AmeriCorps NCCC FAQs

Applicants and Members - Answers




  • What is AmeriCorps NCCC?

    AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a full-time, team-based residential national service program for young adults who want to give back to communities in need at different locations across the country. There are currently more than 50,000 members serving in AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps VISTA, and over 900 other AmeriCorps State and National programs throughout the country.


  • What is the AmeriCorps NCCC mission?

    The AmeriCorps NCCC mission is: To strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service.


  • What do AmeriCorps NCCC members do?

    AmeriCorps NCCC members perform team-based service projects in five service areas – direct response and recovery to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, and urban and rural development -- in communities in all 50 states and U.S. territories.


  • What are the benefits of serving with AmeriCorps NCCC?

    AmeriCorps NCCC members receive a modest living allowance of approximately $4,000 for the 10 months of service (about $200 every two weeks before taxes), limited medical benefits, up to $400 a month for childcare, if necessary, member uniforms, and Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (currently $5,730) upon successful completion of the program. In addition, members do not have to pay for meals and housing.


  • What organizations does NCCC support?

    NCCC supports faith-based and other community-based organizations; national nonprofits; schools; local municipalities; state governments; federal agencies; national and state parks; and Indian tribes.


  • What do the health benefits cover?

    Members are covered by the AmeriCorps Healthcare Benefits Plan managed by Seven Corners. The plan covers routine as well as emergency care during service and some pharmacy needs, but does not cover medical care for pre-existing conditions or routine dental care. The AmeriCorps Healthcare Benefits Plan is not insurance, but rather a basic health benefit package, and will not satisfy the individual responsibility requirement of the Affordable Care Act. For more information, please visit their website at www.americorps.sevencorners.com.


  • Can married couples serve in NCCC?

    NCCC accepts married couples. Married members can serve on the same campus but will not serve on the same team. If the campus facility permits, they will room together on campus but are unable to room together while on spikes.


  • Can I bring my child/children with me to the campus?

    Children are not permitted to live with members at the campus. AmeriCorps NCCC members with children must make arrangements for someone to care for their child/children while they are in the program. Members that have custody of their children are eligible for up to $400 per month to help pay for child care while they serve with the program.


  • What are the minimum requirements for participation in AmeriCorps NCCC?

    Members are required to complete 1,700 hours of service, including 80 hours of independent service activities. Members must be able to serve effectively with a team of individuals from and within communities of diverse cultural, ethnic, economic, geographic, and education backgrounds. Members must be able to communicate, to some extent, in the English language with peers, supervisors, staff and other individuals. They must comply with the rules and regulations outlined in the AmeriCorps NCCC member handbook. Members must be able to perform physical labor, sometimes in stressful environments and adverse weather conditions. They must be willing to serve long hours beyond the eight-hour workday, deploy to any location in the region served by the campus, and be able to deal with sudden and unexpected changes.


  • What is required to successfully complete the program and receive the AmeriCorps Education Award?

    Members must serve the full ten months and complete 1,700 hours of community service, including 80 hours of independent service. If a member departs the program early, he or she forfeits the education award unless there is a compelling reason, in which case the education award is pro-rated.


  • Where are AmeriCorps NCCC campuses?

    There are currently five campuses that serve the states of their designated region.

    • Atlantic Region: Baltimore, Maryland
      • States Served: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, USVI, VT
    • North Central Region: Vinton, Iowa
      • States Served: IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI
    • Pacific Region: Sacramento, California
      • States Served: AK, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY, Pacific Territories
    • Southern Region: Vicksburg, Mississippi
      • States Served: AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV
    • Southwest Region: Denver, Colorado
      • States Served: AR, AZ, CO, KS, MO, NM, OK, TX

  • When do the AmeriCorps NCCC campuses open?

    NCCC has two term cycles: the fall and winter. The fall cycle campuses typically open in September for Team Leaders and October for Corps Members. The winter cycle campuses typically open in January for Team Leaders and February for Corps Members.


  • What states are covered by each region?
    • Atlantic Region: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, USVI, VT
    • Southwest Region: AR, AZ, CO, KS, MO, NM, OK, TX
    • Pacific Region: AK, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY, Pacific Territories
    • North Central Region: IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI
    • Southern Region: AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV

  • What are the application deadline dates for Corps Members?

    There are two deadline dates, one for the fall cycle and one for the winter cycle. Please refer to My AmeriCorps for accurate application deadlines.


  • What are the application deadline dates for team leaders?

    For Team Leaders, the application deadline for the fall cycle is typically March 1st and for the winter the application deadline is typically September 1st. However, members are encouraged to apply early, because selection is continuous and the class may be filled before the application deadline date. Please refer to My AmeriCorps for accurate listings.


  • What are the selection process and criteria?

    All applicants receive an acknowledgement packet within three weeks of submitting their application.  The packet contains information about the program and instructs applicants to call a toll-free telephone number to continue the application process.

    Upon calling the toll-free number, applicants are asked to respond to several questions about their willingness to participate in all aspects of the program. Applicants who successfully clear the pre-screening are notified of the day their application will be assessed.

