VISTA Training Development Specialist

Washington, D.C
Oct 16, 2021
Oct 23, 2021
Full Time


Under the supervision of the VISTA Training Director, the Training Development Specialist will enhance a complex learning architecture that supports 8,000 AmeriCorps members and 700 VISTA project sponsors each year. The Training Development Specialist will create interactive and engaging online training and lead the development and implementation of advanced technologies to support synchronous and asynchronous content and activities.

Learn more about this agency


The VISTA Training Unit designs, delivers, and evaluates online and in-person trainings for AmeriCorps members and their supervisors, VISTA sponsors, and agency staff. The Unit also manages and curates the VISTA Campus, the online repository of training resources for members and sponsors.

This position is designated as a full-time telework position on a temporary basis due to COVID-19 and may transition to onsite work when the office fully reopens.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • -Designs, develops, and publishes online instructional content and materials for a variety of content areas and audience types.
  • -Collects, organizes, and incorporates Subject Matter Expert (SME) input into online training that supports VISTA's training program goals.
  • -Collaborates with SMEs to gather information about course goals and objectives and develop content in person and remotely (i.e., Zoom, MS Teams).
  • -Utilizes multimedia, instructional technology, and authoring tools to create online learning content (i.e., Articulate 360).
  • -Applies instructional design (i.e., ADDIE), adult learning, and multimedia principles and best practices.
  • -Develops design plans, storyboards, and lesson plans for online training content.
  • -Designs and implements skill/proficiency checks, practice exercises, and authentic performance assessments.
  • -Measures learner results to track training program outcomes and identify areas of improvement.
  • -Ensures course development products comply with applicable guidance and regulations (SCORM, Section 508, style guides, etc.).
  • -Engages in regular professional development, including self-directed learning, to acquire knowledge and skills with emerging training concepts, skills, resources, and technology.
  • -Evaluates and recommends changes to VISTA's training program; provides information and analysis to strengthen VISTA's ability to make data-informed decisions.
  • -Supports organization and maintenance of training content for internal and external audiences with various tools (i.e., MS Office Suite, SharePoint, Drupal, Litmos).
  • -Performs other duties as assigned.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States Citizen
  • A 2-year probationary period is required for new Federal employees
  • Merit Promotion applicants must submit a SF-50 to verify Status and grade
  • Must be telework ready
  • Satisfactory completion of a background investigation


In addition to the basic education requirement, to qualify applicants must have one year of specialized experience comparable in scope and responsibility to at least the that of the mid range of the NY- 02 pay band, which is at or equivalent to GS-9 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is that which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled.

Specialized experience includes demonstrated experience that includes (1) an advanced certification or degree in instructional design, education technology, digital media/multimedia, or related field, (2) experience using various online authoring tools and resources (e.g., Articulate 360, Google Analytics, Drupal, Litmos, and MS Office Suite), and/or (3) experience developing training content and media to deliver in various modalities (in person, synchronous, asynchronous), experience creating and implementing instructional design methodologies (e.g., ADDIE, SAM).

Note: For positions requiring positive education requirements, or if you are using education to meet all or part of the qualification requirements, you MUST submit a copy of your transcripts or an itemized list of college courses from an accredited college or university, which includes equivalent information from the transcript (course title, semester/quarter hours, and grade/degree earned) in your resume. The information must be provided with the application by the closing date of the announcement. If selected, the applicant must supply a transcript or certification of degree.

Note: Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Such experience must be clearly documented in the applicant's resume.

You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


Basic Educational Requirements:

Degree: that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours appropriate to the work of the position to be filled. The course work must have included study in at least four of the following five areas:
  • Learning theory, psychology of learning, educational psychology: Study of learning theories as they relate to the systematic design, development, and validation of instructional material.
  • Instructional design practices: Study of the principles and techniques used in designing training programs, developing design strategy and models, and applying design methods to the improvement of instructional effectiveness.
  • Educational evaluation: Study of the techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of instructional/educational programs, including developing written and performance tests and survey instruments, and determining reliability and validity of evaluation instruments.
  • Instructional product development: Study of the techniques appropriate for developing training materials, including identifying learner characteristics, specifying objectives, applying training strategy, validating training materials, and evaluating training.
  • Computers in education and training: Study of the application of computers in education and training, including selecting appropriate computer software.
Transcripts - If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed under the Qualifications and Evaluations section, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript(s) with your application. If selected, an official/sealed college transcript(s) will be required to verify education prior to employment. You may also qualify based on a combination of education and experience, if applicable.

Additional information

This Term Appointment will initially be for a three-year period, but may be extended for a total of five years. Should the need arise, this position may be made permanent without further competition. Additional selections may be made from this vacancy.

Additional selections may be made from this announcement or for similar positions across AmeriCorps. By applying, you agree to have your application shared with interested selecting official(s) at AmeriCorps.

As a Term employee, you will not be covered be the agency's Interchange Agreement with the Office of Personnel Management, which allows for noncompetitive transfer from AmeriCorps to other agencies in the competitive service of the federal government.

This American Rescue Plan (ARP) term appointment will not exceed September 30, 2024.

If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.

Veteran's Preference: If you are claiming 5-point or 10-point veteran's preference, you must submit documentation described below in "Required Documents."

Special Employment Consideration: Persons with disabilities, disabled veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more, certain other veterans, spouses of certain members of the Armed Forces, VISTA volunteers, some Peace Corps employees and returning Peace Corps volunteers are examples of individuals who are potentially eligible for noncompetitive appointment. If you are eligible and would like to be considered for one of these noncompetitive appointments, applicable documentation that supports your eligibility must be submitted with your application package.

Ethics Requirement: Our Agency is committed to the highest ethical standards and, as an employee you will be covered by the criminal conflict of interest statutes (18 U.S.C. 201-209) and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 C.F.R. part 2635). Additionally, you may be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) or Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e) within 30 days of your appointment date and on an annual basis thereafter.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
  • Administration and Management
  • Education and Training
  • Planning and Evaluating

Important Note: Your resume must support your answers to the job specific questions. High self-assessment on the Occupational Questionnaire that is not supported by the information in your resume or supporting documents can/will result in elimination from further consideration. If you do not answer all of the job specific questions you will not be considered. Incomplete applications (resume and required supporting documents) will be considered ineligible.

Qualified applicants will be placed in one of the following three categories:

1 - Qualified Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements as described in the Qualifications section of this announcement.
2 - Well Qualified Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and demonstrates proficiency based on the answers to the job specific questions.
3 - Best Qualified Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and demonstrates high level proficiency based on the answers to the job specific questions.

NOTE: Status candidates will be considered under the provisions of the agency's Human Resources system which allows for:
1) Non-competitive referral of lateral candidates; and
2) The separation of status and non-status applicants for referral purposes.

Status candidates will be referred on one selection list only, i.e., either merit promotion or non-competitive. Non-status candidates who are eligible for Noncompetitive referral, e.g. Peace Corps, VRA, etc., will be referred under Noncompetitive procedures only. For Noncompetitive categories, See "Special Employment Consideration" below under "Other Information."

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

  • Resume showing relevant experience (cover letter optional);
  • Unofficial transcript (if qualifying based on education):
  • Veterans' Preference Documentation (DD-214, VA Letter, and SF-15 if claiming 10-point preference; DD-214 if claiming 5-point preference), if applicable;
  • For Merit Promotion Eligibility: SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (must indicate tenure and position occupied), if applicable;
  • Documentation supporting eligibility for Non-Competitive appointment, e.g., Schedule A (severely disabled), eligible veterans (VRA or 30-percent or more disabled), VISTA, Peace Corps, etc., if applicable

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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