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Title 45 Part 2522

Title 45 → Subtitle B → Chapter XXV → Part 2522

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 45 Part 2522

e-CFR data is current as of October 12, 2018

Title 45Subtitle BChapter XXV → Part 2522


Title 45: Public Welfare


PART 2522—AMERICORPS PARTICIPANTS, PROGRAMS, AND APPLICANTS


Contents

Subpart D—Selection of AmeriCorps Programs

§2522.400   What process does the Corporation use to select new grantees?
§2522.410   What is the role of the Corporation's Board of Directors in the selection process?
§2522.415   How does the grant selection process work?
§2522.420   What basic criteria does the Corporation use in making funding decisions?
§2522.425   [Reserved]
§2522.430   [Reserved]
§2522.435   [Reserved]
§2522.440   What weight does the Corporation give to each category of the basic criteria?
§2522.445   [Reserved]
§2522.448   [Reserved]
§2522.450   What types of programs or program models may receive special consideration in the selection process?
§2522.455   How do I find out about additional priorities governing the selection process?
§2522.460   To what extent may the Corporation or a State commission consider priorities other than those stated in these regulations or the Notice of Funding Availability?
§2522.465   What information must a State commission submit on the relative strengths of applicants for State competitive funding?
§2522.470   What other factors or information may the Corporation consider in making final funding decisions?
§2522.475   To what extent must I use the Corporation's selection criteria and priorities when selecting formula programs or operating sites?
§2522.480   Can a State's application for formula funds be rejected?
§2522.485   How do I calculate my program's budgeted Corporation cost per member service year (MSY)?

Subpart E—Evaluation Requirements

§2522.500   What is the purpose of this subpart?
§2522.510   To whom does this subpart apply?
§2522.520   What special terms are used in this subpart?
§2522.530   May I use the Corporation's program grant funds for performance measurement and evaluation?
§2522.540   Do the costs of performance measurement or evaluation count towards the statutory cap on administrative costs?

Performance Measures: Requirements and Procedures

§2522.550   What basic requirements must I follow in measuring performance under my grant?
§2522.560   What are performance measures and performance measurement?
§2522.570   What information on performance measures must my grant application include?
§2522.580   What performance measures am I required to submit to the Corporation?
§2522.590   Who develops my performance measures?
§2522.600   Who approves my performance measures?
§2522.610   What is the difference in performance measurements requirements for competitive and formula programs?
§2522.620   How do I report my performance measures to the Corporation?
§2522.630   What must I do if I am not able to meet my performance measures?
§2522.640   Under what circumstances may I change my performance measures?
§2522.650   What happens if I fail to meet the performance measures included in my grant?

Evaluating Programs: Requirements and Procedures

§2522.700   How does evaluation differ from performance measurement?
§2522.710   What are my evaluation requirements?
§2522.720   How many years must my evaluation cover?
§2522.730   How and when do I submit my evaluation to the Corporation?
§2522.740   How will the Corporation use my evaluation?
§2522.800   How will the Corporation evaluate individual AmeriCorps programs?
§2522.810   What will the Corporation do to evaluate the overall success of the AmeriCorps programs?
§2522.820   Will information on individual participants be kept confidential?

Subpart A—Minimum Requirements and Program Types

§2522.10   What definitions apply to this part?

You. For this part, you refers to the grantee, unless otherwise noted.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.100   What are the minimum requirements that every AmeriCorps program, regardless of type, must meet?

Although a wide range of programs may be eligible to apply for and receive support from the Corporation, all AmeriCorps subtitle C programs must meet certain minimum program requirements. These requirements apply regardless of whether a program is supported directly by the Corporation or through a subgrant. All AmeriCorps programs must:

(a) Address educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs, and provide a direct and demonstrable benefit that is valued by the community in which the service is performed;

(b) Perform projects that are designed, implemented, and evaluated with extensive and broad-based local input, including consultation with representatives from the community served, participants (or potential participants) in the program, community-based agencies with a demonstrated record of experience in providing services, and local labor organizations representing employees of project sponsors (if such entities exist in the area to be served by the program);

(c) Obtain, in the case of a program that also proposes to serve as the project sponsor, the written concurrence of any local labor organization representing employees of the project sponsor who are engaged in the same or substantially similar work as that proposed to be carried out by the AmeriCorps participant;

(d) Establish and provide outcome objectives, including a strategy for achieving these objectives, upon which self-assessment and Corporation-assessment of progress can rest. Such assessment will be used to help determine the extent to which the program has had a positive impact: (1) On communities and persons served by the projects performed by the program;

(2) On participants who take part in the projects; and

(3) In such other areas as the program or Corporation may specify;

(e) Strengthen communities and encourage mutual respect and cooperation among citizens of different races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational levels, both men and women and individuals with disabilities;

(f) Agree to seek actively to include participants and staff from the communities in which projects are conducted, and agree to seek program staff and participants of different races and ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational levels, and genders as well as individuals with disabilities unless a program design requires emphasizing the recruitment of staff and participants who share a specific characteristic or background. In no case may a program violate the nondiscrimination, nonduplication and nondisplacement rules governing participant selection described in part 2540 of this chapter. In addition, programs are encouraged to establish, if consistent with the purposes of the program, an intergenerational component that combines students, out-of-school youths, and older adults as participants;

(g)(1) Determine the projects in which participants will serve and establish minimum qualifications that individuals must meet to be eligible to participate in the program; these qualifications may vary based on the specific tasks to be performed by participants. Regardless of the educational level or background of participants sought, programs are encouraged to select individuals who posses leadership potential and a commitment to the goals of the AmeriCorps program. In any case, programs must select participants in a non-partisan, non-political, non-discriminatory manner, ensuring fair access to participation. In addition, programs are required to ensure that they do not displace any existing paid employees as provided in part 2540 of this chapter;

(2) In addition, all programs are required to comply with any pre-service orientation or training period requirements established by the Corporation to assist in the selection of motivated participants. Finally, all programs must agree to select a percentage (to be determined by the Corporation) of the participants for the program from among prospective participants recruited by the Corporation or State Commissions under part 2533 of this chapter. The Corporation may also specify a minimum percentage of participants to be selected from the national leadership pool established under §2522.210(c). The Corporation may vary either percentage for different types of AmeriCorps programs;

(h) Provide reasonable accommodation, including auxiliary aids and services (as defined in section 3(1) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102(1)) based on the individualized need of a participant who is a qualified individual with a disability (as defined in section 101(8) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 12111(8)). For the purpose of complying with this provision, AmeriCorps programs may apply for additional financial assistance from the Corporation pursuant to §2524.40 of this chapter;

(i) Use service experiences to help participants achieve the skills and education needed for productive, active citizenship, including the provision, if appropriate, of structured opportunities for participants to reflect on their service experiences. In addition, all programs must encourage every participant who is eligible to vote to register prior to completing a term of service;

(j) Provide participants in the program with the training, skills, and knowledge necessary to perform the tasks required in their respective projects, including, if appropriate, specific training in a particular field and background information on the community, including why the service projects are needed;

(k) Provide support services—

(1) To participants who are completing a term of service and making the transition to other educational and career opportunities; and

(2) To those participants who are school dropouts in order to assist them in earning the equivalent of a high school diploma;

(l) Ensure that participants serving in approved AmeriCorps positions receive the living allowance and other benefits described in §§2522.240 through 2522.250 of this chapter;

(m) Describe the manner in which the AmeriCorps educational awards will be apportioned among individuals serving in the program. If a program proposes to provide such benefits to less than 100 percent of the participants in the program, the program must provide a compelling rationale for determining which participants will receive the benefits and which participants will not. AmeriCorps programs are strongly encouraged to offer alternative post-service benefits to participants who will not receive AmeriCorps educational awards, however AmeriCorps grant funds may not be used to provide such benefits;

(n) Agree to identify the program, through the use of logos, common application materials, and other means (to be specified by the Corporation), as part of a larger national effort and to participate in other activities such as common opening ceremonies (including the administration of a national oath or affirmation), service days, and conferences designed to promote a national identity for all AmeriCorps programs and participants, including those participants not receiving AmeriCorps educational awards. This provision does not preclude an AmeriCorps program from continuing to use its own name as the primary identification, or from using its name, logo, or other identifying materials on uniforms or other items;

(o) Agree to begin terms of service at such times as the Corporation may reasonably require and to comply with any restrictions the Corporation may establish as to when the program may take to fill an approved AmeriCorps position left vacant due to attrition;

(p) Comply with all evaluation procedures specified by the Corporation, as explained in §§2522.500 through 2522.560;

(q) In the case of a program receiving funding directly from the Corporation, meet and consult with the State Commission for the State in which the program operates, if possible, and submit a copy of the program application to the State Commission; and

(r) Address any other requirements as specified by the Corporation.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994, as amended at 67 FR 45360, July 9, 2002; 75 FR 51410, Aug. 20, 2010]

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§2522.110   What types of programs are eligible to compete for AmeriCorps grants?

