VISTA Fellows Program recommends that each Siena VISTA Fellow ask for a copy of the application in addition to his or her VAD. The application is a very detailed document that outlines the purpose, goals, and activities that the Siena VISTA Fellow will partake in across a three-year period.

VISTA Site Supervisor and Site Based Advisor
VISTA Site Supervisor Siena VISTA Fellows will be assigned a Site-Supervisor during their service term. A Site Supervisor is responsible for providing the Siena VISTA Fellows necessary support to achieve their project goals. A Siena VISTA Fellow should develop a good rapport with his or her Site Supervisor early on in the service term. Site Supervisors are a great resource for the Siena VISTA Fellow to become familiar with the community, his or her site, and project activities and goals. VISTA Site Based Advisor Siena VISTA Fellows will be assigned at least one Site-Based Advisor (SBA) during their service term. An SBA is someone the Siena VISTA Fellow’s Site Supervisor designated as an advisor in the event of

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their absence. The SBA does not take the place of a Site-Supervisor, but rather an additional mentor and coach for the Siena VISTA Fellow through his or her service year.

VISTA Fellows Communications
In an ever increasing world of communication, VISTA Fellows are required to communicate in a variety of different ways through mail, fax, phone, e-mail, web-based applications, and even text. VISTA Fellows are expected to communicate with the OACE, other VISTA Fellows, the Siena Community, and community members, thus it is important for each VISTA Fellow to provide up-to-date contact information. With all types of communication, responses in a timely fashion are required (within 1 business day). VISTA Fellows should check their communication tools frequently, this includes checking their Siena issued e-mail address, service site e-mail address, phone messages, and other avenues of communication set up by the VISTA Fellow on weekdays and weekends. Siena Issued E-mail All VISTA Fellows are issue a e-mail address upon the start of their service year. A e-mail address allows each VISTA Fellow a higher degree of credibility when making academic connections in the community. The OACE encourages each VISTA to use the e-mail address to conduct professional business. The use of the e-mail for personal communication is discouraged. The e-mail service is owned by Siena College and Information Technology Services (ITS) reserves the right to screen and read all e-mails. Any communication conducted through e-mail should always represent the program in the best light possible. Even though some VISTA Fellows are issue a site-based e-mail address, the OACE will only communicate with VISTA Fellows through the e-mail address. Each VISTA Fellow should check their e-mail on a daily basis and respond to any communications within 1 business day. Siena Campus Wide E-mails Occasionally VISTA Fellows utilize the Siena faculty, staff/administration, and student distribution lists to send a mass e-mail to the Siena Community about an upcoming service recruitment opportunity, fundraiser, or event. Typically the e-mail is an embedded flyer created by the VISTA Fellow or service site that describes in detail the upcoming event. VISTA Fellows should contact the Assistant Director of VISTA to ask permission to send out the communication. Below is a general guideline for who you should contact to get your e-mail approved: ✴ Contact OACE for social justice and capacity building opportunities that are not charity based, like volunteer recruitment, major fundraiser events, program marketing, etc., contact your VISTA Leader or Assistant Director of VISTA. E-mail Signature An e-mail signature is typically used by professionals as a way to convey important title and contact information to email recipients. Siena College requires faculty, staff, and administrators to have signatures formatted as size 14, Garamond font with the following information:

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Name Job Title Name of service site Address of service site 555 555 5555 phone 555 555 5555 fax e-mail website Siena College is a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic institution. CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you received this e-mail and are not the intended recipient, please inform the sender by email reply and destroy all copies of the original message Logos Throughout the year, VISTA Fellows create a variety of online and paper publications for the Siena Community and for their service site. To increase awareness of our programs, all publications should contain logos associated with the OACE and the VISTA Fellows service site. This includes the AmeriCorps*VISTA logo, the official Siena College OACE logo, and service site logo. Official AmeriCorps*VISTA logos are available on Contact OACE for Siena OACE logo. Utilize the ACE Graphic Standards Guide for any questions, which can be found on the ACE Website. Personal VISTA Communications VISTA Fellows must be conscious of their personal communications, especially on the internet with sites such as Twitter, Facebook, My Space and other social media tools. All rules and policies created by CNCS and AmeriCorps*VISTA must be followed. VISTA Fellows should caution posting anything that violates the Hatch Act or anything offensive pertaining to their service site or VISTA experience.

Team Building
VISTA Fellows often relate that having the VISTA Team as a resource is one of the most important aspects of their service year. Your VISTA Team is the OACE Administrative Staff, VISTA Leaders, and VISTA Fellows. All are an important resource for you to be successful in your service year. Throughout the year VISTA Fellows should get to know all the players in our VISTA team. The OACE sets up a variety of team building opportunities to foster a sense of cohesion and support. Each VISTA Fellow should make a good effort to join the VISTA Team in programatic and social activities to help build this team spirit. Program and Social Activities

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Throughout the service year, there are great opportunities for Siena VISTA Fellows to get to know other VISTA Fellows and VISTA members throughout the Capital Region. Below is a list of activities that have typically been scheduled and attended by VISTA Fellows in the past: ✴ Summer - Weekend BBQs at Dr. Johnson’s house, movies, hiking, Saratoga Racetrack ✴ Fall - Altamont Apple and Wine Festival/apple picking, Halloween Extravaganza, Red, White & Chocolate (BGCA Fundraiser), Festa Vino (Siena College Alumni Relations Fundraiser), OACE Thanksgiving Dinner ✴ Winter - OACE Holiday Banquet and Secret Santa ✴ Spring - ACE Banquet, AmeriCorps Week, VISTA Appreciation Week, End of Service Celebration Optional Staff Activities The Siena VISTA Fellow Leaders lead monthly Optional VISTA Activities in order to foster a supportive and fun environment. Note: if a VISTA signs up for a social activity that the program will cover the cost of, and does not attend, the VISTA is responsible for reimbursing the program the cost of the activity. Outside of Work Social Activities VISTA Fellows also often get together outside of work and explore the Albany area, coordinate potluck dinners, see movies, go for hikes and bike rides, etc. It is encouraged that VISTA Fellows develop friendly relationships; however, they should keep in mind the balance between colleagues and friendships. When interacting with other VISTA Fellows during work hours, VISTA Fellows should always treat other VISTA Fellows as a colleague first and respect professional boundaries at all times.

Training and Enrichment
Pre-Service Orientation VISTA Fellows are to go to a Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) before they start their service year. PSO offers participants the opportunity to make sure that the VISTA program is right for you, and conversely to make sure you are right for the VISTA program. Trainers from the Corporation for National and Community Service are on-hand to facilitate workshops that inform you about AmeriCorps*VISTA and the benefits and prepare you to succeed in your year of service. At the end of Pre-Service Orientation, all participants are required to take the Oath of Service in order to be an official member of the AmeriCorps*VISTA. On-Site Orientation Training VISTA Fellows are required to participate in an On-Site Orientation Training (OSOT) at Siena College. The On-Site Orientation Training is led by the OACE Director, Administrative Staff, and VISTA Leaders. OSOT is an in-depth, 5day training on the Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program. It helps to provide a solid foundation and ease the transition for VISTA Fellows at the start of their service year. On-Site Orientation Committee VISTA Fellows are invited to participate in the On-Site Orientation Committee, which allows VISTA Fellows an opportunity to give feedback and develop an agenda for the next On-Site Orientation. Gear Up Trainings Gear Up Sessions are an optional series of trainings within the first two months of the VISTA Fellows service year. Trainings and topics are contingent upon the expressed need of VISTA Fellows. Trainings are facilitated by VISTA

