Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about being a RARE AmeriCorps member are listed below.

Who administers RARE, and how is it funded?

RARE AmeriCorps is administered through the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (formerly the Community Service Center). RARE AmeriCorps has been supported over the years by grants from the Corporation for National & Community Service (AmeriCorps), The Ford Family Foundation, the University of Oregon, the Oregon Food Bank, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and other agencies. In addition, each participating community provides $23,500 to help place, train and support a full-time RARE AmeriCorps member.

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Do I have a choice in the community I serve?

Yes. All placements are mutual decisions between the member, community and RARE AmeriCorps staff. Once members are accepted in RARE AmeriCorps they have the opportunity to interview with three communities. First round interviews will take place the week of July 13, 2020.  All late placements will interview with community partners at a date and time determined by all engaged parties.

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What are the benefits of participating in RARE?

  1. Living Stipend/Monthly: $1,750
  2. Medical Insurance: If eligible, we will provide medical insurance. At this time, we do not provide vision or dental coverage.
  3. Possible Child Care Benefits: If eligible, child care benefits are available.
  4. Segal Educational Award: At the successful completion of 11 months (1,700 hours) of service, RARE AmeriCorps members may be eligible to receive an educational award of $6,195. (Educational Awards are dependent on grant funding. Check back for updates).
  5. Student Loan Forbearance
  6. Training in Community Development, Facilitation, Leadership, Etc.
  7. Nine Graduate Credits: Each RARE AmeriCorps member will be eligible for 9 graduate credits from the University of Oregon’s Master of Community & Regional Planning, Master of Public Administration, or Master of Nonprofit Management program. (Other university programs may or may not accept the credits).
  8. In-state Tuition: If a member is moving to Oregon, after the successful completion of their service they may be eligible for in-state tuition.
  9. University of Oregon Graduate School Fee Waiver: RARE AmeriCorps members are eligible for a need-based fee waiver. More information can be found on the Graduate School website.

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What are the commitments of the member?

A full-time RARE AmeriCorps member commits to completing 11 months (1,700 hours) of community service. Members are required to attend an orientation at the beginning of their placements, as well as regular trainings and meetings conducted by RARE AmeriCorps during their placements.

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How does the application and selection process work?

Completed Member Applications must be submitted by April 24, 2020 for an early September placement. RARE AmeriCorps staff will review completed applications and identify potential members. Interviews (by telephone, Skype or Zoom) are conducted and a pool of potential members is selected. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance in the RARE AmeriCorps Program, and, if accepted, will be given community position descriptions. Following discussions with RARE AmeriCorps staff, members will have the opportunity to interview with multiple communities. Communities and members then indicate their top choices to the RARE AmeriCorps staff who make every effort to match both the community’s and the member’s first or second preference. All placements are mutual decisions made by community supervisor, member and RARE AmeriCorps staff. We cannot ensure that every member who interviews will find an appropriate placement.

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Do I have to be a student at the University of Oregon to participate in RARE AmeriCorps?

No. RARE AmeriCorps members are not required to be students at the time they submit their application.

All RARE AmeriCorps applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.

RARE AmeriCorps members are not students at the University of Oregon. The members live throughout Oregon in rural communities working an average of 40 hours a week. This obligation to the RARE AmeriCorps Program makes it unrealistic to be a student at the same time as being a RARE AmeriCorps member.

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Are there other requirements I should be aware of?

Yes. RARE AmeriCorps members are required to be either U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents. In addition, you will need to demonstrate six months applied community experience as well as coursework or equivalent experience in three or more of the following areas: planning or statistical analysis, planning or economic theory, project management, community or economic development, environmental planning, geographic information systems and grantwriting. You should also be proficient in Windows based computer applications and have an interest in the ideology of service-learning

Criminal Background Checks: All potential members must pass a check of the National Sexual Offender Public Registry before they will be offered a placement. All members must pass an FBI check and a criminal background check of state registries prior to beginning their placement.

UO Driver Certification: To drive any vehicle for university-business travel, a driver must be certified through the University of Oregon Driver Certification process prior to driving any vehicle for university-business travel. To be driver certified a driver must meet minimum driver and driving requirements and complete an online form.

Drug Testing Policy: Many of the organizations we work with have adopted Drug-Free Workplace Policies that are applicable to all employees and associates.  As a result, participants may be required to take a blood, breath or urinalysis test as part of an organization’s pre-employment assessment process.

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If I am thinking of further education, should I participate in RARE AmeriCorps before, during or after graduate school?

The RARE AmeriCorps Program is flexible. The timing of graduate school and participation in RARE AmeriCorps is dependent upon the needs of the individual. In some cases, RARE AmeriCorps staff may recommend that applicants take additional coursework to increase skills prior to participating in RARE. Potential RARE AmeriCorps members should have an interest in the planning and community development field. Most of our members come to the program with their bachelor’s degree and one to two years of work experience. Upon the completion of the RARE AmeriCorps Program a number of the members return to school to obtain a masters degree.

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If I participate in RARE AmeriCorps before graduate school, will I qualify for in-state tuition in Oregon?

You MAY be eligible for in-state tuition but we cannot guarantee it. All residency decisions are made by University Admissions offices and are decided on a case by case basis. In the past, RARE AmeriCorps members have been granted residency. If you have questions, please contact us at 541-346-2879.

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Will I receive training?

Yes. Prior to and during placement, members attend an orientation and training session that provides them with many of the basic skills needed for a successful placement. In addition, members attend trainings and meetings throughout the year to increase their skills and to share their experiences.

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What technical support does RARE AmeriCorps provide?

The RARE AmeriCorps staff provides technical assistance and on-going supervision to members, including regular site visits. In addition, members have access to other faculty who work with the RARE AmeriCorps Program at the University of Oregon, and provide technical advice and project support to members as needed.

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Who determines the member’s work program?

All communities submit a preliminary work program as part of their application process. Upon placement, the member and his/her supervisor work together to develop a more detailed work program based in part on the skills and interests of the member. The RARE AmeriCorps staff also reviews and helps refine members’ work programs.

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What about housing and transportation?

Members in the RARE AmeriCorps Program are responsible for finding housing. As much as possible, the RARE AmeriCorps Program and the community sponsor will assist members by providing leads and contacts. Because members are typically placed in rural communities they are required to have a reliable vehicle.

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What if I have more questions?

For more information, please contact us at:

RARE AmeriCorps Opportunities
1209 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR
Phone (541) 346-2879
Fax (541) 346-2040
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