Community Fellows at Lehigh U.

This came to my attention and I thought I would pass it on.

Lehigh University is offering a a one-year Masters that is ideal for AmeriCorps alumni and others interested in combining service with graduate study. It’s also unique in that rather than provide Fellows a scholarship directly, much of the tuition is covered by the school and the community agency where the student serves.

* * * * *

Lehigh University Community Fellows is a one year MA program in Sociology or Political Science. Fellows are placed with a non-profit partner agency, working on a significant project in the agency for fifteen hours per week as part of their academic work, while taking classes toward their Masters degree. Fellows focus on completing projects identified and designed by the agencies. All of the Fellows’ projects include work toward systems change, and giving a greater voice to ordinary citizens.

Community Fellows’ tuition is funded in a three-way partnership between the agency, the university and the Fellow, with Fellows paying for only 6 of the 30 credit hours required. This unusual funding partnership assures each partner that the Community Fellow will participate in a quality academically-linked experience in non-profit work, overseen both by the agency and the Community Fellows Program director.

For more information on the structure of the program, please see and/or contact
Prof. Kim Carrell-Smith
Community Fellows Program
Room 320 Maginnes Hall
Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA 18015

2 thoughts on “Community Fellows at Lehigh U.

  1. It is great to see that there are many different opportunities for those who are interested in combining national or international service with graduate studies.

    SIT Graduate Institute has had a long relationship with both AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, and offers options for participants and alumni of both programs. For persons interested in combining AmeriCorps service with graduate studies, we offer the Master’s Community Development Program (with AmeriCorps*VISTA).

    If you are finding it hard to choose between graduate school and Americorps, the Master’s Community Development Program allows you to do both. Through a partnership with the SIT Graduate Institute which offers master’s degrees in Sustainable Development, Conflict Transformation, Management, Social Justice in Intercultural Relations, International Education, and Intercultural Service Leadership & Management, you can become an AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer as partial fulfillment of your graduate degree.

    More information about the Masters Community Development Program can be found here.
    I also wanted to let you know that there are also opportunities at SIT for qualified VISTA alumni who wish to enter an SIT’s master’s degree program after the completion of their service. SIT has created a competitive $10,000 AmeriCorps Scholarship for AmeriCorps VISTA alums, and regularly awards an SIT Community Service Award of $1,000 to alumni.

    We value and appreciate persons who choose to do AmeriCorps service, and try to demonstrate this through our available scholarships and awards. See more information about SIT and Americorps on our admissions blog at

    Similarly, SIT offers a combined Master degree-practicum opportunity with the Peace Corps, called Master’s International. As the original trainers for the Peace Corps, SIT continues to nurture its relationship by participating in Peace Corps’ Masters International program, providing scholarships for returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and with dedicated staff and faculty who are returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Our President, Carol Bellamy, is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and served as Director of the Peace Corps from 1993 to 1995. In a recent interview with, Carol said,

    ‘Peace Corps opened my eyes to the world and to the world of possibilities. So, after Peace Corps I decided to try my hand at a number of things … But when the opportunity presented itself to return to international work I jumped and in 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed me to be the Director of the Peace Corps. In my mind, this was the best job in the United States. ‘

    We are proud that 19 students in our current student body are returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and many are preparing to join the Peace Corps during their practicum phase. In addition, many of our alumni who began their international careers with the Peace Corps have dedicated themselves to continued work advancing social justice worldwide. The shared history between SIT and the US Peace Corps has consistently acted to strengthen both organizations, and will continue to do so as long as there are committed members of our society who strive to make a difference through their actions at home and in the world.

    See more information about SIT and Peace Corps on our admissions blog at

    -Jenna Shearer Demir
    SIT Admissions

  2. It’s 2013 and this program is still going strong, with more than 100 Community Fellows alumni out doing great work locally, regionally and nationally! Please read our website and contact me if you have questions; admissions are rolling, but we have a limited no. of spots. Apply by Jan 1 for best chance of admission!

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