Posted on Jan 9, 2018

College of Nursing to offer Coverdell Fellowships for returning Peace Corps volunteers

College of Nursing to offer Coverdell Fellowships for returning Peace Corps volunteers

Returning Peace Corps volunteers looking to continue and build on the skills learned after a global experience have the opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing at USF through a special fellowship program.

The Coverdell Fellows program begins in January 2019 at the College of Nursing. The Peace Corps recently approved the nursing partnership program in November and organizers will begin accepting applicants this fall.

“Having a Peace Corps linkage and a Coverdell fellowship is certainly part of the toolkit that you need to be in the premier division of colleges of nursing in the United States,” said Dr. Stephen Mcghee, DNP, MSC, RNC, FAAN, Director of Global Affairs at the College of Nursing.

The nursing fellowship program expands the post-Peace Corps volunteer opportunities at USF. The Coverdell Fellows program is currently offered at four other colleges or disciplines at USF, including the College of Engineering, Department of Anthropology, College of Public Health, and the Patel College of Global Sustainability.

The Coverdell Fellows program awards up to $4,000 in scholarship support to returning Peace Corp volunteers who are pursuing a degree in the Accelerated Second Bachelor’s Degree (SBN) program within the College of Nursing.

The program will admit two fellows, who will receive an out-of-state tuition waiver and opportunities to work as a student tutor.  Students completing the fellowship program will receive a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and be able to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed Registered Nurse.

As part of the 16-month nursing fellowship program, participants work in underserved communities in the Tampa Bay area and will intern with Pinellas Hope, a local non-profit group.

Pinellas Hope provides temporary shelter for homeless people in Pinellas County as well as offers education services, food, clothing and medical services. Students will spend 80 hours at the homeless shelter each semester and will focus on developing skills related to health education and health promotion.

“It’s all about building global citizenship,” said Dr. Mcghee.

By sharing their global perspective with the communities they serve, Fellows help fulfill the Peace Corps’ third goal – commitment to strengthen American’s understanding of the world and its people.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 100 university partners across the country, from the District of Columbia to Hawaii. The program is reserved for students who have successfully completed Peace Corps service abroad.

The program is named after Paul D. Coverdell, a former U.S. Senator from Georgia who served as director of the Peace Corps from 1989 to 1991.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing