Adapting VADs

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Consider adapting the VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) when:

  • The VISTA has additional skills he or she can use to carry out the project
  • Changing circumstances dictate a change in the VISTA’s activities

Here’s an example: To achieve a project goal of improving the eating habits of 5% of the adults in a community, the VISTA was asked to establish an educational program connected to a non-local group. However, the VISTA found that the community doesn't trust outsiders and would not respond to a program that wasn’t “home grown.” The supervisor could adapt the VAD, changing the original plan to take into account the extenuating circumstances.

The adapted VAD allows the supervisor to put in writing:

  • What the VISTA has tried to do
  • What has and hasn't worked
  • What the VISTA's next steps are

A form to adapt a VAD was created by the VISTA program at the University of Wisconsin Extension, which connects resources to low-income and poverty communities to address youth dropout, agricultural sustainability, and community safety. Use this form to support your VISTAs as they work towards their project goals.