    If recommended for service in NCCC, applicants are placed on a waitlist of eligible applicants. Applicants have to respond within 10 business days of receiving their status packet by returning the confirmation form, a completed medical/mental health history form, and fingerprint card in a pre-paid envelope that is provided in the mailing.

    The program’s allotted member positions are filled through a random selection of the waitlisted applicants. If an applicant is selected for a position in NCCC an acceptance letter providing a campus assignment will be sent to them.


  • How long is the selection process or how long will it take before I find out the status of my application?

    For Corps Members: Our goal is to complete the Corps Member selection process within two months of receiving the application. This means that two months after we receive an application, the applicant should know if he or she has been accepted, placed on the waitlist or not accepted. However, there are many instances when it may take longer than two months.

    For Team Leaders: The Team Leader selection process is handled at the campus level. Campuses extend offers simultaneously on the designated offer dates for their program cycle.  This means that about one month after the application deadline, the applicant should know whether he or she has been selected for a position or as an alternate.

    Note: Dates in the application and selection process are subject to change.  Please refer to My AmeriCorps for accurate application deadlines or contact us at ANCCC@cns.gov if you have any questions.


  • What is the ratio of applicants who actually get in?

    Member selection is a competitive process.  The ratio of applicants that are accepted varies depending on the number of applications received.


  • If I am assigned to the wait list, what is the probability that I will be invited to serve?

    This is a random selection process ultimately based on when a spot becomes available or if a member declines a position. Individuals assigned to the waitlist will be randomly selected and placed as spots become available.


  • How long is the interview?

    An interview generally lasts between 30 to 45 minutes. The timing depends on how you respond to the questions.


  • Once the application assessment is completed, when will I be notified of my status?

    The applicant is notified of the status of their application within three weeks after the assessment is completed.


  • What questions will be asked during the interview and how should I prepare for the interview?

    The questions will focus on things that will help us determine your interest and willingness to serve in a residential, team-based service program, flexibility and adaptability, collaboration and accountability and your personal goals. You can prepare for the interview by finding out as much as possible about the NCCC program. You should respond to the interview questions sincerely and honestly.


  • Will it be a group interview or one on one interview?

    All interviews are conducted by telephone one on one with an NCCC staff member.


  • Can I serve with a friend?

    No. NCCC does not allow members to serve with a friend. Since selection into the program is random there is no guarantee that both applicants will be selected.


  • Can I pick the campus that I want to go to?

    No. Campuses are assigned randomly.


  • Does AmeriCorps NCCC screen applicants for criminal history or other issues?

    Yes, the criminal history of all AmeriCorps NCCC applicants – both traditional and NCCC-FEMA Corps – is reviewed. AmeriCorps NCCC does not allow any member to serve who has been convicted of murder or who is listed, or who is required to be listed on, the National Sex Offender Public Website. For all other convictions, AmeriCorps NCCC will evaluate whether or not to clear an applicant for service on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, NCCC-FEMA Corps applicants will undergo additional screening, to include a FEMA pre-screening process and a federal background investigation. FEMA’s process includes a review of whether an individual is in default on any debt and an individual’s history of illegal drug use, if any.


  • Can I select my projects?

    No. Projects are developed by staff and assigned to teams.


  • Will I be able to develop any projects?

    All members have a requirement to complete 80 independent service project (ISP) hours, which are included in the total 1,700 hour requirement. These are projects that members can develop and execute on their own.


  • Can the 80 ISP hours be completed in my home state during my vacation or other leave time?

    Yes, members may perform independent service projects while on leave as long as the ISP activities have been approved by staff in advance. The standard ISP uniform policy applies.


  • How many projects will each team do?

    Each team will perform between four and six projects during the program year.


  • Will I do a project in each of the service areas?

    The NCCC will make every effort to provide teams with a wide range of project experiences, but there is no guarantee that a team will complete a project in every service area.


  • What does "spike" mean?

    A spike is a project that requires the team to establish temporary housing in the community where the project is being conducted because it is too far from the campus to travel to and from every day. Spike accommodations have included camping, military facilities, youth hostels, cabins, private residences, dormitories, etc. The team will live in that community for the duration of the project in whatever facilities that are provided.


  • How do teams get to project sites?

    Teams travel to the project site in a 15-passenger van. Some team members will be certified as drivers. Certified drivers must attend a driver’s class and take a driver’s test at the campus. These are the only members who will be permitted to drive the NCCC vehicles.


  • Will I automatically be assigned to a fire fighting team?

    No. All members receive basic disaster relief training like CPR and first aid, but members must qualify for fire-fighting training by successfully completing an endurance test.


  • Is it possible to receive college credit for participating in AmeriCorps?

    Yes, we currently offer undergraduate credit for the following courses: Introduction to Service Learning (3 credit hours) and Supervisory Skills (3 credit hours). Team Leaders can pursue credit in both courses whereas Members are only eligible to pursue credit in the Introduction to Service Learning course. Both courses require classroom and fieldwork throughout the year of service culminating with a final exam.


