VISTA Member Orientation
The AmeriCorps VISTA Member Orientation (VMO) is a self-directed online orientation at the start of service that introduces incoming VISTA members to the terms, conditions, and benefits of service and key programming principles. VMO includes online readings and tutorials, as well as two live webinars.
VISTA Member Orientation develops knowledge essential for success in VISTA service. The curriculum guides the VISTA through issues of legal and regulatory compliance, achieving the goals and objectives of the VISTA assignment, and managing their benefits and professional development opportunities.
VISTA Member Orientation includes the following elements:
1. Pre-Service Online Coursework: These short tutorials explain the VISTA program, the benefits of service, and important policies for members to follow. VISTAs are responsible for understanding the information presented in all the tutorials and must certify their acceptance of the contents of “Civil Rights and Responsibilities” and “VISTA Terms and Conditions” prior to starting service.
2.Onboarding Forms: These electronic forms allow the VISTA to manage their living allowance and other benefits.
3.Countdown to VISTA Service webinar: This interactive session prepares VISTAs for their first day of service and answers their questions about benefits, policies, and other topics.
4. Launching Your VISTA Service webinar: This live session reviews important program principles, provides an overview of the first month of service, explains how to get support, and concludes with the Oath of Service that officially inducts VISTAs into service.
5. Early-Service Coursework: These online tutorials guide the VISTA in understanding poverty, getting to know the community, the VISTA Assignment Description (VAD), and preparing for On-Site Orientation and Training.
Requirements for Success
To successfully participate, an individual needs reliable access to the internet and telephone, good English language proficiency, a laptop or desktop computer, and comfort with computer-based learning. We do not recommend using a smartphone or other mobile device to complete onboarding forms, the tutorials, or attending the webinars. A computer provides a much better experience.
All incoming VISTAs are expected to complete all portions of the VISTA Member Orientation—pre-service coursework, onboarding forms, webinars, early-service coursework, and proper submission of the oath form. VISTAs must log in and participate individually using their own account to complete online forms and coursework and to join webinars. Joining a webinar as a group on a single computer does not allow everyone to fully participate and it prevents the recording of everyone’s attendance. Emergency absence will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.