Smith College STEM AmeriCorps VISTA



Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Long-Term (6 months-1 year)


Smith College
United States


We seek an organized, energetic person to work with Lt. Elmer J. McMahon Elementary School (K-8) teachers, administrators, and community members to assist in the development of a STEM interest and performance augmentation program. The 2015/2016 Massachusetts Department of Education statistics identify over 72% of McMahon students as “high needs” and the spring 2016 MCAS results show that only 13% of 8thgraders were found “proficient” or above in science and technology/engineering compared to a state average of 41%. The VISTA member will lead an initiative that will work with the McMahon community and Smith College to assess needs, constraints and, community/school resources in order to develop the aforementioned strategy to improve interest and performance in STEM. We intend to utilize, whenever possible, the concept of culturally or socially relevant science education as a mechanism to better engage students.

Member Duties:

The CCSNE VISTA member will work with the Smith College STEM Outreach Coordinator, McMahon School (Holyoke) teachers, administrators, parents, and community organizations to build an innovative STEM delivery model with the project’s goals in mind. Notably, the AmeriCorps*VISTA will connect with and assist mentoring program(s), support groups, and student organizations supporting first generation and underrepresented groups in STEM. Weekly work assignments will consist of meetings with McMahon’s on-site ELL and science teachers, in addition to other applicable individuals or groups at the school, to devise resources and activities that support the development, testing, and implementation of an engaging STEM program. The primary focus will be on grades 5 through 8. Any and all resulting pilot programs will undergo careful assessment in the hopes of creating a pathway to full program implementation. It is expected that the VISTA will be responsible for ensuring the veracity and success of all assessment and implementation. If, and when, any staff development is proposed, the VISTA member will consult with the McMahon School’s Principal, McMahon’s Administrative Team, and the Director of Professional Learning and Educational Leadership.


Demonstrated interest and/or personal commitment to education, community development, and educational concerns in struggling communities. This position will require strong listening skills and communication skills—both written and spoken. We will look for this person to know and understand data collection and be a good organizer. A bachelor's degree is required. A background in education, urban affairs, public affairs, social work, public policy, social sciences or related fields will be helpful. U.S. citizenship is required. Fluency in Spanish would be very helpful. Experience living or working within a bilingual, urban community strongly preferred. Having a driver’s license and access to a vehicle would make this placement easier logistically.


  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award ($5,920) or post-service stipend ($1,800) upon successful completion of the program
  • Student loan forbearance or deferment (depending on lender)
  • Relocation assistance (for candidates moving more than 50 miles)
  • Healthcare benefits
  • 10 days of personal leave and 10 days of sick leave
  • Access to professional development opportunities
  • One year of noncompetitive eligibility for federal government jobs
  • Child care assistance
  • Transportation assistance to the partner site
  • Access to college meal plan

Living Allowance will total $13,293.30 for the year


  • Stipend Provided
  • Training Provided

How To Apply

  1. Check if you meet these qualifications: College degree (Associate’s or higher); Leadership experience; Strong organization skills; Excellent verbal and written communication; Strong interests in community service, social change, and advancing education
  2. Complete an application on the My AmeriCorps portal and submit it to our listing, “Campus Compact for Southern New England AmeriCorps VISTA.”
  3. Submit your resume, cover letter, and the contact information of two professional references to ccsnevista {at} compact(.)org.
  4. Within a week of submitting your completed application and materials, you’ll be contacted by the CCSNE VISTA recruitment team concerning next steps.
  5. If selected to move forward, you’ll complete a phone interview with two members of the CCSNE recruitment team. This interview is an opportunity for you to get to know our program better and for our team to determine whether you’re a good fit for the 2018-2019 CCSNE corps.
  6. Finally, if accepted to the CCSNE VISTA program, you will be placed at a host site based on your professional skills, interests and regional preference.