Online Systems AmeriCorps*VISTA position

Project Description

Do you THINK BIG when it comes to changing the education system? Want to apply your media skills in an exciting, team-based environment leading efforts to provide an innovative approach to higher education? Join College Unbound as the AmeriCorps*VISTA starting this summer!

Big Picture Learning is a 17 year-old organization whose mission is to lead vital changes in education both in the United States and internationally, by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized schools that work in tandem with the real world of the greater community.

College Unbound is Big Picture’s most recent program development. CU is a rigorous, personalized college curriculum anchored in live-learning (internships). Learner success depends on engagement, discipline, dedication, and a drive to make a difference. We believe this model will impact post-secondary policy, and not only open the doors of higher education to students increasingly blocked out of college, but will ensure that students graduate with a degree and experience in hand, prepared to successfully participate in our New Economy.

VISTA Project Goal: Work with Big Picture Director of Online Systems, to build an online communications and learning system that (1) augments student work and (2) expedites support from centrally based advisors and instructors. This position works in tandem with the co-VISTA project goal of developing an expansion infrastructure that supports the planned growth for College Unbound.

Major Activities/Responsibilities

  • Identify /analyze / document key components of relevant online adult education programs
  • Develop 2-tiered plan (6 month segments) to design and create online system with goal of full implementation no later than beginning of new school year – Sept. 2013
  • Fully implement online system with all locations
  • Develop and implement tier 1 (first 6 months) of online program

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Diverse computer and media expertise
  • Experience with long term program planning, implementation and assessment
  • Experience collaborating/coordinating with other systems
  • Mature and experienced communication skills
  • Self motivated/independent thinker/team player
  • Bachelor’s Degree required
How to Apply

1) Create a My AmeriCorps profile at

2) Submit your application to our AmeriCorps posting –> Click Here

3) Submit a resume and cover letter to Margot Hanson, RICC*VISTA Leader

  • DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 1, 2012

Leading High performing Teams

Thanks you to Jean Carraccio for sharing my story on teamwork on an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader professional development blog found on

Want Ad Translation:

Mo’s Restaurant is always seeking self-motivated, hard- working individuals with unusual pride & passion to join our team. Commitment to excellence is required.

Q. Is it remotely possible this ad is talking about dishwashing positions?
Read about one of your fellow VLeader’s experiences on a high performing team. Perhaps the most surprising anecdote I’ve ever heard about on the High Performing Team Webinar.

Hi all! Jean here (the “J”) in JEK
Last month 28 VISTA Leaders participated in the High Performing Team webinar.  The webinar began with an opportunity for those attending to share their experiences on a high performing team. As with all good stories the examples were thought-provoking and inspiring. We can learn about teams by studying teams, in particular studying teams that work. VISTA Leader Chris Anderson shared an example that characterized virtually every aspect of a high performing team. It was also one of the most unusual examples I’ve ever heard and it was such a great example of how a team can find meaning anywhere, anytime.
As you read Chris’s story please think about the powerful work that you and your members do. It strikes me that as a VISTA Leader you have a head start within the context of VISTA. If you ever get discouraged and think that you don’t have the right members or a powerful enough mission to build a high performing team you might want to think about Chris Anderson’s powerful anecdote. Here it is:

“Dishwashing at a restaurant comes in many flavors, but its purpose remains the same. If there are no dishwashers, everything comes to a halt. The restaurant I worked at has a high-level dishwashing operation. The work environment is high-pressure and demanding. The kitchen is hot, it’s loud and it’s crowded. You and a team of four others use a 1,000lb machine that pumps out over 3,000 dishes an hour while simultaneously meeting the chef’s, kitchen staff, and server’s immediate requests. When the restaurant closes, the dishwashers coordinate the cleaning of the entire kitchen with no room for error.

I spent over five years as a dishwasher in that environment as my first job, and was a part of many “A-Teams” during that time. We understood that in order for the entire restaurant to run, we had to all perform in unison. We were all in high school in different groups, yet shared the same values at work (The Breakfast Club?). If someone was having a rough day, they could step outside to give themselves a sort of restart. You could talk one-on-one while taking out the trash, and come back fresh. We would create games and competitions with each other to keep us motivated (if you work in a restaurant, contact me I can offer an entire Olympics for you). At the end of the night, we split into two-person teams to clean the kitchen (with great music). After a strict inspection of our work from the chef, we were free to leave or stick around and eat our meals. In the setting of a more quiet and relaxing state, the chef and our team would go over how the night went. During Jean’s webinar the power and importance of positive feedback was discussed. Receiving positive feedback was truly one of the most important parts of working in our restaurant because it reminded us why we were there, and made it clear that our hard work was valued and recognized.

I can relate this experience towards building a high performing VISTA team. There’s a diverse group coming together for a shared purpose. A VISTA should rely on you to “step outside of the kitchen” with them so they can come back ready to attack. Having your team know the VISTA Leader position is to make their lives better and not to ensure they are doing their job properly will lead to the same shared attitude and more participation in coming together for the whole team getting the job done”.

Chris Anderson is VISTA Leader at AS220, a non-profit community arts space in downtown Providence. Our mission is to provide an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts.