Starting Summer Associates

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(This page provides information for Summer Associates. Full-year AmeriCorps VISTAs please click here for information about your pre-service requirements.)

Welcome AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate!

Thank you for joining AmeriCorps VISTA, the movement for social justice and economic equity. This page outlines what you’ll need to do before starting your AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate service.

Before you can start your AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate service, you must complete three online courses and fill out four onboarding forms. The courses will introduce you to AmeriCorps VISTA's terms & conditions and benefits that come with AmeriCorps service. The onboarding forms allow the VISTA program to provide your benefits appropriately.

Required Online Courses

  1. Benefits of Service. This self-directed tutorial describes the benefits you are eligible to receive during and after your service. 
  2. AmeriCorps VISTA Civil Rights and Responsibilities. This course explains your legal rights and responsibilities as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and what to do if you experience or witness discrimination or harassment.
  3. AmeriCorps VISTA Terms and Conditions. After completing each module of this course, you will be offered a link to a Terms and Conditions acceptance form on
    Please note that you must be logged into the VISTA Campus and must not be logged into while taking this course in order to access the acceptance form. Click here for detailed instructions on completing and certifying your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. You must accept the VISTA Terms and Conditions before you can start service. If you are not already logged in to the Campus, create an account here.
  • You’ll notice that the Terms and Conditions course is geared towards full-year AmeriCorps VISTA service. Things to keep in mind as you review this course:
    • Summer Associates term of service is 8, 9, or 10 weeks
    • Summer Associates are permitted to perform direct service
    • Summer Associates do not attend a virtual VISTA Member Orientation
    • Summer Associates are subject to a search of the National Sex Offender Public Website, but are not subject to an FBI criminal history check, and are not required to submit fingerprints

Required Onboarding Forms

There are four online forms to complete as part of your onboarding process. Log into your account at and click on My Living Allowance in the left menu to complete these forms:

  • Direct Deposit Information – if you are unsure of your account number and routing number, call your bank (your debit card number is not your checking account number)
    • Watch this video on how to complete your direct deposit.
    • We strongly encourage you to utilize Direct Deposit.  If you would like to waive direct deposit, please indicate so and click “Waive Direct Deposit”.  If you decide to waive direct deposit, your paper check will be sent to the site address on file and may face postal service delays
  • Federal Tax Withholding (W4) – if you need help filling out the form, go to
  • Unpaid Compensation Information (Designation of Beneficiary) – include the name and address of the person you want to receive your living allowance in the event of your death. If you don’t know the ZIP+4 extension, enter 1111 and the system will suggest the correct extension. 
  • End of Service Benefit Selection – read about the end of service benefits before choosing between the stipend and the education award. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award page offers details about the Education Award, strategies for using it, and other ways to manage student loans.

For questions about onboarding forms, contact the VMSU at 800-942-2677 or submit a request online at

Optional Coursework

  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award page. Learn more about the Education Award, form a strategy on how to use it, and discover other post-service opportunities related to school and student loans.
  • VISTA's Mission and Program Goals. This course provides an overview of the VISTA program and introduces the four principles of AmeriCorps VISTA service.
  • VISTA Campus Overview. The VISTA Campus offers a variety of online resources to help you during your year of service, as well as opportunities to connect with your fellow AmeriCorps members, supervisors, and VISTA alumni. This short video provides an overview of some of the key Campus features.
  • VISTA Member Handbook. Find the details of AmeriCorps VISTA policies, rules, and conditions of service, as well as resources on who to contact for assistance.