Monmouth University is a Peace Corps partner school. Upon joining, Monmouth became the 50th institution to offer the Peace Corps Fellows option to returned Peace Corps volunteers. Peace Corps Fellows, conceived at Columbia University Teacher's College in 1985, allows returning Peace Corps volunteers to pursue subsidized masters and doctoral degrees while using the skills garnered during Peace Corps service in underserved communities here in the U.S.
Monmouth’s program, housed in the School of Social Work, will grant successful Fellows Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees with concentrations available in clinical practice with families and children, as well as international and community development. A joint master of arts in public policy degree is also available, as is a joint master of divinity degree in association with Drew University.
Dr. Robin Mama, dean of the School of Social Work, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Peace Corps in the Fellows program. We enjoy having the returning Peace Corps volunteers in the Monmouth community as graduate students in our Master of Social Work program. Their experience will benefit the classroom as well as the community where their Peace Corps experience will definitely be put to use in their field internships.” Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed their Peace Corps service will be eligible for the program which, besides class work towards the degree, will include internships geared toward assisting individuals, families, and communities in New Jersey to address social issues. Fellows will be awarded graduate assistantships which will cover room and board, and up to nine credit hours of tuition remission.
When Monmouth University first became a partner school, Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter said, "I am enthusiastic about our new partnership with Monmouth University. With this partnership, the Peace Corps will have the opportunity to further develop the skills of volunteers in the area of social work. I am confident that Monmouth University will be a strong [Peace Corps Fellows] partner.”
An integral part of the Peace Corps Fellows program is a substantive, degree-related internship in a high-need community. With their cross-cultural skills, adaptability, and desire to work for improvement, returning volunteers are valuable assets at their universities. The program has established partnerships with more than 50 universities nationwide. As one of Peace Corps’ domestic programs, Peace Corps Fellows enables returning volunteers to pursue graduate degrees at a reduced cost while aiding underserved U.S. communities through internships.
What will be provided to Fellows in fellowships, reduced tuition, or stipends? What are the sources for each type of support?
The Peace Corps Fellow will receive room and board and a 6 credit Graduate Assistantship. In exchange for 6 credits of remitted tuition the Peace Corps Fellow will be expected to develop and assist in weekend programming in the residence halls for the students who do not go home on the weekends. This programming is designed to maintain continuity with the programming that occurs during the week. The overall hour commitment for a 6 GA appointment is 200 per semester, which translates to 13.5 hours per week. In this case, the student will be maintaining continuity and be present in order to supervise residents. Graduate Assistantships are renewed on a semester by semester basis provided the student maintains an eligible graduate GPA of 3.000 or better.
Former Peace Corps volunteers who are interested in pursuing their MSW at Monmouth and applying to be a Peace Corps Fellow must first apply to the MSW program at Monmouth. This application can be completed online. All applicants must provide transcripts, an essay and three letters of recommendation. The applications are read on a rolling basis beginning in January and continuing until the program is full. The applications are read by a faculty admissions committee and interviews are requested if faculty have questions about the application. For more information on applying to the MSW program please see the Monmouth University Graduate Admissions homepage.
In order to be considered for the Peace Corps Fellow programs, all applicants must also apply for a Graduate Assistantship before May 1st. They must make a deposit to Monmouth University before they are offered a Graduate Assistantship. Peace Corps Fellow applicants are also required to have an interview as their acceptance equals an appointment for an assistantship. The interview will include representatives from the faculty, field staff and Residential Life staff. All parties must agree that the applicant is appropriate for the program and the Residential Life Program Assistantship in order for the person to be offered the Peace Corps Fellow position.
At this time, the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Monmouth University is only open to single adults as campus housing cannot accommodate families.
For more information about Peace Corps Fellows, please visit the Peace Corps Web site at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.
For questions about the MSW Program and the Peace Corps Fellows at Monmouth University, please contact Robin Mama, dean of the School of Social Work, at firstname.lastname@example.org.