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Leaders, VISTA Fellows, and Siena faculty, staff, and administrators and are meant to give VISTA Fellows the tools and resources they need to be most effective during their service-term. It is a program requirement to give 24 hours notice to the corresponding VISTA Leader if a VISTA is unable to attend the Gear up, notification must be phone call or email. If it is less than 24 hours notice, a VISTA is required to attend. VISTA Business Staff Meetings VISTA Fellows are required to participate in a Business Staff Meeting once a month at Siena College. They are an essential time for VISTA Fellows to check-in as a group and share with each other important service activities and updates. Business Staff Meetings are held typically the first Tuesday of the month from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM at a specified location on-campus. The first hour and a half of the Business Staff Meeting is led by the Assistant Director of VISTA and VISTA Leaders with reflective activities and partnership development according to issue-based groups. The remaining time is a report-out period where VISTA Fellows each take a turn informing the group about their service activities. VISTA Fellows should allow for some flexibility on the format and length of the staff meeting as from time to time it may change. All dates and locations for Business Staff Meetings can be found on VISTA Fellows are typically not excused from Business Staff Meetings unless their circumstance requires them to miss the meeting. VISTA Fellows should contact the Assistant Director of VISTA and explain the circumstance and ask to be excused. VISTA Fellows are only excused from Business Staff Meetings on a case by case basis.

Professional Development Opportunities - Modules

VISTA Fellows are required to participate in Professional Development Opportunity Modules. Each module features a theme offers 4 training sessions a month on Tuesday and Thursdays from 5:30pm to 7pm. VISTA Fellows are required to attend 1 Module in the Fall, 1 Module in the Spring, and 1 Module in the Summer, and each training will be capped at 10 VISTAs. Once a VISTA Fellow signs up for a module, the VISTA must attend all 4 training sessions and will receive a certificate upon successful completion of all training sessions. However, if a VISTA does not attend all training sessions in a module, they will not receive a certificate. PDOs allow VISTA Fellows to gain and acquire new skills that will help build their professional toolkit. VISTA Fellows are encouraged to voice trainings they would find useful during their service year by contacting their designated VISTA Leader or Assistant Director of VISTA. Professional Development Opportunities Committee VISTA Fellows are invited to participate in the PDO Committee, which gives members the opportunity to discuss and select trainings that will be conduced on a monthly basis. VISTA Fellows who wish to be a part of this committee should contact the VISTA Leader and Coordinator of Training and Enrichment. In-Service Training VISTA Fellows have the option to participate in In-Service Training, which is a 1-day multi-workshop training opportunity offered in the Fall to VISTA Fellows. Facilitators who are experts in their field are invited to lead workshops. VISTA Fellows are encouraged to voice trainings they would find useful during In-Service Training and attend if time allows.

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Mid-Year Retreat VISTA Fellows are required to participate in a Mid-Year Retreat, which typically takes place on a weekend in February. The Mid-Year Retreat is a time for VISTA Fellows to reenergize during their 6-month of service. According to AmeriCorps VISTA, members typically experience lulls throughout their service year. They start off with enthusiasm but often leading up to and during the 6-month mark, energy levels goes down and some members get discouraged that they are not making more of an impact. At the Mid-Year Retreat, the Siena VISTA Program and Siena VISTA Leaders help VISTA Fellows seek new ideas and inspiration, gain motivation, and a renewal of morale and energy. The Mid-Year Retreat features additional trainings, reflection time, team building opportunities, and opportunities to develop new strategic goals. VISTA Fellows are compensated for their weekend time by receiving two compensatory (comp) days from the Siena College VISTA Fellows Program. They can be used for either person/vacation or sick days but must be specified at the time of request. (Reminder: To submit comp time, fill out either the personal/ vacation or sick time Qualtrics survey and indicate the desire to use comp time. Links to either survey can be found in the Current VISTA section on

Measurements and Outcomes
Throughout the service-year, VISTA Fellows must report their service activities through measures set up by the OACE. This is an important task as the data is collected by the OACE and sent to the CNCS New York State Office which is then utilized by CNCS to measure the overall effectives of AmeriCorps*VISTA nationwide. The data is also gathered by the OACE for use in publications, grants, and other important avenues, which allows us to share our impact with the community. It is vital that each VISTA Fellow do a diligent job in recording and reporting accurate information in all measurement tools, as this will ensure that our impact is being communicated with the utmost accuracy. Monthly Progress Report Siena VISTA Fellows are responsible for submitting a Monthly Progress Report (iMPR), an important measurement tool that consists of data and narrative sections that allow each VISTA Fellow to track his or her accomplishments and challenges throughout the service year. VISTA Fellows are encouraged to keep a personal record of their service activities throughout the month and then utilize the information to fill out the iMPR. Data sections should be filled out accurately and narrative sections should be detailed paragraphs. Data collected are submitted to Federal reports, which support the program, the site and AmeriCorps funding. Breakdown of Data and Narrative Sections of the Report Data Categories VISTA Fellows are responsible for filling out the data categories of the iMPR which consist of questions about volunteer recruitment, resource mobilization, and community partnerships established or strengthened. Narrative Categories All Siena VISTA Fellows are responsible for filling out the narrative categories which consist of questions about accomplishments, challenges, transferable resources, training ideas, and strategic goals. This section also allows VISTA Fellows to upload pertinent documents (i.e. training materials, copies of press clippings, fliers, brochures, data, spreadsheets, etc.) and provides additional space to explain data reported or additional narrative not previously reported. Submission Guidelines for VISTA Fellows

