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  • Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program

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    The School of Social Work is a proud Peace Corps partner school and honored to house the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.

    The Coverdell Fellows Program allows returning Peace Corps volunteers to pursue subsidized masters and doctoral degrees. At Monmouth, Coverdell Fellows pursue their Master of Social Work (MSW) and have a choice between two concentrations: Clinical Practice with Families and Children (CPFC) or International and Community Development (ICD).

    If you have returned from the Peace Corps our MSW program is an ideal fit for you and will give you the opportunity to share and expand upon the skills you learned as a Volunteer. As a Fellow, in addition to class work towards your degree, you'll complete an MSW internship focused on assisting underserved individuals, families and/or communities locally and beyond. ICD students have the option of completing an 8-to-10 week internship at an overseas placement (past placements have included Vietnam, Chile, Bangladesh, and Costa Rica). To learn more about internships visit our Fieldwork page.

    Fellows will be awarded either a Resident Assistantship (which will cover room and board) or a Graduate Assistantship (which will provide 6 credit hours tuition remission).

    All returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who satisfactorily complete their service have lifetime eligibility for the Coverdell Fellows program. In addition, returned Peace Corps Response (PCR) Volunteers and Global Heath Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteers who serve a full 12 months are eligible (this can come through one 12-month tour or a combination of shorter tours).


    Support Provided for Fellows

    Monmouth University offers two Peace Corps Fellow positions:

    Peace Corps Fellow Resident Assistants will receive room and board. Training for this position will be provided by the Office of Residential Life before and during each semester. As a Resident Assistant, you are required to respond to residents' needs and ensure that Monmouth University's rules and regulations are being upheld. You are also expected to develop and assist in programming in the residence halls. Programming is designed to build community and foster diversity and educational, social and emotional growth.

    Peace Corps Fellow Graduate Assistants will receive 6 credits of remitted tuition, as well as a stipend. As a Graduate Assistant, your responsibilities within the School of Social Work will be determined based on the skills and expertise you developed during your Peace Corps experience. They can vary from working in the school's community garden to developing and managing content for its website. Graduate Assistantships are renewed on a semester by semester basis provided you maintain an eligible graduate GPA of 3.0 or better.


    Application Procedures

    The first step to pursing your MSW at Monmouth as a Peace Corps Fellow is simple: Apply to the MSW program at Monmouth. You must do this before anything else.

    The application can be completed online here. 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 Studies homepage.

    Once your MSW application is complete, you must apply for a Graduate Assistantship before May 1 in order to be considered for the Peace Corps Fellows program. Graduate Assistantship applications can be found here.

    You must make a deposit to Monmouth University before you can be offered a Graduate Assistantship. Peace Corps Fellows 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 applicant to be offered the Peace Corps Fellows 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 Peace Corps Fellows at Monmouth University please contact Robin Mama, Dean of the School of Social Work, at rmama@monmouth.edu.


    Past Monmouth University Peace Corps Fellows

    • Sharda Jetwani served as a Children, Youth and Families Program volunteer in Costa Rica from 2003-2005. Sharda chose to seek an MSW at Monmouth University because of the program's focus on human rights through both global and local perspectives. After completing the International Community Development track, she worked for different organizations, eventually landing at Lunch Break in Red Bank, a soup kitchen that works to alleviate hunger and lead its clients to self-sufficiency and healthier lifestyles. As Program Director, she currently oversees all programming, food pantry sign ups, and clothing operations, in addition to supervising interns.
    • Bobbie Arrington is an RPCV who served in South Africa from 2002-2004 as a Community Resource volunteer. Upon returning from South Africa, Bobbie continued to immerse herself in social justice related community work. She chose Monmouth University School of Social Work as a place to continue her education due to its Peace Corps Fellows Program and its dedication to social justice and human rights. After working as a clinical social worker she returned to work full time at Monmouth as an instructor.
    • Tom Sunchuk served as a Youth Development volunteer in the Philippines. Tom chose to go to Monmouth University because of their Peace Corps Fellows Program as well as their international field work opportunities. While getting his MSW at Monmouth, he was able to do field work in Da Nang, Vietnam with East Meets West Foundation. After graduating, he served as a Peace Corps Response volunteer in Suriname. He currently works as a Program Manager for City Year in Jacksonville, FL. Tom says that his Monmouth education provided him "with the skills to look at the world with a constant lens of social justice and human rights".
    • Mary Horn served as a Water and Sanitation volunteer in Mali from 2010-2012. Mary worked on improving sanitation practices in her community, as well as helping organize the building of 35 latrines. She is currently working towards her MSW degree at Monmouth University. She chose Monmouth because of its focus on human rights and social justice. Although she plans on becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she understands the importance of social justice to the field of social work.
    • Brandon Green served as a Non-Formal Education volunteer in Burkina Faso from 2011-2012. Brandon chose Monmouth University to pursue his MSW for its focus on human rights and social justice, its International Community Development track, as well as its Peace Corps Fellows Program. He believes that social work is rooted in social justice and human rights and that these issues are relevant throughout the diverse profession. Upon graduation, Brandon is looking forward to taking what Monmouth University and his Peace Corps experience have taught him and begin his career as a social worker in the Charlotte, NC area.