About Being an eeCorps Host Site
Thanks for your interest in hosting an AmeriCorps member as part of the eeCorps! This page provides an overview of the program and its goals and requirements so that you can determine whether hosting an eeCorps member aligns with your organization's goals and capacity.
Please review the information below and explore the linked resources, then if you're ready to apply, click the button below to do so by Friday, March 1! If you have questions not answered here, please contact the eeCorps Program Coordinator at [email protected].
The eeCorps is a program of AmeriCorps State and National, working to address goals within the Environmental Stewardship focus area. AmeriCorps is a federal agency dedicated to national service through which over 200,000 members serve each year tackling issues in their communities.
CAEE launched the eeCorps in 2020 to advance the goals of the Colorado EE Plan, expand the capacity of EE organizations statewide, and develop early-career environmental educators through AmeriCorps experience and related professional development. The goals of the eeCorps are to
- develop and implement new EE programs to increase stewardship and access to quality field experiences,
- increase outreach efforts to additional schools and teachers and/or increase the impact of current programs offered, and
- build relationships with teachers and schools to support them in their EE practice through professional development, outreach, and support.
To date, 60 AmeriCorps members have served with the eeCorps at 21 host sites and have reached over 64,000 learners.
AmeriCorps, Serve Colorado, and CAEE
Many key policies and procedures for AmeriCorps members and the eeCorps are set by AmeriCorps, the federal agency, at the highest level. Failure to comply with these policies and related infractions (e.g. falsifying timesheets, having a member perform service not allowed by the grant/their position, etc.) can result in serious penalties, fines, or other disciplinary action.
Serve Colorado is the state agency that oversees AmeriCorps State and National programs in Colorado. They ensure programs stay in compliance with AmeriCorps policies, and guide programs toward implementing policies in ways that make sense for their program activities and members.
CAEE runs the eeCorps program as funded by AmeriCorps and supervised by Serve Colorado. The eeCorps Program Coordinator supports host sites with staying in compliance with all policies and procedures set by AmeriCorps and Serve Colorado, as well as those that are eeCorps-specific based on our program's goals and needs.
When considering whether an AmeriCorps member is right for your site, it's important to note that AmeriCorps members are not employees of your organization. This means several things.
- AmeriCorps positions are meant to expand capacity and cannot duplicate or displace a staff or volunteer position that already exists.
- Living allowances and other benefits are provided as determined by CAEE's AmeriCorps grant. CAEE pays member living allowances; they are not on their host site's payroll.
- As AmeriCorps members serving with the eeCorps, they will have obligations (assignments, evaluation, meetings, and trainings) to the program as well as to your site. Host sites are expected to accommodate scheduling and otherwise support their member in fulfilling these commitments.
- To successfully complete their AmeriCorps service (and earn their Segal Education Award), members must not only perform satisfactorily and complete all assignments, but also serve a minimum number of hours set based on their term length (1700, 1200, or 900; all members in the eeCorps serve 35-40 hours per week for varying lengths of time). Host sites are required to support members in managing hours and pacing the term appropriately.
- AmeriCorps members must be 17 or older to serve with the eeCorps. There is no upper age limit, but the majority of members so far have tended to be earlier in their careers. Both because of this and generally to provide value beyond the modest living allowance, the eeCorps prioritizes opportunities for training and professional development for members and expects host sites to do so as well.
What Members Say About Their Service
You can read some highlights of member's experiences in their Member Stories. Members reflecting on their completed service have said:
"I grew as an educator who is able to successfully teach lessons, gained experience connecting with community members and partner organizations, and grew more confident in myself as a young professional." -eeCorps member, 22-23
"[Service] has solidified my love and passion for youth environmental education, mentorship, and community service. Even with difficulties and obstacles that any service member would face, some of the most profound and life changing experiences I have had have been when teaching children [during service]. ... My ability as an educator to show students the wonder of the outdoors and empower them to make changes in their community is the most rewarding work of my life." -eeCorps member, 22-23
Host sites pay a cost share to host an AmeriCorps member as part of the eeCorps. For the 2024-25 program year running September 2024 through August 2025, cost shares will be $10,000 for a "full-time" member (1700 hour term), $7,500 for a "three-quarter time" member (1200 hours), or $5,000 for a "half-time" member (900 hours). Host sites may also choose to offer a housing stipend to supplement the modest living allowance, or offer housing directly to their member if they have it available. This can make a significant difference when recruiting.
Supervisory Capacity & Member Support
Additionally, hosting an AmeriCorps member has some unique requirements beyond what you may be used to for employees/volunteers at your site. While an AmeriCorps member expands their site's capacity to develop and deliver programming, hosting them requires a certain amount of supervisory capacity for their term to be successful. For example:
- As mentioned above, the host site/site supervisor is expected to support the member with meeting all AmeriCorps and eeCorps requirements, including completing assignments, performing data collection for evaluation, attending meetings/trainings, and serving their minimum required hours. At times, this may include releasing the member from their regularly scheduled activities to make time available and/or to pace the term appropriately (while their term requires a minimum number of hours and they can serve beyond that, it is not the goal of the eeCorps to do so excessively).
- The site supervisor will meet regularly with the eeCorps Program Coordinator, and will be expected to participate in other meetings/trainings, especially during their first year with the program (e.g. site supervisor orientation and evaluation trainings).
- Host sites are required to participate in recruitment and member selection.
- Host sites must complete assorted paperwork before and during their member's term: a Host Site Agreement is signed upon acceptance into the program, sites co-create position descriptions along with the eeCorps Program Coordinator, they generate an "orientation plan" relating to member onboarding, supervisors act as CAEE's authorized representative to complete the member's I-9 upon their start of service, supervisors and members co-develop a Member Action Plan to set goals and guide the term, site supervisors approve member timesheets through the OnCorps timekeeping system, supervisors use an eeCorps-provided template for member evaluation (at mid-term and end-of-term for most members), and host sites self-evaluate to ensure adequate member support and AmeriCorps compliance.
Current and former site supervisors have expressed that paperwork is the most burdensome requirement that comes with hosting an AmeriCorps member, followed by the need to schedule flexibly enough to meet AmeriCorps and eeCorps commitments. The eeCorps Program Coordinator stays in regular communication with both members and their supervisors throughout the program year to support compliance and fulfillment of all requirements.
What Host Sites Have Said About the eeCorps
"The eeCorps program has allowed our team to say "yes" to so many more students and programs!" -eeCorps site supervisor, 22-23
"We are incredibly grateful to be part of the CAEE AmeriCorps program. Because of our partnership, we were able to reach a wider audience of individuals, create outreach programming we did not have capacity for, and find new ways to engage visitors on site. We could not have achieved what we did this past year without our AmeriCorps member." -eeCorps site supervisor, 22-23
"The eeCorps program gives us the capacity to better serve more students in our area by providing boots-on-the-ground educators who teach and develop new programs." -eeCorps site supervisor since 2020