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VISTA Fellows are responsible for submitting their iMPR on the first Monday of every month during their serviceyear. If the first Monday of the month is a holiday, then the iMPR is typically due the second Monday of the month. The report must be completed and submitted through a Qualtrics survey by Monday at 12:00 PM. A copy of the completed report will be sent the VISTA Fellow, his or her Site Supervisor and the designated VISTA Leader.

Approval Guidelines for VISTA Fellow Site Supervisors After an iMPR is submitted, the VISTA Fellow’s Site Supervisor will automatically receive a copy. They must read through and approve the report by 12 PM on Friday of the same week the report is due. The Site Supervisor can approve the report via a Google Form, in which they receive a link to when they get a copy of his or her VISTA Fellow’s report. One-On-One Meetings One-On-One Meetings are an opportunity for each VISTA Fellow to meet with their designated VISTA Leader and share their latest service activities and any challenges and concerns that they may have. VISTA Leaders typically ask about the VISTA Fellow’s general satisfaction in the program, activities and projects they are involved in, connections they are making with community members, partners, and the Siena Community, and capacity building resources they are generating for their service site. Furthermore, this is an opportunity to address any challenges, concerns, or questions that the VISTA Fellow may have. VISTA Leaders generate a written report of the meeting for the Assistant Director of VISTA to read. The Assistant Director of VISTA utilizes the information to better understand each VISTA Fellow’s overall experience and to keep track of service activities of each VISTA Fellow. The Assistant Director of VISTA may also have additional comments or insights that will be related to the VISTA Fellow or given to their designated VISTA Leader to give to the VISTA Fellow. Site Visits Throughout the service year, the OACE Administrative Staff will do periodic site visits. Site visits are an opportunity for the Administrative Staff to see your space, meet the community that you work with, and provide any support that is needed. Typically each service site will receive one site visit during the service year but the Administrative Staff may do another site visit depending on the circumstances at your site. All site visits are scheduled in advanced. Surveys Occasionally VISTA Fellows are sent surveys by VISTA Leaders and/or OACE Administrative Staff. Typically the surveys ask VISTA Fellows for their feedback on workshops, trainings, newsletters, etc. VISTA Fellows are encouraged to participate as responses are helpful in making many aspects of our Program better. Mid-Year Review Half-way through the service term, each VISTA fellow will participate in a Mid-Year Review. Reviews are typical of any organization and is meant for the staff to get praise and feedback about their job performance. This is a great opportunity for each VISTA Fellow to reflect on their service activities and assess what has gone well and what can be improved. VISTA Mid-Year Reviews typically last for 1-hour and are conducted by the Assistant Director of VISTA. Exit Interview

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VISTA Fellows are required to participate in an Exit Interview at the end of their service term. The Exit Interview serves as an opportunity for VISTA Fellows to comment about their experience as a Siena VISTA Fellow. The Exit Interview is a vital resource for the OACE. VISTA Fellows should provide honest feedback about their experience and provide any suggestions for changes in program infrastructure or policies. Exit Interviews typically last for 1-hour and are conducted by the Assistant Director of VISTA.