Types of programs eligible to compete for AmeriCorps grants include the following: (a) Specialized skills programs. (1) A service program that is targeted to address specific educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs and that—

(i) Recruits individuals with special skills or provides specialized pre-service training to enable participants to be placed individually or in teams in positions in which the participants can meet such needs; and

(ii) If consistent with the purposes of the program, brings participants together for additional training and other activities designed to foster civic responsibility, increase the skills of participants, and improve the quality of the service provided.

(2) A preprofessional training program in which students enrolled in an institution of higher education—

(i) Receive training in specified fields, which may include classes containing service-learning;

(ii) Perform service related to such training outside the classroom during the school term and during summer or other vacation periods; and

(iii) Agree to provide service upon graduation to meet educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs related to such training.

(3) A professional corps program that recruits and places qualified participants in positions—

(i) As teachers, nurses and other health care providers, police officers, early childhood development staff, engineers, or other professionals providing service to meet educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs in communities with an inadequate number of such professionals;

(ii) That may include a salary in excess of the maximum living allowance authorized in §2522.240(b)(2); and

(iii) That are sponsored by public or private nonprofit employers who agree to pay 100 percent of the salaries and benefits (other than any AmeriCorps educational award from the National Service Trust) of the participants.

(b) Specialized service programs. (1) A community service program designed to meet the needs of rural communities, using teams or individual placements to address the development needs of rural communities and to combat rural poverty, including health care, education, and job training.

(2) A program that seeks to eliminate hunger in communities and rural areas through service in projects—

(i) Involving food banks, food pantries, and nonprofit organizations that provide food during emergencies;

(ii) Involving the gleaning of prepared and unprepared food that would otherwise be discarded as unusable so that the usable portion of such food may be donated to food banks, food pantries, and other nonprofit organizations;

(iii) Seeking to address the long-term causes of hunger through education and the delivery of appropriate services; or

(iv) Providing training in basic health, nutrition, and life skills necessary to alleviate hunger in communities and rural areas.

(3) A program in which economically disadvantaged individuals who are between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age, inclusive, are provided with opportunities to perform service that, while enabling such individuals to obtain the education and employment skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency, will help their communities meet—

(i) The housing needs of low-income families and the homeless; and

(ii) The need for community facilities in low-income areas.

(c) Community-development programs. (1) A community corps program that meets educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs and promotes greater community unity through the use of organized teams of participants of varied social and economic backgrounds, skill levels, physical and developmental capabilities, ages, ethnic backgrounds, or genders.

(2) A program that is administered by a combination of nonprofit organizations located in a low-income area, provides a broad range of services to residents of such an area, is governed by a board composed in significant part of low-income individuals, and is intended to provide opportunities for individuals or teams of individuals to engage in community projects in such an area that meet unaddressed community and individual needs, including projects that would—

(i) Meet the needs of low-income children and youth aged 18 and younger, such as providing after-school ‘safe-places’, including schools, with opportunities for learning and recreation; or

(ii) Be directed to other important unaddressed needs in such an area.

(d) Programs that expand service program capacity. (1) A program that provides specialized training to individuals in service-learning and places the individuals after such training in positions, including positions as service-learning coordinators, to facilitate service-learning in programs eligible for funding under Serve-America.

(2) An AmeriCorps entrepreneur program that identifies, recruits, and trains gifted young adults of all backgrounds and assists them in designing solutions to community problems.

(e) Campus-based programs. A campus-based program that is designed to provide substantial service in a community during the school term and during summer or other vacation periods through the use of—

(1) Students who are attending an institution of higher education, including students participating in a work-study program assisted under part C of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.);

(2) Teams composed of such students; or

(3) Teams composed of a combination of such students and community residents.

(f) Intergenerational programs. An intergenerational program that combines students, out-of-school youths, and older adults as participants to provide needed community services, including an intergenerational component for other AmeriCorps programs described in this subsection.

(g) Youth development programs. A full-time, year-round youth corps program or full-time summer youth corps program, such as a conservation corps or youth service corps (including youth corps programs under subtitle I, the Public Lands Corps established under the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993, the Urban Youth Corps established under section 106 of the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, and other conservation corps or youth service corps that perform service on Federal or other public lands or on Indian lands or Hawaiian home lands), that:

(1) Undertakes meaningful service projects with visible public benefits, including natural resource, urban renovation, or human services projects;

(2) Includes as participants youths and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25, inclusive, including out-of-school youths and other disadvantaged youths (such as youths with limited basic skills, youths in foster care who are becoming too old for foster care, youths of limited English proficiency, homeless youths, and youths who are individuals with disabilities) who are between those ages; and

(3) Provides those participants who are youths and young adults with—

(i) Crew-based, highly structured, and adult-supervised work experience, life skills, education, career guidance and counseling, employment training, and support services; and

(ii) The opportunity to develop citizenship values and skills through service to their community and the United States.

(h) Individualized placement programs. An individualized placement program that includes regular group activities, such as leadership training and special service projects.

(i) Other programs. Such other AmeriCorps programs addressing educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs as the Corporation may designate in the application.

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Subpart B—Participant Eligibility, Requirements, and Benefits

§2522.200   What are the eligibility requirements for an AmeriCorps participant?

(a) Eligibility. An AmeriCorps participant must—

(1)(i) Be at least 17 years of age at the commencement of service; or

(ii) Be an out-of-school youth 16 years of age at the commencement of service participating in a program described in §2522.110(b)(3) or (g);

(2)(i) Have a high school diploma or its equivalent; or

(ii) Not have dropped out of elementary or secondary school to enroll as an AmeriCorps participant and must agree to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to using the education award; or

(iii) Obtain a waiver from the Corporation of the requirements in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) of this section based on an independent evaluation secured by the program demonstrating that the individual is not capable of obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent; or

(iv) Be enrolled in an institution of higher education on an ability to benefit basis and be considered eligible for funds under section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091);

(3) Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States;

(4) Satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria pursuant to 45 CFR 2540.202.

(b) Written declaration regarding high school diploma sufficient for enrollment. For purposes of enrollment, if an individual provides a written declaration under penalty of law that he or she meets the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section relating to high school education, a program need not obtain additional documentation of that fact.

(c) Primary documentation of status as a U.S. citizen or national. The following are acceptable forms of certifying status as a U.S. citizen or national:

(1) A birth certificate showing that the individual was born in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands;

(2) A United States passport;

(3) A report of birth abroad of a U.S. Citizen (FS-240) issued by the State Department;

(4) A certificate of birth-foreign service (FS 545) issued by the State Department;

(5) A certification of report of birth (DS-1350) issued by the State Department;

(6) A certificate of naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570) issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service; or

(7) A certificate of citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561) issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(d) Primary documentation of status as a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States. The following are acceptable forms of certifying status as a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States:

(1) Permanent Resident Card, INS Form I-551;

(2) Alien Registration Receipt Card, INS Form I-551;

(3) A passport indicating that the INS has approved it as temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent residence; or

(4) A Departure Record (INS Form I-94) indicating that the INS has approved it as temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent residence.

(e) Secondary documentation of citizenship or immigration status. If primary documentation is not available, the program must obtain written approval from the Corporation that other documentation is sufficient to demonstrate the individual's status as a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident alien.

[64 FR 37413, July 12, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 45360, July 9, 2002; 77 FR 60931, Oct. 5, 2012]

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§2522.205   To whom must I apply the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria?

