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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, Urban and Rural Development, and Energy Conservation -- 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 $5,775) 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

  • 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 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 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 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?

    As spots on campus become available, waitlisted applicants who have submitted the required clearance paperwork will be invited to serve on campus. These offers can come very late in the process--in some cases, only days before the planned campus start dates. The possibility of selection from the waitlist depends on the total number of applicants as compared to the number of available member slots. Chances of selection for service from the waitlist are typically higher for campuses beginning in the winter.

    If you are not selected from the waitlist, you can maximize your future chances of receiving a campus invitation by:

    1. Strengthening your AmeriCorps application (see our Visual Guide to the AmeriCorps NCCC Application for advice), and
    2. Applying as early as possible for the next AmeriCorps NCCC cycle (Open listings visible here)

    Whether a Corps Member applicant to AmeriCorps NCCC receives a waitlist vs. campus invitation is based on both the application quality as well as how early an application was submitted.

  • 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.

  • 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 Diversity in Service (3 credit hours). An additional course in Core Supervisory Skills (3 credit hours) is available for Team Leaders to pursue. All courses require classroom and fieldwork throughout the year of service that culminate 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.

  • May an individual serve in AmeriCorps NCCC if he or she has used, or is currently using, illegal drugs?

    AmeriCorps NCCC is a drug-free environment. All members are tested within 14 days of reporting to the campus and randomly throughout the program year. Members may also be tested when the Region Director determines that there is reasonable suspicion to do so.  Dismissal proceedings will be held for Members who test positive for illegal drugs.

  • 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, or call us at 1-800-942-2677, and we will help you make a connection with an alum or a currently-serving member.

  • 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.

  • What is a Team Leader?

    AmeriCorps NCCC seeks Team Leaders to provide experience and leadership to Corps Members as they work to strengthen communities. Team Leaders coordinate the activities of 8-12 Corps Members per team.

  • How long are the assignments, and are they all full-time?

    Members are required to serve full-time for 10 months and complete 1,700 hours of community service, including 80 hours of independent service.

  • What if I'm out of school and not interested in the education award? Can I get that money in cash?

    No. Members are eligible only for the education award.

  • What types of service projects will I be doing?
    • Filling and installing sandbags for local communities to mitigate the impact of natural disasters
    • Educating people on sustainability and energy conservation practices
    • Constructing or repairing hiking trails in local and national parks across America
    • Receiving, inventorying, and distributing, donated food and other goods
    • Removing exotic vegetation and planting new trees
    • Making facilities handicap accessible and installing informative public signs
    • Directly assisting veterans, homeless, and senior citizen populations
    • Constructing and rehabilitating low-income housing

  • What skills do I need to have?

    Your motivation and commitment are the primary requirement. 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.

  • Can I apply for more than one AmeriCorps NCCC track?

    Yes. You can use the same application to apply to FEMA Corps and AmeriCorps NCCC as a Team Leader or Corps Member. Simply search listings for AmeriCorps NCCC, and click on each listing to select “apply now” for each opportunity that interests you. If you do not submit your application to a position, your application will not be considered, so be sure to select “apply now” for each. You will receive a confirmation email upon successful submission.

  • Can I be selected for both AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA Corps, and then choose which track I want to do?

    Unfortunately no, once you are invited to serve for one NCCC service track you will no longer be able to be selected for the other NCCC service track. So be sure to learn as much as possible about the many opportunities available to you, and decide which option is right for you.

  • What does the application assessment involve? Will I be interviewed?

    NCCC application assessments involve reviewing applicants in the following areas when performing application assessments: interest, motivation, flexibility, adaptability, collaboration, and accountability.

    In some instances, assessors may require further information before determining an applicant’s eligibility for the program.  When this occurs a follow up interview will be conducted with the applicant.  You can prepare for a follow up interview by finding out as much as possible about the NCCC program. You should respond to the interview questions sincerely and honestly.

  • If I am recommended for service in NCCC, what is the probability that I will be invited to serve?

    If recommended for service in NCCC, applicants are placed on a list of eligible applicants. NCCC’s allotted member positions are filled through a random selection of applicants.

    At any time an individual may decline their position, including the day prior to the start of the program. If and when positions become available, NCCC continues to make random selections from the waitlist to fill vacated member slots.  We do not guarantee positions to all applicants recommended for the NCCC program.

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