VISTA Capstone At the end of each VISTA Fellow’s service term, he or she will be required to present an end-of-service presentation to key members of their service site, including their Site Supervisor, site-based advisors, volunteers, and other key personnel that will work closely with the next VISTA Fellow or member who will be absorbing the VISTA Fellow’s work. This presentation ensures that key members of the service site understand the impact that the VISTA Fellow made during their service terms and provides context for his or her accomplishments, milestones, and challenges. Lastly, it allows for transparency of direction the position will take in the future. The Capstone must be a 45 minute presentation utilizing the Powerpoint template that has been created, with 15 minutes for a Question and Answer session, totaling to 1 hour. The Capstone is due at the end of June electronically to Assistant Director of VISTA as a powerpoint presentation.

Transportation Policy
Siena College is home to a wealth of resources for VISTA Fellows, including Siena College campus vehicles through the Saint Card Office. Throughout the service year, VISTA Fellows are allowed to utilize campus vehicles for Siena VISTA Fellow activities that are approved by the OACE. Siena College Campus vehicles cannot be used for transportation of non-Siena College Community members due to the liability insurance of the college. To drive a Siena College campus vehicle, drivers must have a valid driver’s license, be a registered driver with Siena College, and have the proper paperwork submitted. When using a Siena College campus vehicle all New York State law, and all applicable driving laws from another state apply. If any violation of driving laws occur the appropriate documentation and disciplinary action will be taken. Procedure for Using a Siena College Campus Vehicle Reserving a Siena College Campus Vehicle VISTA Fellows must e-mail the Director/Assistant Director of ACE with their request to use the campus vehicles. The e-mail should state the reason of the request and what day and times the vehicle will be in use. Once the OACE approves the request, the VISTA Fellow must contact their designated VISTA Leader to fill out the appropriate paperwork in order to have access to the van. Once the paperwork is filled out, the Siena VISTA Fellow must bring the paperwork to the Saint Card Office at least 24 hours prior to departure to submit the paperwork and pick up the van keys. Picking Up Siena College Campus Vehicle Once Siena VISTA Fellow is issued a campus vehicle, they must make note of the mileage on the designated form provided with the issued key for the campus vehicle. Returning a Siena College Campus Vehicle All Siena College Campus vehicles are issued with a full tank of gas and must be returned with a full tank of gas. Upon returning the vehicle, the mileage should be recorded on the provided form and the keys returned to the Saint Card Office during regular business hours or the Public Safety Office after hours.

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Travel Reimbursement At various times throughout the year, VISTA Fellows may have the opportunity to travel for conferences and trainings approved by the OACE. For these types of activities, the OACE will reimburse the VISTA Fellow for gas or will provide a travel subsidy that can be used at the VISTA Fellow’s discretion. Any additional expenses accrued outside of these activities will not be covered.

The OACE encourages VISTA Fellows to create a strong, friendly relationship with other VISTA Fellows. It is understood that personal relationships beyond friendship may form. If fraternizing or flirtatious behavior amongst VISTA Fellows occurs and relationships form it is expected that the VISTA Fellows involved will keep their relationship outside of the program, and that the relationship will in no way affect their service year work both in their service site and on-campus. If concerns with the VISTA Fellow relationship is brought to the attention of the OACE, then the OACE reserves the right to speak with the VISTA Fellows concerning their behavior.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights ACT and is prohibited by the OACE. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature. VISTA Fellows who are subject of or become aware of informal complaints and reports of sexual harassment are responsible for directing complaints to their Site Supervisor and OACE Administrative Staff.

Discipline Procedure
While most situations can be resolved through communication, cooperation and respect, there may be circumstances that necessitate disciplinary action or release for cause. Because of the serious nature of some infractions, the Director of ACE and Assistant Director of VISTA may, at their own discretion, omit the disciplinary action steps and move directly to release for cause. Step 1: The Assistant Director of VISTA issues a written warning to the VISTA Fellow that states the problem and possible solutions. The VISTA Fellow receives a copy of the written warning, and the original is placed in the VISTA Fellow’s file. Step 2: If the problem has not been resolved or if it reoccurs, then the VISTA Fellow will be put on Disciplinary Contract. The VISTA Fellow receives a copy of the Disciplinary Contract., and the original is placed in the VISTA Fellow’s file. If the problem reoccurs, the VISTA Fellow may be placed on a Disciplinary Contract without a written warning. Failure to comply with the terms of a Disciplinary Contract may lead to release for cause. At 30 days past the start of the Disciplinary Contract, the Assistant Director of VISTA will meet with the member. If the problem has been resolved, then a letter stating so will be placed in the member’s file. A Disciplinary Contract will include:

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✴ ✴ ✴ ✴

Statement of the problem Reference to the previous written warning State of responsibility of the member to correct the problem State of the consequences if the problem is not resolved (if necessary, follow-up meetings may be scheduled to monitor the member’s progress in addressing the problem).