You must apply the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria to individuals serving in covered positions. A covered position is a position in which the individual receives an education award or a Corporation grant-funded living allowance, stipend, or salary.

[77 FR 60931, Oct. 5, 2012]

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§2522.206   [Reserved]

§2522.207   How do I determine an individual's eligibility to serve in a covered position?

To determine an individual's eligibility to serve in a covered position, you must follow the procedures in part 2540 of this chapter.

[77 FR 60932, Oct. 5, 2012]

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§2522.210   How are AmeriCorps participants recruited and selected?

(a) Local recruitment and selection. In general, AmeriCorps participants will be selected locally by an approved AmeriCorps program, and the selection criteria will vary widely among the different programs. Nevertheless, AmeriCorps programs must select their participants in a fair and non-discriminatory manner which complies with part 2540 of this chapter. In selecting participants, programs must also comply with the recruitment and selection requirements specified in this section.

(b)(1) National and State recruitment and selection. The Corporation and each State Commission will establish a system to recruit individuals who desire to perform national service and to assist the placement of these individuals in approved AmeriCorps positions, which may include positions available under titles I and II of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4951 et seq.). The national and state recruitment and placement system will be designed and operated according to Corporation guidelines.

(2) Dissemination of information. The Corporation and State Commissions will disseminate information regarding available approved AmeriCorps positions through cooperation with secondary schools, institutions of higher education, employment service offices, community-based organizations, State vocational rehabilitation agencies within the meaning of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.) and other State agencies that primarily serve qualified individuals with disabilities, and other appropriate entities, particularly those organizations that provide outreach to disadvantaged youths and youths who are qualified individuals with disabilities.

(c) National leadership pool—(1) Selection and training. From among individuals recruited under paragraph (b) of this section or nominated by service programs, the Corporation may select individuals with significant leadership potential, as determined by the Corporation, to receive special training to enhance their leadership ability. The leadership training will be provided by the Corporation directly or through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement as the Corporation determines.

(2) Emphasis on certain individuals. In selecting individuals to receive leadership training under this provision, the Corporation will make special efforts to select individuals who have served—

(i) In the Peace Corps;

(ii) As VISTA volunteers;

(iii) As participants in AmeriCorps programs receiving assistance under parts 2520 through 2524 of this chapter;

(iv) As participants in National Service Demonstration programs that received assistance from the Commission on National and Community Service; or

(v) As members of the Armed Forces of the United States and who were honorably discharged from such service.

(3) Assignment. At the request of a program that receives assistance, the Corporation may assign an individual who receives leadership training under paragraph (c)(1) of this section to work with the program in a leadership position and carry out assignments not otherwise performed by regular participants. An individual assigned to a program will be considered to be a participant of the program.

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§2522.220   What are the required terms of service for AmeriCorps participants?

(a) Term of Service. A term of service may be defined as:

(1) Full-time service. 1,700 hours of service during a period of not more than one year.

(2) Part-time service. 900 hours of service during a period of not more than two years.

(3) Reduced part-time term of service. The Corporation may reduce the number of hours required to be served in order to receive an educational award for certain part-time participants serving in approved AmeriCorps positions. In such cases, the educational award will be reduced in direct proportion to the reduction in required hours of service. These reductions may be made for summer programs, for categories of participants in certain approved AmeriCorps programs and on a case-by-case, individual basis as determined by the Corporation.

(4) Summer programs. A summer program, in which less than 1700 hours of service are performed, are part-time programs.

(b) Eligibility for subsequent term. A participant will only be eligible to serve a subsequent term of service if that individual has received a satisfactory performance review for any previous term of service in an approved AmeriCorps position, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section and §2526.15. Mere eligibility for a second or further term of service in no way guarantees a participant selection or placement.

(c) Participant evaluation. For the purposes of determining a participant's eligibility for an educational award as described in §2522.240(a) and eligibility to serve a second or additional term of service as described in paragraph (c) of this section, each AmeriCorps grantee is responsible for conducting a mid-term and end-of-term evaluation. A mid-term evaluation is not required for a participant who is released early from a term of service or in other circumstances as approved by the Corporation. The end-of-term evaluation should consist of:

(1) A determination of whether the participant:

(i) Successfully completed the required term of service described in paragraph (a) of this section, making the participant eligible for an educational award as described in §2522.240(a);

(ii) Was released from service for compelling personal circumstances, making the participant eligible for a pro-rated educational award as described in §2522.230(a)(2); or

(iii) Was released from service for cause, making the participant ineligible to receive an educational award for that term of service as described in §2522.230(b)(3); and

(2) A participant performance and conduct review to determine whether the participant's service was satisfactory, which will assess whether the participant:

(i) Has satisfactorily completed assignments, tasks, or projects, or, for those participants released from service early, whether the participant made a satisfactory effort to complete those assignments, tasks, or projects that the participant could reasonably have addressed in the time the participant served; and

(ii) Has met any other criteria which had been clearly communicated both orally and in writing at the beginning of the term of service.

(d) Limitation. The Corporation may set a minimum or maximum percentage of hours of a full-time, part-time, or reduced term of service described in paragraphs (a)(1),(a)(2), and (a)(3) of this section that a participant may engage in training, education, or other similar approved activities

(e) Grievance procedure. Any AmeriCorps participant wishing to contest a program's ruling of unsatisfactory performance may file a grievance according to the procedures set forth in part 2540 of this chapter. If that grievance procedure or subsequent binding arbitration procedure finds that the participant did in fact satisfactorily complete a term of service, then that individual will be eligible to receive an educational award and/or be eligible to serve a second term of service.

(f) Extension of term for disaster purposes. If approved by the Corporation, a program may permit an AmeriCorps participant performing service directly related to disaster relief efforts to continue in a term of service for a period of up to 90 days beyond the period otherwise specified. A period of service performed by an AmeriCorps participant in an originally agreed-upon term of service and service performed under this paragraph shall constitute a single term of service for the purposes of §2526.50(a) of this chapter.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994, as amended at 73 FR 53759, Sept. 17, 2008; 74 FR 46506, Sept. 10, 2009; 75 FR 51410, Aug. 20, 2010]

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§2522.230   Under what circumstances may an AmeriCorps participant be released from completing a term of service, and what are the consequences?

An AmeriCorps program may release a participant from completing a term of service for compelling personal circumstances, as determined by the program, or for cause.

(a) Release for compelling personal circumstances.

(1) An AmeriCorps program may release a participant upon a determination by the program, consistent with the criteria listed in paragraphs (a)(6) and (a)(7) of this section, that the participant is unable to complete the term of service because of compelling personal circumstances, if the participant has otherwise performed satisfactorily and has completed at least fifteen percent of the agreed term of service.

(2) A participant who is released for compelling personal circumstances and who completes at least 15 percent of the required term of service is eligible for a pro-rated education award.

(3) The program must document the basis for any determination that compelling personal circumstances prevent a participant from completing a term of service.

(4) Compelling personal circumstances include:

(i) Those that are beyond the participant's control, such as, but not limited to:

(A) A participant's disability or serious illness;

(B) Disability, serious illness, or death of a participant's family member if this makes completing a term unreasonably difficult or impossible; or

(C) Conditions attributable to the program or otherwise unforeseeable and beyond the participant's control, such as a natural disaster, a strike, relocation of a spouse, or the nonrenewal or premature closing of a project or program, that make completing a term unreasonably difficult or impossible;

(ii) Those that the Corporation, has for public policy reasons, determined as such, including:

(A) Military service obligations;

(B) Acceptance by a participant of an opportunity to make the transition from welfare to work; or

(C) Acceptance of an employment opportunity by a participant serving in a program that includes in its approved objectives the promotion of employment among its participants.

(5) Compelling personal circumstances do not include leaving a program:

(i) To enroll in school;

(ii) To obtain employment, other than in moving from welfare to work or in leaving a program that includes in its approved objectives the promotion of employment among its participants; or

(iii) Because of dissatisfaction with the program.

(6) As an alternative to releasing a participant, an AmeriCorps*State/National program may, after determining that compelling personal circumstances exist, suspend the participant's term of service for up to two years (or longer if approved by the Corporation based on extenuating circumstances) to allow the participant to complete service with the same or similar AmeriCorps program at a later time.