  • If I don’t have my high school diploma, will the NCCC help me get my GED?

    Yes. All members will develop an individual learning plan at the beginning of the year that outlines their personal learning goals while they are in the program. NCCC staff will then help the member develop a plan to achieve those personal learning goals, including getting a GED.


  • What skills will I learn while in the program?

    Members will receive a variety of training and learn different skills through the service projects they perform. All members receive CPR/First Aid and Disaster Relief certification training from the Red Cross. They learn leadership skills, conflict management, team-building, community building, and many practical skills through formal and informal learning environments. Service learning is a priority for NCCC and is part of the member’s entire term of service.


  • Are there other activities that will support my educational or personal development while in the program?

    Members participate in service-learning activities that are designed to increase their understanding of the service they do, the communities where they serve, and the importance of civic responsibility. Examples of service-learning activities include doing research about a project that a team will do, participating in structured reflection sessions and keeping a journal about the NCCC experience, and developing a service project portfolio at the conclusion of each project. This service project portfolio is the written record of the service experience and summarizes the project activities, members’ experiences, and what was accomplished.


  • Are members required to take a drug test?

    Yes. AmeriCorps NCCC is a drug-free environment. All members are tested during the first week of reporting to the campus and randomly throughout the program year. Members who test positive for illegal drugs are dismissed from the program.


  • What are members' service hours?

    Service hours are set by the particular project to which the team has been assigned; therefore they may vary. They can range from serving three weeks straight for 12 to 14 hours a day (such as disaster relief work or fire-fighting, where the need is great) to serving hours that resemble more of a regular work week (Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM).


  • Will I have free time to do other things besides NCCC?

    Yes. Whenever members are not at the project site or performing other NCCC-related activities they will have free time.


  • Is there a way I can talk with someone who has already served?

    You can contact us at ANCCC@cns.gov, or call us at 1-800-942-2677, and we will help you make a connection with an alum or a currently-serving member.


  • How can I best prepare for the NCCC?

    Members should be ready to live and serve in a community setting with a highly diverse group of people. There will be rules and regulations to follow. Flexibility, initiative, and an open mind are key to having a successful AmeriCorps NCCC experience.


  • If accepted to the program will I have to pay for my transportation to the campus?

    AmeriCorps NCCC will pay for your transportation to the campus from your home of record and back home when you have completed the program or at whatever time you exit the program if you do not complete it. NCCC does not cover the cost for personal/vacation travel on breaks or leave.


  • Do AmeriCorps NCCC members wear uniforms?

    Yes. You are required to wear a uniform. Uniforms are issued to members when they report to the campus. The uniform colors are gray, black, and khaki. At a minimum, all members will receive the following items:

    • Polo shirts (short and long-sleeve)
    • Khaki shorts
    • T-shirts (short and long-sleeve)
    • BDU (battle dress uniform) pants: black & khaki
    • Hooded sweatshirt
    • Winter parka (or equivalent)
    • Steel-toed work boots
    • Baseball cap
    • Bandana
    • Fleece vest
    • Coveralls

    Other uniform items may also be provided depending on the campus where you are assigned.


  • When do members wear uniforms?

    Uniforms must be worn at all times when on duty. Duty times include all service days, training days, team, unit and community meetings, and while on administrative or driver duty or any other time when representing AmeriCorps NCCC.


  • Can I bring my pets and personal items like my cell phone and computer?

    Pets are strictly prohibited. You may bring your cell phone and your computer; however you will be responsible for the safekeeping of these items. Each campus has a computer lab for members and there are pay phones in the residence halls or dormitories where members live.


  • Can I bring my car to the campus?

    This depends upon your campus assignment. Some campuses allow personal vehicles, while others do not. This information will be clarified in the campus-specific information provided to applicants who are invited to campus and successfully complete medical and legal clearances. Even at campuses that allow personal vehicles, however, you will not be allowed to take your car with you when you go on a spike project.


  • Can my parents visit me at the campus, if I am selected to serve?

    Yes, but they cannot stay on the campus. They would have to stay in a hotel or with friends/family off the campus.


  • What kind of supervision is there at the campus?

    Each campus is fully staffed and led by a region director. Members, assigned to teams, report directly to a Team Leader, and teams are assigned to a unit that is led by a Unit Leader. The Unit Leader is directly responsible for the safety and well-being of the members in his or her unit.


  • What breaks or vacations do I get?

    NCCC Traditional members who attend the Fall cycle will have a winter break that starts in the latter portion of December and goes through the New Year. Additionally, there is a spring break that is a long weekend (Friday and Monday off) that will occur sometime in April.

    Members who attend the Winter cycle will have a summer break that will occur around the 4th of July.  Additionally, there is a fall break that is a long weekend (Friday and Monday off) that will occur sometime in September.

    Members may be off on certain holidays such as Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. All breaks are subject to the campus schedule.

    During the breaks, the dorms will be open and members are welcome to stay at the campus. Should members choose to leave during the designated breaks they will be responsible for their transportation both to and from the campus.

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