Frequently Asked Questions
About the Program
Who should apply for the program?
*At this time, we are unfortunately unable to accept applicants with student visas (such as F1 or F2 student visas, J1 or J2 exchange visas).
What is California Climate Action Corps?
California Climate Action Corps (CCAC) is a fellowship program within the federal AmeriCorps program. CCAC leverages the power of AmeriCorps to advance climate actions that engage communities, cultivate change, and leave a lasting impact.
CCAC connects local organizations and agencies with talented, motivated emerging leaders to move the needle on climate change in the community.
Is California Climate Action Corps (CCAC) an AmeriCorps program?
Yes, California Climate Action Corps (CCAC) is an AmeriCorps program. It is funded by California Volunteers, Office of the Governor, and implemented by Bay Area Community Resources. CCAC Fellows are AmeriCorps members.
What is AmeriCorps?
The mission of AmeriCorps is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. The program focuses on six key focus areas to make an impact:
Veterans & Military Families
AmeriCorps works with various communities to support their goals, meet their needs, and create lasting change.
What does it mean to be an AmeriCorps member?
AmeriCorps is a national service program whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. As an AmeriCorps member, you are one of 64,000 AmeriCorps State and National members serving to support your local community. AmeriCorps members receive many benefits, such as an education award, stipend, childcare, and student loan forbearance. Members must also follow all AmeriCorps guidance, including the AmeriCorps prohibited activities.
What is the California Climate Action Corps application process?
California Climate Action Corps staff will review all applications and resumes on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Staff will select candidates to attend a group informational session and then go through a preliminary phone screen interview with CCAC staff. Staff will then review the results, and based on the applicant's qualifications, site preference, and position requirements, staff will match applicants with Host Partners for a second review. Host Partners will schedule and conduct second-round interviews with qualified applicants. CCAC staff will make placement decisions based on Host Partner and applicant preferences.
How long is the program?
How many Fellows are selected for the program?
For the 2023-24 service year, 356 Fellows will be selected for California Climate Action Corps.
Where is the program located?
California Climate Action Corps Host Partners are only located throughout the state of California. Projects are spread throughout the state; as far north as Butte County, as far south as San Diego County, as far east as El Dorado County, and throughout the western counties. Our program is open to organizations doing climate action anywhere in California.
Can I pick the project/region where I am placed?
Applicants have the ability to select regions of choice and preferred Host Partners in the fellow application portal. While you will have the opportunity to share what your interests are and the Host Sites you would like to work with, ultimately, the Host Sites will decide which applicants to hire based on interviews and hiring material. Climate Action Corps staff may match you for interviews with additional Host Partners based on application material and location preference.
How many hours do I serve per week?
What are the benefits in the full-term program?
$33,000 Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
Child Care Assistance to qualifying Fellows paid to an eligible provider of your choice.
How much is the living allowance and is it taxable?
The Living Stipend depends on your term of service. Yes, the living allowance is taxable.
Do Fellows receive health care benefits?
All Fellows are eligible to receive free minimum essential healthcare coverage throughout their service term. Coverage is provided through Ternian at no cost to Fellows and includes basic medical, dental, vision, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You will need to opt-in to enroll (instructions below). Enrolling in this healthcare coverage does not cost you anything and will not be removed from your stipend.
If you are already enrolled in a healthcare plan (i.e., through a parent or spouse), you may be able to use this coverage as a supplement to draw the maximum benefit from both plans! You should check with your current plan to make sure enrolling would not impact your existing coverage.
Benefits renew on January 1st each year for the rest of the calendar year, so if your term begins in the fall, you can access these twice!
What qualifies a Fellow for childcare through AmeriCorps?
What is the California for All Education Award?
What is the Segal Education Award?
What student loans qualify for loan forbearance?
AmeriCorps Members are eligible to put qualified student loans into forbearance throughout your term of service so you do not have to make regular payments on them, and to have interest accrued during your service term repaid by AmeriCorps!
Qualified student loans include loans backed by the federal government under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (except PLUS Loans to parents of students), loans under Titles VII or VIII of the Public Service Health Act, and/or loans made by a state agency. These cannot apply to private loans or other types of loans, even if those loans were for educational purposes. Learn more here about what kinds of loans are qualified for this benefit (scroll down to the "Repay Qualified Student Loans" section)
Do Fellows get time off during the Fellowship?
If a full-term Fellow completes an average of 40-hours each week during their 11-month service term, they would be able to take 80 hours off in addition to the 13 paid holidays. Time off must be requested in advance with both their Site and Regional Supervisor, and approved before time can be taken.
Are there housing or relocation costs assistance available to Fellows?
Fellows must find their own housing near their site location. Sites are expected to provide whatever support they can, which usually means providing information about where to look for affordable housing, key contacts, and outreach to friends and the organization’s network to help with housing.
Fellows in the California Climate Action Corps Program are not eligible for relocation or housing assistance through the program. However, program staff, site staff, and other Fellows may be able to provide support or guidence in finding local housing.
Can Fellows serve remotely in their positions?
Per AmeriCorps guidelines, all Fellows are expected to serve in-person, unless written authorization for teleservice is requested and approved in advance.
Life as a Fellow
What is the typical daily schedule of a Fellow?
A fellow's daily schedule varies from host site to host site. Fellows typically serve Monday-Friday during regular working hours. However, there may be instances where fellows may work on weekends or evenings. The general work that fellows will complete includes leading or participating in volunteer events, engaging with the community, and climate action related to program focus areas (urban greening, food recovery, wildfire resiliency).
What kind of professional development is available for Fellows?
Fellows must complete at least 170 hours of professional development/training. CCAC provides mandatory monthly trainings and suggested professional development opportunities. During the monthly training, fellows receive program updates, engage with guest speakers across environmental organizations and sectors, listen to fellows present about various climate topics, and deepen their knowledge and understanding on climate resiliency and how to take action.
Who supports a Fellow throughout the program?
Fellows have a Site Supervisor, Regional Supervisor, and CCAC program staff to provide support. The Site Supervisor offers daily support for Fellows on day-to-day tasks and climate action projects. In contrast, Regional Supervisors offer general support to Fellows regarding CCAC program tasks and deadlines, as well as mentorship and guidance. Additionally, returning Fellows selected as Team Leaders serve as peer leaders for the Fellows.
Will there be multiple Fellows at the same site?
Yes, sites will host multiple fellows working on the same or differing projects.
What opportunities exist for Fellows to convene with the rest of the cohort?
Fellows will be able to interact with the rest of the cohort during monthly trainings, social activities hosted by Team Leaders, and online platforms. There is also an in-person orientation and mid-year retreat where fellows convene in person and participate in team building activities. The cohort is also given opportunities to connect with fellows on a regional level and by program focus area (urban greening, food recovery, wildfire resiliency).