FAQs - Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program

What Nursing Program can I do to participate in the Coverdell Fellows program?

You have 2 options: 

BSNExpress: If you already have a Bachelors degree in another discipline other than nursing and now wish to pursue your nursing degree, you will apply to the BSNExpress program, http://www.villanova.edu/nursing/programs/undergrad/second/bsnexpress/index.htm

MSN: If you already have a BSN, you can apply for any of our Master in Science for Nursing programs.  This includes Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, or Nurse Practitioner programs in Family, Adult, Pediatrics, or Nurse Anesthetist   http://www.villanova.edu/nursing/programs/graduate/masters/concentrations/

Application fees for the options Undergraduate and Graduate programs are waived for returning Peace Corps volunteers.

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How do I apply for the Coverdell Fellows program?

Step 1:
Apply to one of our eligible nursing programs: BSNExpress or MSN

Step 2: On the application indicate you are former Peace Corps Volunteer

Step 3: Application and acceptance into the BSNExpress or MSN  program

Step 4: Complete the on-line Peace Corps Fellows/USA application, click here: http://nurseweb.villanova.edu/surveys/peacecorps/peacecorpsfellowsapp.asp

Step 5:  You will be contacted by the Peace Corps Fellows/USA Coordinator for follow-up and discussion

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Who is eligible for the Coverdell Fellows program?

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed Peace Corps are eligible. This means he/she: 

  • Has completed the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service, or the full tour minus up to 90 days, if returned home on an emergency leave;
  • Has been granted an “Early Close of Service” or an “Interrupted Service” due to circumstances beyond the Volunteer’s control;
  • Or has been medically separated as a Volunteer.

Volunteers must submit copies and proper verification from the Peace Corps for eligibility. This includes a Description of Service (DOS).

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I am a former Peace Corps Volunteer; will I automatically be eligible for the Coverdell Fellows program?

You must first be accepted into one of our nursing programs. Then you’ll need to fill out an on-line application and provide verification document of your service.

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I completed my Peace Corps Service over 10 years ago, am I still eligible?

Yes. It does not matter when you did your service. Whether you finished 1 month ago, 1 year ago, or 10 years ago you are eligible.  As long as you are a former Peace Corps Volunteer and meet the eligibility requirements as stated above you can apply.

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I am a RPCV, how do I indicate I’m interested in participating and applying for the Coverdell Fellows program?

On the application there is a question related to the Peace Corps. If you are a former Peace Corps, check the appropriate box.   Once you are admitted to the nursing program, you can apply on-line and will be concurrently be contacted by the Peace Corps Fellows Coordinator.  

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What are the responsibilities of a Coverdell Fellow? What are the Benefits?

  • An externship with a community organization working with an underserved population in the area.
  • Financial compensation is given in exchange for participating in an externship
  • At present a minimum of $3000 will be given to PC Fellows. 
  • Participate Participation in Professional Development Activities
  • Matched up with a Nursing Mentor who  has similar interests to help guide you in your career goals
  • Share your experience with interested parties such as other nursing students, students interested in the Peace Corps, multi-cultural student groups, etc .  This may be in the form of oral presentation, email, blog, etc.
  • Participation in professional and academic conferences
  • Fellows will be given preference for financial assistance to attend conferences
  • Continued use of your language skills in some settings (Spanish, Arabic, Indonesian)

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What is the time commitment for the Coverdell Fellows program?

There is no set time commitment. Fellows will work with the Peace Corps Coordinator to set up an externship that meets the RPCVs interests and together with the externship site will work on a time commitment which may range from40-80hours/semester.  In addition, Fellows will participate in other activities such as professional development seminars that may last between 30 mins-1 hour.

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I am an RPCV and interested in the program, but I am not sure I can commit the time to do an externship during my nursing education.

The Peace Corps Fellows Coordinator will work with each individual RPCV to find an appropriate placement for them and will discuss time commitment striving to find a solution so that all RPCVs can participate.

All Peace Corps volunteers will be invited to participate in certain Peace Corps Fellows/USA activities such as presentations or speakers. However, only Peace Corps Volunteers dedicated to the Fellows program, including participating in an externship, will receive the title of Fellow and receive financial benefits.

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How many Coverdell Fellows are you accepting right now?

We have no predetermined number of Fellows.  All Peace Corps Volunteers accepted into the program will be considered.   

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I have a question that is not addressed here. What should I do?

Call or email the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Coordinator at Villanova:

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN
Director of Global and Public Health
College of Nursing
Villanova University

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Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program

More Information


Additional Questions?
Contact Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, Assistant Professor, Peace Corps Coordinator at ruth.mcdermott.levy@villanova.edu or 610-519-6813.

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