VISTA Pre-Service Orientation

PSO Date: November 19 - 22, 2013
OSOT Date: December 2 - 6, 2013
PSO Location: Boston, MA
First Day of Service: Monday, December 9, 2013

What Happens Before Pre-Service Orientation (PSO)?

Log-in to and complete the following forms:

  • PSO Registration Form: You will need the following information to complete this from: Social Security Number, project number, departure city and relocation plans. The Corporation will send this form to you to fill out electronically. You are encouraged to relocate to Albany prior for your departure for PSO.
  • Travel to VISTA Service Location Form: This form is only required if you are relocating in order to serve. If you are relocating via personal vehicle, you must complete form V-81, “Use of Vehicles or Public Transportation." You will find a link to this form on
  • VISTA Assignment Description (VAD): This document is your job description. It lists goals, milestones, and activities for your service year. This document will be e-mailed to you one week prior to your departure for PSO. You will need to bring a hard copy of this document with you to PSO.

The State Office currently has your forms pending for the program. They will review your application materials, including references (please make sure that your references have been submitted). They will verify that you are not listed in the National Sex Offender Public Registry and then accept or deny your application. If your application is denied, this does not mean you are out of the program. It simply means there is an administrative issue that our program or the state office will take care of.

Things To Do Prior to PSO

You MUST complete the following on prior to going to PSO:

  • AmeriCorps VISTA “Terms, Conditions, and Benefits” course
  • Submit Direct Deposit information (contact the Assistant Director/VISTA Leaders for local banking Information)
  • Tax forms and additional paperwork
  • Put your loans in forberance (if applicable). Contact all of your educational loan lenders and discuss their forbearance policies related to your year of service. Be sure to request all forms from your lenders. Photocopy all documents and keep originals for your own records.

You must also complete the following for our program:

  • Read your OSOT Welcome Packet Training Guide that will be sent to you
  • Locate and secure housing for Service Year 2013 - 2014

If you have questions prior to PSO, feel free to contact Yalitza Negron, Assistant Director of ACE, directly.

What happens next with PSO?

A packet of information, along with ticket information (plane, train, or bus) will be sent to you about one to two weeks before PSO. This information is prepared for you by the New York State AmeriCorps Office. If you do not hear from them within a week prior to PSO date, please contact Assistant Director Yalitza Negron. At PSO, you will learn about the VISTA program, benefits and bi-weekly stipend. You do not get paid for the days you are at PSO; however, all your meals and hotel accommodations will be paid for by AmeriCorps. A travel allowance will be given to you to cover travel between plane, bus, or train station. This will be directly deposited into your bank account after the completion of PSO (likely in your first or second stipend deposit).

What should I bring to PSO?

Please bring:

  • Photo ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • VAD (VISTA Assignment Description)
  • Nice, casual, comfortable clothes (you will be in trainings from 8:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M. every day). Remember you are representing Siena at this training so please act professionally at all times.
  • A sweater or sweatshirt for the hotel training rooms (they tend to get chilly)
  • Camera

What happens the week after PSO?

You will attend On-Site Orientation Training (OSOT). Here are some details on this training:

  • What: On-Site Orientation Training at Siena College with the Siena College AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows Program Staff and VISTA Leaders
    • We will give you a detailed schedule of the training on the first day. Here is a preview of some of the topics that will be covered:
    • Introduction to Siena College AmeriCorps*VISTA Fellows Program
    • Expectations, Policies, Office Logistics
    • Who is here to support you
    • Understanding your community (on and off campus)
    • Life as a Siena VISTA Fellow
    • And more!!
  • When: December 2 - 6, 2013. Report to: Director Dr. Mathew Johnson, Assistant Director Yalitza Negron, VISTA Leaders Johan Matthews and Marie Lovato
  • Where: Siena College, opening session location TBA
  • Start Date at Service Site: December 9, 2013

More Questions?

Feel free to contact our team who will be helping support you as you transition to the New York Capital Region!