(b) Release for cause. (1) A release for cause encompasses any circumstances other than compelling personal circumstances that warrant an individual's release from completing a term of service.

(2) AmeriCorps programs must release for cause any participant who is convicted of a felony or the sale or distribution of a controlled substance during a term of service.

(3) A participant who is released for cause may not receive any portion of the AmeriCorps education award or any other payment from the National Service Trust.

(4) An individual who is released for cause must disclose that fact in any subsequent applications to participate in an AmeriCorps program. Failure to do so disqualifies the individual for an education award, regardless of whether the individual completes a term of service.

(5) An AmeriCorps*State/National participant released for cause may contest the program's decision by filing a grievance. Pending the resolution of a grievance procedure filed by an individual to contest a determination by a program to release the individual for cause, the individual's service is considered to be suspended. For this type of grievance, a program may not—while the grievance is pending or as part of its resolution—provide a participant with federally-funded benefits (including payments from the National Service Trust) beyond those attributable to service actually performed, without the program receiving written approval from the Corporation.

(6) An individual's eligibility for a subsequent term of service in AmeriCorps will not be affected by release for cause from a prior term of service so long as the individual received a satisfactory end-of-term performance review as described in §2522.220(c)(2) for the period served in the prior term.

(7) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a term of service from which an individual is released for cause counts as one of the terms of service described in §2522.235 for which an individual may receive the benefits described in §§2522.240 through 2522.250.

(c) Suspended service. (1) A program must suspend the service of an individual who faces an official charge of a violent felony (e.g., rape, homicide) or sale or distribution of a controlled substance.

(2) A program must suspend the service of an individual who is convicted of possession of a controlled substance.

(3) An individual may not receive a living allowance or other benefits, and may not accrue service hours, during a period of suspension under this provision.

(d) Reinstatement. (1) A program may reinstate an individual whose service was suspended under paragraph (c)(1) of this section if the individual is found not guilty or if the charge is dismissed.

(2) A program may reinstate an individual whose service was suspended under paragraph (c)(2) of this section only if the individual demonstrates the following:

(i) For an individual who has been convicted of a first offense of the possession of a controlled substance, the individual must have enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program;

(ii) For an individual who has been convicted for more than one offense of the possession of a controlled substance, the individual must have successfully completed a drug rehabilitation program.

(e) Release prior to serving 15 percent of a term of service. If a participant is released for reasons other than misconduct prior to completing 15 percent of a term of service, the term will not be considered one of the terms of service described in §2522.220(b) for which an individual may receive the benefits described in §§2522.240 through 2522.250.

[64 FR 37413, July 12, 1999, as amended at 73 FR 53759, Sept. 17, 2008; 74 FR 46506, Sept. 10, 2009; 75 FR 51410, Aug. 20, 2010]

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§2522.235   Is there a limit on the number of terms an individual may serve in an AmeriCorps State and National program?

(a) General limitation. An individual may receive the benefits described in §2522.240 through §2522.250 for no more than four terms of service in an AmeriCorps State and National program, regardless of whether those terms were served on a full-, part-, or reduced part-time basis, consistent with the limitations in §2526.50.

(b) Early release. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, a term of service from which an individual is released for compelling personal circumstances or for cause counts as one of the terms of service for which an individual may receive the benefits described in §2522.240 through §2522.250.

(c) Release prior to serving fifteen percent of a term. If a person is released for reasons other than misconduct prior to completing fifteen percent of a term of service, the term will not be considered one of the terms of service for which an individual may receive the benefits described in §§2522.240 through 2522.250.

[75 FR 51410, Aug. 20, 2010]

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§2522.240   What financial benefits do AmeriCorps participants serving in approved AmeriCorps positions receive?

(a) AmeriCorps education awards. An individual serving in an approved AmeriCorps State and National position may receive an education award from the National Service Trust upon successful completion of each of no more than four terms of service as defined in §2522.220, consistent with the limitations in §2526.50.

(b) Living allowances—(1)Amount. Subject to the provisions of this part, any individual who participates on a full-time basis in an AmeriCorps program carried out using assistance provided pursuant to §2521.30 of this chapter, including an AmeriCorps program that receives educational awards only pursuant to §2521.30(c) of this chapter, will receive a living allowance in an amount equal to or greater than the average annual subsistence allowance provided to VISTA volunteers under §105 of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4955). This requirement will not apply to any program that was in existence prior to September 21, 1993 (the date of the enactment of the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993).

(2) Maximum living allowance. With the exception of a professional corps described in §2522.110(a)(3), the AmeriCorps living allowances may not exceed 200 percent of the average annual subsistence allowance provided to VISTA volunteers under section 105 of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4955). A professional corps AmeriCorps program may provide a stipend in excess of the maximum, subject to the following conditions: (i) Corporation assistance may not be used to pay for any portion of the allowance; and

(ii) The program must be operated directly by the applicant, selected on a competitive basis by submitting an application to the Corporation, and may not be included in a State's application for AmeriCorps program funds distributed by formula under §2521.30(a)(2) of this chapter.

(3) Living allowances for part-time participants. Programs may, but are not required to, provide living allowances to individuals participating on a part-time basis (or a reduced term of part-time service authorized under §2522.220(a)(3). Such living allowances should be prorated to the living allowance authorized in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and will comply with such restrictions therein.

(4) Waiver or reduction of living allowance for programs. The Corporation may, at its discretion, waive or reduce the living allowance requirements if a program can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Corporation that such requirements are inconsistent with the objectives of the program, and that participants will be able to meet the necessary and reasonable costs of living (including food, housing, and transportation) in the area in which the program is located.

(5) Waiver or reduction of living allowance by participants. A participant may waive all or part of the receipt of a living allowance. The participant may revoke this waiver at any time during the participant's term of service. If the participant revokes the living allowance waiver, the participant may begin receiving his or her living allowance prospective from the date of the revocation; a participant may not receive any portion of the living allowance that may have accrued during the waiver period.

(6) Limitation on Federal share. The Federal share, including Corporation and other Federal funds, of the total amount provided to an AmeriCorps participant for a living allowance is limited as follows:

(i) In no case may the Federal share exceed 85% of the minimum required living allowance enumerated in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(ii) For professional corps described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, Corporation and other Federal funds may be used to pay for no portion of the living allowance.

(iii) If the minimum living allowance requirements has been waived or reduced pursuant to paragraph (b)(4) of this section and the amount of the living allowance provided to a participant has been reduced correspondingly—

(A) In general, the Federal share may not exceed 85% of the reduced living allowance; however,

(B) If a participant is serving in a program that provides room or board, the Corporation will consider on a case-by-case basis allowing the portion of that living allowance that may be paid using Corporation and other Federal funds to be between 85% and 100%.

(c) Financial benefits for participants during an extended term of service for disaster purposes. An AmeriCorps participant performing extended service under §2522.220(f) may continue to receive a living allowance under paragraph (b) and other benefits under §2522.250, but may not receive an additional AmeriCorps educational award under paragraph (a).

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994, as amended at 71 FR 10611, Mar. 2, 2006; 73 FR 53760, Sept. 17, 2008; 74 FR 46506, Sept. 10, 2009; 75 FR 51410, Aug. 20, 2010]

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§2522.245   How are living allowances disbursed?

A living allowance is not a wage and programs may not pay living allowances on an hourly basis. Programs must distribute the living allowance at regular intervals and in regular increments, and may increase living allowance payments only on the basis of increased living expenses such as food, housing, or transportation. Living allowance payments may only be made to a participant during the participant's term of service and must cease when the participant concludes the term of service. Programs may not provide a lump sum payment to a participant who completes the originally agreed-upon term of service in a shorter period of time.

[73 FR 53760, Sept. 17, 2008]

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§2522.250   What other benefits do AmeriCorps participants serving in approved AmeriCorps positions receive?

(a) Child Care. Grantees must provide child care through an eligible provider or a child care allowance in an amount determined by the Corporation to those full-time participants who need child care in order to participate.

