Member enrollment refers to the number of positions filled divided by the number of positions awarded. The Commission understands that programs may encounter some difficulty in having an enrollment rate of 100%. As such, the Commission has created a policy for all AmeriCorps*State programs to meet minimum standards. The following is an overview of the policy.
Programs that are beginning their first year of operating an AmeriCorps grant must meet a 95% enrollment rate.
Programs that are operating in the second year of their AmeriCorps grant must meet a 97% enrollment rate.
Programs that are operating in the third year or more of their AmeriCorps grant must meet a 100% enrollment rate.
Failure to meet the above guidelines will adversely affect the program’s risk level and may reduce the amount of grant allocation in future years. The Connecticut Commission on Community Service reserves the right to recommend a smaller amount of AmeriCorps members in a sub-grantee’s second or third year of funding based on their enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. The Commission will work closely with sub-grantees to ensure that goals are met by identifying training and technical assistance if necessary.
Effective May 1, 2018, AmeriCorps State and National (ASN) has changed the threshold for member retention which requires explanation and/or corrective action. [ASN] grantees and subgrantees with 85% member retention, or higher, will no longer be required to provide additional information concerning member retention plans and strategies. Further, grantees and subgrantees with at least 85% member retention will be assessed as having met CNCS programmatic expectations. The decision to change the retention rate [is intended] to reduce administrative burden and provide a more realistic retention benchmark. See CNCS 2018.01 AmeriCorps State and National – Retention Policy Change, May 8, 2018.
The Connecticut Commission on Community Service wants to ensure that its programs strive to exceed this 85% member retention rate, as an AmeriCorps program with a full complement of engaged corps members has a stronger foundation for success in delivering its intervention to the community it serves. With that in mind, we appreciate the work done by Commission subgrantees related to member retention to ensure rates are as high as possible, and make available to subgrantees training, technical assistance, and other resources to support healthy member retention.
Programs that are beginning their first year of operating an AmeriCorps grant should strive to meet a 90% retention rate.
Programs that are operating in the second year of their AmeriCorps grant should strive to meet a 95% retention rate.
Programs that are operating in the third year or more of their AmeriCorps grant should strive to meet a 100% retention rate.
Low enrollment and retention percentages may be used to determine a program's risk designation and may be taken into consideration when determining funding decisions that could result in the loss of funding. The Commission will take any written and documented retention difficulties into consideration when monitoring a program and/or reviewing an application. Programs that recruit members from underserved communities and at-risk youth are strongly encouraged to outline their retention difficulties in their application (and subsequent continuation applications).