Step 3: If the terms outline in the disciplinary contract or not fulfilled, or in the case of serious misconduct, the Director of ACE determines whether to release the VISTA Fellow for cause or revise the Disciplinary Contract. Because certain infractions of the OACE rules require a more serious response, the Assistant Director of VISTA may, at their own discretion, omit the disciplinary action steps and move directly to suspension or release for cause. The following is a partial list of circumstances that will result in disciplinary action, which may lead to Release for Cause: ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ Persistent irresponsibility Sponsor releases VISTA Fellow from project site Threats to or harassment of another person Violation of rules and/or policies Inappropriate or unprofessional behavior Member dissatisfaction with required duties that interfere with performance Violation of a Disciplinary Contract

The following is a partial list of circumstances that may result in Release for Cause: ✴ ✴ ✴ ✴ Stealing or possession of stolen property Assault on another person Charged with a violent felony such as rape or homicide Charged with a sale or distribution of a controlled substance

The following is a partial list of circumstances that will result in Release for Cause: ✴ Possession of a weapon at Siena College, a project site, or in a Siena College campus vehicle ✴ Possession of, or use of, any illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages at Siena College, a project site, or in a Siena College campus vehicle ✴ Conviction of a felony during the VISTA Fellow’s term of service ✴ Conviction of a sale or distribution of a controlled substance ✴ Leaving the program without obtaining a release for Compelling Personal Circumstances ✴ Falsification of any information during the application process or during one’s term of service. VISTA Fellows who are released for cause are subject to the following consequences: ✴ The VISTA Fellow will not receive any portion of the education award ✴ CNCS will not pay any accrued interest on a loan in forbearance ✴ The VISTA Fellow but disclose the terms of his/her release for cause to any AmeriCorps program he/she applies to in the future. Failure to do so will render the VISTA Fellow ineligible to receive the AmeriCorps Education Award, whether or not that individual successfully completes the term of service.

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Drug-Free Workplace and Alcohol Policy
In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (as set forth in 45 C.R.F.), no VISTA Fellow shall unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or use on or in the workplace, including the Siena College campus, service site, or Siena College campus vehicle any alcoholic beverage, narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, or any other controlled substance. Doing so will result in immediate Release for Cause in almost any case. The OACE Assistant Directors are required to report any violations of the Drug-Free Workplace Act to the Director of ACE. VISTA Fellows are expected to report any violations to the OACE Administrative Staff or their Team Leaders. Drug possession or use before, after, or during service time, or near the service site can affect the service a VISTA Fellow is able to provide and the reputation of Siena College and the OACE. The following list is a partial list of circumstances that will result in investigation which may lead to release for cause: ✴ Any use, distribution, or manufacture of alcohol or drugs during non-service time when such use adversely affects one’s efficiency on projects, training, or community events, including attendance, conduct, performance or safety; ✴ Use of alcohol or drugs during non-service time if such use jeopardizes the reputation or credibility of Siena College, the OACE, its staff, and VISTA Fellows. Cases Where a VISTA Fellow Is Involved in Legal Action Around Drug Use or Possession Any VISTA Fellow arrested for or convicted of a drug offense must notify the Director of ACE and Assistant Director of VISTA in writing within five business days. The Administrative Staff will then take appropriate disciplinary action, including possible release from the program.

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VISTA Terms, Conditions, and Benefits Agreement
I have read and understood the terms, conditions, and benefits detailed in the AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows Program Handbook Version 3. I agree that my signature indicates my willingness to act in accordance to all policies in this handbook. I understand that if any amendments are made to this document I will be notified. If I have any questions or need clarification regarding information in this handbook, I am aware that I can speak to the Office of Academic Community Engagement staff and Siena VISTA Leaders for support and guidance. Print Name:



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