(1) Need. A participant is considered to need child care in order to participate in the program if he or she:

(i) Is the parent or legal guardian of, or is acting in loco parentis for, a child under 13 who resides with the participant;

(ii) Has a family income that does not exceed 75 percent of the State's median income for a family of the same size;

(iii) At the time of acceptance into the program, is not currently receiving child care assistance from another source, including a parent or guardian, which would continue to be provided while the participant serves in the program; and

(iv) Certifies that he or she needs child care in order to participate in the program.

(2) Provider eligibility. Eligible child care providers are those who are eligible child care providers as defined in the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858n(5)).

(3) Child care allowance. The amount of the child-care allowance may not exceed the applicable payment rate to an eligible provider established by the State for child care funded under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858c(4)(A)).

(4) Corporation share. The Corporation will pay 100 percent of the child care allowance, or, if the program provides child care through an eligible provider, the actual cost of the care or the amount of the allowance, whichever is less.

(b) Health care. (1) Grantees must provide to all eligible participants who meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section health care coverage that—

(i) Provides the minimum benefits determined by the Corporation;

(ii) Provides the alternative minimum benefits determined by the Corporation; or

(iii) Does not provide all of either the minimum or the alternative minimum benefits but that has a fair market value equal to or greater than the fair market value of a policy that provides the minimum benefits.

(2) Participant eligibility. A full-time participant is eligible for health care benefits if he or she is not otherwise covered by a health benefits package providing minimum benefits established by the Corporation at the time he or she is accepted into a program. If, as a result of participation, or if, during the term of service, a participant demonstrates loss of coverage through no deliberate act of his or her own, such as parental or spousal job loss or disqualification from Medicaid, the participant will be eligible for health care benefits.

(3) Corporation share. (i) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, the Corporation's share of the cost of health coverage may not exceed 85 percent.

(ii) The Corporation will pay no share of the cost of a policy that does not provide the minimum or alternative minimum benefits described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(ii) of this section.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994, as amended at 70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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Subpart C—Application Requirements

§2522.300   What are the application requirements for AmeriCorps program grants?

All eligible applicants seeking AmeriCorps program grants must—

(a) Provide a description of the specific program(s) being proposed, including the type of program and of how it meets the minimum program requirements described in §2522.100; and

(b) Comply with any additional requirements as specified by the Corporation in the application package.

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§2522.310   What are the application requirements for AmeriCorps educational awards only?

(a) Eligible applicants may apply for AmeriCorps educational awards only for one of the following eligible service positions: (1) A position for a participant in an AmeriCorps program that:

(i) Is carried out by an entity eligible to receive support under part 2521 of this chapter;

(ii) Would be eligible to receive assistance under this part, based on criteria established by the Corporation, but has not applied for such assistance;

(2) A position facilitating service-learning in a program described in parts 2515 through 2519 of this chapter;

(3) A position involving service as a crew leader in a youth corps program or a similar position supporting an AmeriCorps program; and

(4) Such other AmeriCorps positions as the Corporation considers to be appropriate.

(b) Because programs applying only for AmeriCorps educational awards must, by definition, meet the same basic requirements as other approved AmeriCorps programs, applicants must comply with the same application requirements specified in §2522.300.

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§2522.320   [Reserved]

§2522.330   [Reserved]

§2522.340   How will I know if two projects are the same?

The Corporation will consider two projects to be the same if the Corporation cannot identify a meaningful difference between the two projects based on a comparison of the following characteristics, among others:

(a) The objectives and priorities of the projects;

(b) The nature of the services provided;

(c) The program staff, participants, and volunteers involved;

(d) The geographic locations in which the services are provided;

(e) The populations served; and

(f) The proposed community partnerships.

[73 FR 53760, Sept. 17, 2008]

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Subpart D—Selection of AmeriCorps Programs

§2522.400   What process does the Corporation use to select new grantees?

The Corporation uses a multi-stage process, which may include review by panels of experts, Corporation staff review, and approval by the Chief Executive Officer or the Board of Directors, or their designee.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.410   What is the role of the Corporation's Board of Directors in the selection process?

The Board of Directors has general authority to determine the selection process, including priorities and selection criteria, and has authority to make grant decisions. The Board may delegate these functions to the Chief Executive Officer.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.415   How does the grant selection process work?

The selection process includes:

(a) Determining whether your proposal complies with the application requirements, such as deadlines and eligibility requirements;

(b) Applying the basic selection criteria to assess the quality of your proposal;

(c) Applying any applicable priorities or preferences, as stated in these regulations and in the applicable Notice of Funding Availability; and

(d) Ensuring innovation and geographic, demographic, and programmatic diversity across the Corporation's national AmeriCorps portfolio.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.420   What basic criteria does the Corporation use in making funding decisions?

In evaluating your application for funding, the Corporation will assess:

(a) Your program design;

(b) Your organizational capability; and

(c) Your program's cost-effectiveness and budget adequacy.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.425   [Reserved]

§2522.430   [Reserved]

§2522.435   [Reserved]

§2522.440   What weight does the Corporation give to each category of the basic criteria?

In evaluating applications, the Corporation assigns the following weights for each category:

Category Percentage
Program design50
Organizational capability25
Cost-effectiveness and budget adequacy25

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.445   [Reserved]

§2522.448   [Reserved]

§2522.450   What types of programs or program models may receive special consideration in the selection process?

Following the scoring of proposals under §2522.440 of this part, the Corporation will seek to ensure that its portfolio of approved programs includes a meaningful representation of proposals that address one or more of the following priorities:

(a) Program models: (1) Programs operated by community organizations, including faith-based organizations, or programs that support the efforts of community organizations, including faith-based organizations, to solve local problems;

(2) Lower-cost professional corps programs, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of §2522.110 of this chapter.

(b) Program activities: (1) Programs that serve or involve children and youth, including mentoring of disadvantaged youth and children of prisoners;

(2) Programs that address educational needs, including those that carry out literacy and tutoring activities generally, and those that focus on reading for children in the third grade or younger;

(3) Programs that focus on homeland security activities that support and promote public safety, public health, and preparedness for any emergency, natural or man-made (this includes programs that help to plan, equip, train, and practice the response capabilities of many different response units ready to mobilize without warning for any emergency);

(4) Programs that address issues relating to the environment;

(5) Programs that support independent living for seniors or individuals with disabilities;

(6) Programs that increase service and service-learning on higher education campuses in partnership with their surrounding communities;

(7) Programs that foster opportunities for Americans born in the post-World War II baby boom to serve and volunteer in their communities; and

(8) Programs that involve community-development by finding and using local resources, and the capacities, skills, and assets of lower-income people and their community, to rejuvenate their local economy, strengthen public and private investments in the community, and help rebuild civil society.

(c) Programs supporting distressed communities: Programs or projects that will be conducted in:

(1) A community designated as an empowerment zone or redevelopment area, targeted for special economic incentives, or otherwise identifiable as having high concentrations of low-income people;

(2) An area that is environmentally distressed, as demonstrated by Federal and State data;

(3) An area adversely affected by Federal actions related to managing Federal lands that result in significant regional job losses and economic dislocation;

(4) An area adversely affected by reductions in defense spending or the closure or realignment of military installation;

(5) An area that has an unemployment rate greater than the national average unemployment for the most recent 12 months for which State or Federal data are available;

(6) A rural community, as demonstrated by Federal and State data; or

(7) A severely economically distressed community, as demonstrated by Federal and State data.

(d) Other programs: Programs that meet any additional priorities as the Corporation determines and disseminates in advance of the selection process.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.455   How do I find out about additional priorities governing the selection process?

The Corporation posts discretionary funding opportunities addressing the Corporation's selection preferences and additional requirements on our website at www.nationalservice.gov and at www.grants.gov in advance of grant competitions

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.460   To what extent may the Corporation or a State commission consider priorities other than those stated in these regulations or the Notice of Funding Availability?

(a) The Corporation may give special consideration to a national service program submitted by a State commission that does not meet one of the Corporation's priorities if the State commission adequately explains why the State is not able to carry out a program that meets one of the Corporation's priorities, and why the program meets one of the State's priorities.

(b) A State may apply priorities different than those of the Corporation in selecting its formula programs.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.465   What information must a State commission submit on the relative strengths of applicants for State competitive funding?

