Young Adults Earn Wages and College Credit at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

October 20, 2022 | 

This year, VYCC Crew Leaders can earn up to 12 college credits at no cost to them.

The Crew Leader is a paid, seasonal position for young adults (ages 20+). While applicants must arrive with certain qualifications, Leaders also complete a paid training program. New this year, in partnership with the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and the Community College of Vermont (CCV), Crew Leaders who pass an assessment can earn as many as 12 college credits through CCV’s prior learning assessment program.Full-time college students typically earn 12 credits per semester.  Nathan Treadway is a 2022 Leader with VYCC’s Food & Farm Program. After graduating from Burlington High School, he completed five semesters at the University of Vermont. Nathan:“I needed to work full time. I was also starting to reconsider my double major in History and Classics. The careers I could go into didn’t seem immediately attainable. I’d end up with a ton of debt. I decided to pause school and work full time for a while. “ “… I happily ended up at VYCC. We were in the farmyard when we learned about the credit. It was a cherry on top kind of moment.”

Left to right: Andy, Sage, Nathan and Keri arrived at VYCC in March to lead crews and farm projects. 

The cost for prior learning assessments is currently covered by the All Learning Counts Grant, awarded by the Lumina Foundation to NEBHE, in partnership with NEBHE and CCV. Because CCV is part of the Vermont State College System, these credits are fully transferable to any Vermont State College. Other transfers are considered on a case-by-case basis by the receiving school. VYCC has employed 37 people this year who, as Crew Leaders, are eligible for college credit. In addition to credit and credentials, all Leaders earn wages. Some Leader positions are AmeriCorps positions which, upon successful completion of their term of service, awards Leaders a Segal Education Award that they can put toward past or future education expenses. Nathan:“Getting to hear this job could directly translate to college credits … was amazing news. I didn’t expect it and it raised my spirits. I plan to return to college. I will choose a new major, go for something with immediate job opportunities that will be rewarding for me.”

Nathan, front, and the youth crew he led this summer, had a lot to celebrate: growing food for their community, learning to cook, earning wages and building skills.

sign-up to get info when 2023 positions open, here: Apply | Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (