Supervisor Welcome Packet: For Supervisors who are going to Supervisors Orientation

Access information needed for your Supervisor Orientation.  Please click "Welcome to VISTA" to begin.

Welcome to VISTA

VISTA logo

The VISTA Supervisor Orientation introduces you to VISTA – its mission, history, and policies – and to your roles and responsibilities as a VISTA sponsor and supervisor. This orientation is one of several valuable resources offered to assist you in your duties and will help ensure that you have a positive experience.

VISTA brings perhaps the most important resource to organizations and communities: motivated, capable people. VISTAs are agents of change in low-income communities. They generate the commitment of private sector resources, encourage volunteer service, and strengthen local agencies and organizations.

I am constantly inspired by the fresh spirit of service and idealism common to those who join VISTA and to the organizations that sponsor programs. I want to thank you for the valuable contributions you make and will make to the renewal of America.

Best wishes for a successful project.

Eileen Conoboy
Deputy Director, AmeriCorps VISTA

Supervisor Orientation Overview

pictures - two female VISTAs

The purpose of the Supervisor Orientation is to provide information essential to successfully recruiting, supporting and managing your VISTA member(s). A facilitator and Corporation staff members will orient you to the unique mission of VISTA, its antipoverty goals and how VISTA can help ensure the continued success and sustainability of your organization’s work.


picture - VISTA writing on chart

In addition to learning more about the VISTA program, you will be able to:

  • Gain a better understanding of your role as a VISTA Supervisor
  • Support VISTAs in their roles as capacity builders within their sponsoring organization
  • Articulate how their VISTA project fits in the context of the National Service network
  • Locate key resources and contacts within VISTA to facilitate successful reporting and communication between the sponsoring organization and the State Office
  • Define and develop a clear, realistic VISTA Assignment Description (VAD)
  • Identify the diverse characteristics of the VISTA population
  • Effectively recruit, interview and screen VISTA members
  • Design and implement an effective On-Site Orientation and Training for the incoming VISTA member(s)
  • Build and strengthen relationships with VISTAs that result in retention and successful completion of project tasks

PDF Sample Agenda PDF

When and where is my Supervisor Orientation (SO)?

Supervisors usually attend an SO in their region. Because VISTA projects start at various times, there are several training opportunities throughout the year.

picture - Supervisor at OrientationAbout a month before your SO, you will be notified of the location and date of your event. If you have not received your invitation with information about which event you will attend, and you think you should have received one, contact the Corporation State Office (the people who administer VISTA projects) in your state.

A list of CNCS State offices can be found here.

For some general travel, location, and accommodation information, go to the next page.

Travel, location and accommodation information

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will cover your travel to and from the Supervisor Orientation, as well as some expenses related to your travel. picture - VISTAs eating together

A few things to remember when you travel to your SO:

  • If you require special accommodations, please contact your CNCS State office;
  • Room reservations will be made for you; sleeping rooms are reserved on a single occupancy basis;
  • You are responsible for personal expenses and/or incidental costs--items such as long distance calls, internet access charges, room service, in-room movies, etc. are your responsibility;
  • Should you miss the transportation provided, transportation costs from the airport to the hotel will be reimbursed. Save your receipts to submit at the event.
  • All meals will be provided by CNCS at the hotel.
  • Be prepared for air-conditioned training rooms;
  • You must have prior approval from the CNCS State Office to drive to the SO.

What to do before the Orientation?

Review the VISTA Terms and Conditions Course, Benefits Page and Major Tasks At-A-Glance Resource

Before attending the Supervisor Orientation, please do the following:

  • View the VISTA Terms and Conditions course. This course introduces the conditions of VISTA service, and is required for VISTAs prior to attending their pre-service orientation.
  • Review the VISTA Benefits Hub, which covers the different benefits that your VISTAs are eligible for.  
  • Note any questions you have about the Terms, Conditions, and Benefits of VISTA service and bring them with you to the Supervisor Orientation (SO). 
  • Download and review the “VISTA Supervisor Tasks” to begin outlining your tasks and roles for managing the VISTA project and supervising members. Bring a copy of your customized list to Supervisor Orientation along with questions you may have about the tasks. 

What to Bring

picture - VISTA with his VAD

Please bring the following with you to your Supervisor Orientation:

  • Laptop or tablet. You will have opportunities to work on your laptop and go to the VISTA Campus to complete tasks.
  • VISTA Supervisor Tasks document.
  • VISTA Project Application or your eGrants log in information, so that you can access your application online.
  • VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) (if already developed)
  • Onsite Orientation and Training (OSOT) Plan (if already developed)



You’ve just completed the “Supervisor Welcome Packet” course. Hopefully you know a little bit more about what to expect at the Supervisor Orientation.picture - VISTAs working on Wisdom Wall

A couple of reminders:

  1. Please bring a copy of your VAD and Onsite Orientation and Training Plan, if drafted.
  2. Complete the Terms & Conditions tutorial and note any questions you may have.
  3. Download, review and customize the “Supervisor Tasks” resource and bring it with you.  

Again, always feel free to contact your CNCS State office if you have any questions.