STEM Engaged Learning

AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an independent federal agency created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for 50 years. VISTA members focus on capacity building in impoverished communities. The “capacity building” focus of VISTA means that VISTA members work for the lasting growth and development of organizations or projects within their communities, rather than performing “direct service” activities like house-building or tutoring youth.

CSU STEM VISTA places volunteers in CSU science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) departments, colleges, or institutes. VISTA members support the academic and professional success of traditionally underrepresented CSU STEM students by building partnerships with faculty, staff, students, alumni and local communities to increase hands-on learning experiences such as service learning, internships and undergraduate research. Hands-on experiences lead to increased graduation rates and enhanced job-ready skills. By improving the chances of each student earning a degree, the state can contribute many more graduates to the national economy and improve the social and professional outcomes of its students.

VISTA members also support K-12 student success in STEM through departmental partnerships with local K-12 schools, after-school programs, local science museums, and other youth programs. The overall goal of this VISTA program is to link education and engagement with communities, alumni and industry to help alleviate poverty.

To learn more about why we are focusing on STEM and high impact educational practices, review our frequently asked questions.