(a) If you are a State commission applying for State competitive funding, you must prioritize the proposals you submit in rank order based on their relative quality and according to the following table:

If you submit this
number of state competitive proposals
to the corporation
Then you must rank
this number of
proposals
1 to 12At least top 5.
13 to 24At least top 10.
25 or moreAt least top 15.

(b) While the rankings you provide will not be determinative in the grant selection process, and the Corporation will not be bound by them, we will consider them in our selection process.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.470   What other factors or information may the Corporation consider in making final funding decisions?

(a) The Corporation will seek to ensure that our portfolio of AmeriCorps programs is programmatically, demographically, and geographically diverse and includes innovative programs, and projects in rural, high poverty, and economically distressed areas.

(b) In applying the selection criteria under §§2522.420 through 2522.435, the Corporation may, with respect to a particular proposal, also consider one or more of the following for purposes of clarifying or verifying information in a proposal, including conducting due diligence to ensure an applicant's ability to manage Federal funds:

(1) For an applicant that has previously received a Corporation grant, any information or records the applicant submitted to the Corporation, or that the Corporation has in its system of records, in connection with its previous grant (e.g. progress reports, site visit reports, financial status reports, audits, HHS Account Payment Data Reports, Federal Cash Transaction Reports, timeliness of past reporting, etc.);

(2) Program evaluations;

(3) Member-related information from the Corporation's systems;

(4) Other Corporation internal information, including information from the Office of Inspector General, administrative standards for State commissions, and reports on program training and technical assistance;

(5) IRS Tax Form 990;

(6) An applicant organization's annual report;

(7) Information relating to the applicant's financial management from Corporation records;

(8) Member satisfaction indicators;

(9) Publicly available information including:

(i) Socio-economic and demographic data, such as poverty rate, unemployment rate, labor force participation, and median household income;

(ii) Information on where an applicant and its activities fall on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's urban-rural continuum (Beale codes);

(iii) Information on the nonprofit and philanthropic community, such as charitable giving per capita;

(iv) Information from an applicant organization's website; and

(v) U.S. Department of Education data on Federal Work Study and Community Service; and

(10) Other information, following notice in the relevant Notice of Funding Availability, of the specific information and the Corporation's intention to be able to consider that information in the review process.

(c) Before approving a program grant to a State commission, the Corporation will consider a State commission's capacity to manage and monitor grants.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.475   To what extent must I use the Corporation's selection criteria and priorities when selecting formula programs or operating sites?

You must ensure that the selection criteria you use include the following criteria:

(a) The quality of the national service program proposed to be carried out directly by the applicant or supported by a grant from the applicant.

(b) The innovative aspects of the national service program, and the feasibility of replicating the program.

(c) The sustainability of the national service program.

(d) The quality of the leadership of the national service program, the past performance of the program, and the extent to which the program builds on existing programs.

(e) The extent to which participants of the national service program are recruited from among residents of the communities in which projects are to be conducted, and the extent to which participants and community residents are involved in the design, leadership, and operation of the program.

(f) The extent to which projects would be conducted in one of the areas listed in §2522.450(c)(1) through (5) of this subpart.

(g) In the case of applicants other than States, the extent to which the application is consistent with the application of the State in which the projects would be conducted.

(h) Such other criteria as the Corporation considers to be appropriate, following appropriate notice.

[70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.480   Can a State's application for formula funds be rejected?

Yes. Formula funds are not an entitlement.

(a) Notification. If the Corporation rejects an application submitted by a State Commission under part 2550 of this chapter for funds described in §2521.30 of this chapter, the Corporation will promptly notify the State Commission of the reasons for the rejection of the application.

(b) Revision. The Corporation will provide a State Commission notified under paragraph (a) of this section with a reasonable opportunity to revise and resubmit the application. At the request of the State Commission, the Corporation will provide technical assistance to the State Commission as part of the resubmission process. The Corporation will promptly reconsider an application resubmitted under this paragraph.

(c) Redistribution. The amount of any State's allotment under §2521.30(a) of this chapter for a fiscal year that the Corporation determines will not be provided for that fiscal year will be available for redistribution by the Corporation to the States, Territories and Indian Tribes with approved AmeriCorps applications as the Corporation deems appropriate.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994. Redesignated at 70 FR 39600, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.485   How do I calculate my program's budgeted Corporation cost per member service year (MSY)?

If you are an AmeriCorps national and community service program, you calculate your Corporation cost per MSY by dividing the Corporation's share of budgeted grant costs by the number of member service years you are awarded in your grant. You do not include child-care or the cost of the education award a member may earn through serving with your program.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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Subpart E—Evaluation Requirements

§2522.500   What is the purpose of this subpart?

(a) This subpart sets forth the minimum performance measures and evaluation requirements that you as a Corporation applicant or grantee must follow.

(b) The performance measures that you, as an applicant, propose when you apply will be considered in the review process and may affect whether the Corporation selects you to receive a grant. Your performance related to your approved measures will influence whether you continue to receive funding.

(c) Performance measures and evaluations are designed to strengthen your AmeriCorps program and foster continuous improvement, and help identify best practices and models that merit replication, as well as programmatic weaknesses that need attention.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.510   To whom does this subpart apply?

This subpart applies to you if you are a Corporation grantee administering an AmeriCorps grant, including an Education Award Program grant, or if you are applying to receive AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.520   What special terms are used in this subpart?

The following definitions apply to terms used in this subpart of the regulations:

(a) Approved application means the application approved by the Corporation or, for formula programs, by a State commission.

(b) Community beneficiaries refers to persons who receive services or benefits from a program, but not to AmeriCorps members or to staff of the organization operating the program.

(c) Outputs are the amount or units of service that members or volunteers have completed, or the number of community beneficiaries the program has served. Outputs do not provide information on benefits or other changes in communities or in the lives of members or community beneficiaries. Examples of outputs could include the number of people a program tutors, counsels, houses, or feeds.

(d) Intermediate-outcomes specify a change that has occurred in communities or in the lives of community beneficiaries or members, but is not necessarily a lasting benefit for them. They are observable and measurable indications of whether or not a program is making progress and are logically connected to end outcomes. An example would be the number and percentage of students who report reading more books as a result of their participation in a tutoring program.

(e) Internal evaluation means an evaluation that a grantee performs in-house without the use of an independent external evaluator.

(f) End-outcomes specify a change that has occurred in communities or in the lives of community beneficiaries or members that is significant and lasting. These are actual benefits or changes for participants during or after a program. For example, in a tutoring program, the end outcome could be the percent and number of students who have improved their reading scores to grade-level, or other specific measures of academic achievement.

(g) Grantee includes subgrantees, programs, and projects.

(h) National performance measures are performance measures that the Corporation develops.

(i) You refers to a grantee or applicant organization.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005; 70 FR 48882, Aug. 22, 2005]

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§2522.530   May I use the Corporation's program grant funds for performance measurement and evaluation?

If performance measurement and evaluation costs were approved as part of your grant, you may use your program grant funds to support them, consistent with the level of approved costs for such activities in your grant award.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.540   Do the costs of performance measurement or evaluation count towards the statutory cap on administrative costs?

No, the costs of performance measurement and evaluation do not count towards the statutory five percent cap on administrative costs in the grant, as provided in §2540.110 of this chapter.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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Performance Measures: Requirements and Procedures

§2522.550   What basic requirements must I follow in measuring performance under my grant?

All grantees must establish, track, and assess performance measures for their programs. As a grantee, you must ensure that any program under your oversight fulfills performance measure and evaluation requirements. In addition, you must:

(a) Establish ambitious performance measures in consultation with the Corporation, or the State commission, as appropriate, following §§2422.560 through 2422.660 of this subpart;

(b) Ensure that any program under your oversight collects and organizes performance data on an ongoing basis, at least annually;

(c) Ensure that any program under your oversight tracks progress toward meeting your performance measures;

(d) Ensure that any program under your oversight corrects performance deficiencies promptly; and

(e) Accurately and fairly present the results in reports to the Corporation.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.560   What are performance measures and performance measurement?

(a) Performance measures are measurable indicators of a program's performance as it relates to member service activities.

(b) Performance measurement is the process of regularly measuring the services provided by your program and the effect your program has in communities or in the lives of members or community beneficiaries.

(c) The main purpose of performance measurement is to strengthen your AmeriCorps program and foster continuous improvement and to identify best practices and models that merit replication. Performance measurement will also help identify programmatic weaknesses that need attention.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.570   What information on performance measures must my grant application include?

You must submit all of the following as part of your application for each program:

(a) Proposed performance measures, as described in §2522.580 and §2522.590 of this part.

(b) Estimated performance data for the program years for which you submit your application; and

(c) Actual performance data, where available, as follows:

(i) For continuation programs, performance data over the course of the grant to date; and

(ii) For recompeting programs, performance data for the preceding three-year grant cycle.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.580   What performance measures am I required to submit to the Corporation?

(a) When applying for funds, you must submit, at a minimum, the following performance measures:

(1) One set of aligned performance measures (one output, one intermediate-outcome, and one end-outcome) that capture the results of your program's primary activity, or area of significant activity for programs whose design precludes identifying a primary activity; and

(2) Any national performance measures the Corporation may require, as specified in paragraph (b) of §2522.590.

(b) For example, a tutoring program might use the following aligned performance measures:

(1) Output: Number of students that participated in a tutoring program;

(2) Intermediate-Outcome: Percent of students reading more books; and

(3) End-Outcome: Number and percent of students who have improved their reading score to grade level.

(c) The Corporation encourages you to exceed the minimum requirements expressed in this section and expects, in second and subsequent grant cycles, that you will more fully develop your performance measures, including establishing multiple performance indicators, and improving and refining those you used in the past. Any performance measures you submit beyond what is required in paragraph (a)(1) of this section may or may not be aligned sets of measures.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.590   Who develops my performance measures?

(a) You are responsible for developing your program-specific performance measures through your own internal process.

(b) In addition, the Corporation may, in consultation with grantees, establish performance measures that will apply to all Corporation-sponsored programs, which you will be responsible for collecting and meeting.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.600   Who approves my performance measures?

(a) The Corporation will review and approve performance measures, as part of the grant application review process, for all non-formula programs. If the Corporation selects your application for funding, the Corporation will approve your performance measures as part of your grant award.

(b) If you are a program submitting an application under the State formula category, the applicable State commission is responsible for reviewing and approving your performance measures. The Corporation will not separately approve these measures.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.610   What is the difference in performance measurements requirements for competitive and formula programs?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, State commissions are responsible for making the final determination of performance measures for State formula programs, while the Corporation makes the final determination for all other programs.

(b) The Corporation may, through the State commission, require that formula programs meet certain national performance measures above and beyond what the State commission has individually negotiated with its formula grantees.

(c) While State commissions must hold their sub-grantees responsible for their performance measures, a State commission, as a grantee, is responsible to the Corporation for its formula programs' performance measures.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.620   How do I report my performance measures to the Corporation?

The Corporation sets specific reporting requirements, including frequency and deadlines, for performance measures in the grant award.

(a) In general, you are required to report on the actual results that occurred when implementing the grant and to regularly measure your program's performance.

(b) Your report must include the results on the performance measures approved as part of your grant award.

(c) At a minimum you are required to report on outputs at the end of year one and outputs and intermediate outcomes at the end of years two and three. We encourage you to exceed these minimum requirements.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005, as amended at 73 FR 53760, Sept. 17, 2008]

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§2522.630   What must I do if I am not able to meet my performance measures?

If you are not on track to meet your performance measures, you must develop and submit to the Corporation, or the State commission for formula programs, a corrective action plan, consistent with paragraph (a) of this section, or submit a request to the Corporation, or the State commission for formula programs, consistent with paragraph (b) of this section, to amend your requirements under the circumstances described in §2522.640 of this subpart.

(a) Your corrective action plan must be in writing and include all of the following:

(1) The factors impacting your performance goals;

(2) The strategy you are using and corrective action you are taking to get back on track toward your established performance measures; and

(3) The timeframe in which you plan to achieve getting back on track with your performance measures.

(b) A request to amend your performance measures must include all of the following:

(1) Why you are not on track to meet your performance requirements;

(2) How you have been tracking performance measures;

(3) Evidence of the corrective action you have taken;

(4) Any new proposed performance measures or targets; and

(5) Your plan to ensure that you meet any new measures.

(c) You must submit your plan under paragraph (a) of this section, or your request under paragraph (b) of this section, within 30 days of determining that you are not on track to meeting your performance measures.

(d) If you are a formula program, the State commission that approves the plan under paragraph (a) of this section or the request to amend your performance measures under paragraph (b) of this section, must forward an information copy to the Corporation's AmeriCorps program office within 15 days of approving the plan or the request.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.640   Under what circumstances may I change my performance measures?

(a) You may change your performance measures only if the Corporation or, for formula programs, the State commission, approves your request to do so based on your need to:

(1) Adjust your performance measure or target based on experience so that your program's goals are more realistic and manageable;

(2) Replace a measure related to one issue area with one related to a different issue area that is more aligned with your program service activity. For example, you may need to replace an objective related to health with one related to the environment;

(3) Redefine the service that individuals perform under the grant. For example, you may need to define your service as tutoring adults in English, as opposed to operating an after-school program for third-graders;

(4) Eliminate an activity because you have been unable to secure necessary matching funding; or

(5) Replace one measure with another. For example, you may decide that you want to replace one measure of literacy tutoring (increased attendance at school) with another (percentage of students who are promoted to the next grade level).

(b) [Reserved]

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.650   What happens if I fail to meet the performance measures included in my grant?

(a) If you are significantly under-performing based on the performance measures approved in your grant, or fail to collect appropriate data to allow performance measurement, the Corporation, or the State commission for formula grantees, may specify a period of correction, after consulting with you. As a grantee, you must report results at the end of the period of correction. At that point, if you continue to under-perform, or fail to collect appropriate data to allow performance measurement, the Corporation may take one or more of the following actions:

(1) Reduce the amount of your grant;

(2) Suspend or terminate your grant;

(3) Use this information to assess any application from your organization for a new AmeriCorps grant or a new grant under another program administered by the Corporation;

(4) Amend the terms of any Corporation grants to your organization; or

(5) Take other actions that the Corporation deems appropriate.

(b) If you are a State commission whose formula program(s) is significantly under-performing or failing to collect appropriate data to allow performance measurement, we encourage you to take action as delineated in paragraph (a) of this section.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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Evaluating Programs: Requirements and Procedures

§2522.700   How does evaluation differ from performance measurement?

(a) Evaluation is a more in-depth, rigorous effort to measure the impact of programs. While performance measurement and evaluation both include systematic data collection and measurement of progress, evaluation uses scientifically-based research methods to assess the effectiveness of programs by comparing the observed program outcomes with what would have happened in the absence of the program. Unlike performance measures, evaluations estimate the impacts of programs by comparing the outcomes for individuals receiving a service or participating in a program to the outcomes for similar individuals not receiving a service or not participating in a program. For example, an evaluation of a literacy program may compare the reading ability of students in a program over time to a similar group of students not participating in a program.

(b) Performance measurement is the process of systematically and regularly collecting and monitoring data related to the direction of observed changes in communities, participants (members), or end beneficiaries receiving your program's services. It is intended to provide an indication of your program's operations and performance. In contrast to evaluation, it is not intended to establish a causal relationship between your program and a desired (or undesired) program outcome. For example, a performance measure for a literacy program may include the percentage of students receiving services from your program who increase their reading ability from “below grade level” to “at or above grade level”. This measure indicates something good is happening to your program's service beneficiaries, but it does not indicate that the change can be wholly attributed to your program's services.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.710   What are my evaluation requirements?

(a) If you are a State commission, you must establish and enforce evaluation requirements for your State formula subgrantees, as you deem appropriate.

(b) If you are a State competitive or direct Corporation AmeriCorps grantee (other than an Education Award Program grantee), and your average annual Corporation program grant is $500,000 or more, you must arrange for an independent evaluation of your program, and you must submit the evaluation with any application to the Corporation for competitive funds as required in §2522.730 of this subpart.

(c) If you are a State competitive or direct Corporation AmeriCorps grantee whose average annual Corporation program grant is less than $500,000, or an Education Award Program grantee, you must conduct an internal evaluation of your program, and you must submit the evaluation with any application to the Corporation for competitive funds as required in §2522.730 of this subpart.

(d) The Corporation may, in its discretion, supersede these requirements with an alternative evaluation approach, including one conducted by the Corporation at the national level.

(e) Grantees must cooperate fully with all Corporation evaluation activities.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.720   How many years must my evaluation cover?

(a) If you are a State formula grantee, you must conduct an evaluation, as your State commission requires.

(b) If you are a State competitive or direct Corporation grantee, your evaluation must cover a minimum of one year but may cover longer periods.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.730   How and when do I submit my evaluation to the Corporation?

(a) If you are an existing grantee recompeting for AmeriCorps funds for the first time, you must submit a summary of your evaluation efforts or plan to date, and a copy of any evaluation that has been completed, as part of your application for funding.

(b) If you again compete for AmeriCorps funding after a second three-year grant cycle, you must submit the completed evaluation with your application for funding.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.740   How will the Corporation use my evaluation?

The Corporation will consider the evaluation you submit with your application as follows:

(a) If you do not include with your application for AmeriCorps funding a summary of the evaluation, or the evaluation itself, as applicable, under §2522.730, the Corporation reserves the right to not consider your application.

(b) If you do submit an evaluation with your application, the Corporation will consider the results of your evaluation in assessing the quality and outcomes of your program.

[70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.800   How will the Corporation evaluate individual AmeriCorps programs?

The Corporation will evaluate programs based on the following: (a) The extent to which the program meets the objectives established and agreed to by the grantee and the Corporation before the grant award;

(b) The extent to which the program is cost-effective; and

(c) The effectiveness of the program in meeting the following legislative objectives: (1) Providing direct and demonstrable services and projects that benefit the community by addressing educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs;

(2) Recruiting and enrolling diverse participants consistent with the requirements of part 2540 of this chapter, based on economic background, race, ethnicity, age, gender, marital status, education levels, and disability;

(3) Promoting the educational achievement of each participant based on earning a high school diploma or its equivalent and future enrollment in and completion of increasingly higher levels of education;

(4) Encouraging each participant to engage in public and community service after completion of the program based on career choices and participation in other service programs;

(5) Promoting an ethic of active and productive citizenship among participants;

(6) Supplying additional volunteer assistance to community agencies without providing more volunteers than can be effectively utilized;

(7) Providing services and activities that could not otherwise be performed by employed workers and that will not supplant the hiring of, or result in the displacement of, employed workers; and

(8) Other criteria determined and published by the Corporation.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994. Redesignated at 70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.810   What will the Corporation do to evaluate the overall success of the AmeriCorps programs?

(a) The Corporation will conduct independent evaluations of programs, including in-depth studies of selected programs. These evaluations will consider the opinions of participants and members of the community where services are delivered. Where appropriate these studies will compare participants with individuals who have not participated in service programs. These evaluations will: (1) Study the extent to which the national service impacts involved communities;

(2) Study the extent to which national service increases positive attitudes among participants regarding the responsibilities of citizens and their role in solving community problems;

(3) Study the extent to which national service enables participants to afford post-secondary education with fewer student loans;

(4) Determine the costs and effectiveness of different program models in meeting program objectives including full- and part-time programs, programs involving different types of national service, programs using different recruitment methods, programs offering alternative non-federally funded vouchers or post-service benefits, and programs utilizing individual placements and teams;

(5) Determine the impact of programs in each State on the ability of VISTA and National Senior Volunteer Corps, each regular and reserve component of the Armed Forces, and the Peace Corps to recruit individuals residing in that State; and

(6) Determine the levels of living allowances paid in all AmeriCorps programs and American Conservation and Youth Corps, individually, by State, and by region and determine the effects that such living allowances have had on the ability of individuals to participate in such programs.

(b) The Corporation will also determine by June 30, 1995: (1) Whether the State and national priorities designed to meet educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs are being addressed;

(2) Whether the outcomes of both stipended and nonstipended service programs are defined and measured appropriately;

(3) Whether stipended service programs, and service programs providing educational benefits in return for service, should focus on economically disadvantaged individuals or at risk youth, or whether such programs should include a mix of individuals, including individuals from middle and upper income families;

(4) The role and importance of stipends and educational benefits in achieving desired outcomes in the service programs;

(5) The income distribution of AmeriCorps participants, to determine the level of participation of economically disadvantaged individuals. The total income of participants will be determined as of the date the participant was first selected to participate in a program and will include family total income unless the evaluating entity determines that the participant was independent at the time of selection. Definitions for “independent” and “total income” are those used in section 480(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965;

(6) The amount of assistance provided under the AmeriCorps programs that has been expended for projects conducted in areas classified as empowerment zones (or redevelopment areas), in areas that are targeted for special economic incentives or are otherwise identifiable as having high concentrations of low-income people, in areas that are environmentally distressed or adversely affected by Federal actions related to the management of Federal lands, in areas that are adversely affected by reductions in defense spending, or in areas that have an unemployment rate greater than the national average unemployment rate for the most recent 12 months for which satisfactory data are available; and

(7) The implications of the results of these studies as appropriate for authorized funding levels.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994. Redesignated at 70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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§2522.820   Will information on individual participants be kept confidential?

(a) Yes. The Corporation will maintain the confidentiality of information regarding individual participants that is acquired for the purpose of the evaluations described in §2522.540. The Corporation will disclose individual participant information only with the prior written consent of the participant. However, the Corporation may disclose aggregate participant information.

(b) Grantees and subgrantees that receive assistance under this chapter must comply with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994. Redesignated at 70 FR 39603, July 8, 2005]

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Subpart F—Program Management Requirements for Grantees

Source: 70 FR 39606, July 8, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

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§2522.900   What definitions apply to this subpart?

Tutor is defined as someone whose primary goal is to increase academic achievement in reading or other core subjects through planned, consistent, one-to-one or small-group sessions and activities that build on the academic strengths of students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and target their academic needs. A tutor does not include someone engaged in other academic support activities, such as mentoring and after-school program support, whose primary goal is something other than increasing academic achievement. For example, providing a safe place for children is not tutoring, even if some of the program activities focus on homework help.

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§2522.910   What basic qualifications must an AmeriCorps member have to serve as a tutor?

If the tutor is:Then the tutor must meet the following qualifications:
(a) Is considered to be an employee of the Local Education Agency or school, as determined by State lawParaprofessional qualifications under No Child Left Behind Act, as required in 34 CFR 200.58
(b) Is not considered to be an employee of the Local Education Agency or school, as determined by State law(1) High School diploma or its equivalent, or a higher degree; and
   (2) Successful completion of pre- and in-service specialized training, as required in §2522.940 of this subpart.

[59 FR 13796, Mar. 23, 1994, as amended at 74 FR 46506, Sept. 10, 2009]

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§2522.920   Are there any exceptions to the qualifications requirements?

The qualifications requirements in §2522.910 of this subpart do not apply to a member who is a K-12 student tutoring younger children in the school or after school as part of a structured, school-managed cross-grade tutoring program.

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§2522.930   [Reserved]

§2522.940   What are the requirements for a program in which AmeriCorps members serve as tutors?

A program in which members engage in tutoring for children must:

(a) Articulate appropriate criteria for selecting and qualifying tutors, including the requirements in §2522.910 of this subpart, and certify that selected tutors meet the requirements in §2522.910.

(b) Identify the strategies or tools it will use to assess student progress and measure student outcomes;

(c) Certify that the tutoring curriculum and pre-service and in-service training content are high-quality and research-based, consistent with the instructional program of the local educational agency and with State academic content standards.

(d) Include appropriate member supervision by individuals with expertise in tutoring; and

(e) Provide specialized high-quality and research-based, member pre-service and in-service training consistent with the activities the member will perform.

[70 FR 39606, July 8, 2005, as amended at 74 FR 46506, Sept. 10, 2009]

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§2522.950   What requirements and qualifications apply if my program focuses on supplemental academic support activities other than tutoring?

(a) If your program does not involve tutoring as defined in §2522.900 of this subpart, the Corporation will not impose the requirements in §2522.910 through §2522.940 of this subpart on your program.

(b) At a minimum, you must articulate in your application how you will recruit, train, and supervise members to ensure that they have the qualifications and skills necessary to provide the service activities in which they will be engaged.

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