Peace Corps Coverdell Overview
The WNMU- Gallup Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program accepted our first cohort of three fellows in August 2001. Currently the program hosts 17 Fellows and will continue to accept 7-10 new Fellows per year. The WNMU-Gallup (PCCF) Program is relatively small in order to provide support, formal and informal, to help Fellows succeed and grow as classroom teachers as well as contribute to and enjoy their schools and communities. Northwest New Mexico, including the Gallup area, has long been home to many returned volunteers. The area attracts returned volunteers who, subsequent to the life changing experiences of Peace Corps Coverdell service, want to engage in meaningful work in culturally and economically diverse, under-resourced communities in the United States. Most WNMU Fellows teach in rural schools on or adjacent to the Navajo Nation and schools which serve a high proportion of Native American and Hispanic students. The Gallup area offers many outdoor recreational opportunities and stunning natural beauty. The WNMU-Gallup Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Programs is a good fit for RPCVs who worked as teachers or youth group facilitators during their Peace Corps Coverdell service. Our program seeks returned volunteers who want to build on their experiences as educators, whether that was in a K-12 classroom, teacher training institutes, or nonformal community education settings. Our program seeks returned volunteers who are able to handle the ambiguities and challenges of teaching and learning in an economically poor, but culturally rich region while exhibiting grace, persistence, humility, and joy. We believe that the purpose of education is not merely to study the world, but to change it in collaboration with others. We seek applicants who have carefully considered how the WNMU-Gallup PCCF program and context match their unique interests, needs, and hopes. We ask that you thoroughly review information about our program and area, and proactively seek out additional perspectives.
WNMU was established in 1893 when New Mexico was a territory. The WNMU-Gallup, part of the WNMU Extended University, was started in 1984 in response to requests from a local school district for a university to provide graduate degrees and professional development training for area educators. Historically, northwest New Mexico had been underserved by New Mexico institutions of higher education. Although five hours by single lane road from the main Silver City campus in the southwest corner of New Mexico, the Gallup campus, students, staff, and faculty are an integral part of the WNMU university community. The story of the development of the WNMU-Gallup resonates with Peace Corps Volunteers who understand the demands of community development work and the importance of responding to locally voiced needs with culturally relevant programs that build on area strengths. The WNMU-Gallup is known for rigorous, cutting edge, culturally relevant graduate work. Our programs embody the WNMU School of Education mission to ignite and nurture a spirit of learning. WNMU Teacher Education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the premier U.S. teacher education accreditation body.
Masters Degree Programs
1) Masters of Arts in Teaching
WNMU-Gallup offers three programs leading to a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The MAT Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education are geared toward Fellows who do not have an undergraduate education degree or teaching credentials. You must however already have 24-30 university credits in a teaching content area. In most instances, your teaching content area is based on your undergraduate major. Students enroll in a MAT program concurrent with our Alternative License program.However, the PCCF Program is a Master's degree-bound program.
2) Masters of Arts in Interpersonal Studies (MAIS)
Most graduate candidates take three years to complete the MAT and we provide tuition reduction for those three years. The Masters of Arts (MA) Interdisciplinary Degree options are intended for those applicants who are already licensed teachers. In most instances, these applicants will have completed an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate program in teacher education. Applicants for either track with a math or science major will be given preference, but we routinely admit applicants with a wide range of majors.
3) Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MA in EDL)
For teachers and other educational professionals, we offer a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership (EDL), which is one component required for licensure as school principal or administrator in New Mexico.
Fellows work in full-time, salaried positions as classroom teachers in rural northwest New Mexico and attend Western New Mexico University Gallup (WNMU-Gallup) part-time in the evenings and on weekends. Teaching assignments are with the Gallup McKinley County School District in schools within or adjacent to the Navajo Nation.
Fellows must meet university graduate admission requirements. These include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA (last 64 credits). Fellows must also complete the School of Education Teacher Educational Program Admission packet AND all application procedures for a teaching position with Gallup McKinley County Schools (GMCS). Teaching vacancies are posted on the GMCS web site. You must successfully complete the appropriate New Mexico Teacher Assessment exams by the end of the first year of teaching. Admission preference for the WNMU-Gallup PCCFProgram will be given to RPCV's with Peace Corps teaching experience clearly stated on DOS. You do not however need to be a licensed teacher.
Western New Mexico University offers competitive tuition.
Fellows at WNMU-Gallup are required to be full-time teachers in neighboring school districts, where they earn salaries starting at $30,000 a year with full benefits. WNMU-Gallup offers Fellows assistance in networking to find available jobs upon arrival. Some Fellows choose to teach in rural locations on the Navajo Nation with low-cost housing available in school-site teacherage, while others live in Gallup, where apartments and rental housing is available. First year fellows will be supported in their classrooms by university personnel through regular and ongoing observations and conferencing to provide resources, encouragement, constructive feedback, and help make links to classroom theory, in order to make the first year classroom experience successful. Many former Fellows choose to stay in the community after program completion and are also great resources for incoming Fellows. In addition, WNMU Teacher Education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the premier U.S. teacher education accreditation body. Your final WNMU transcript will indicate that you graduated from an NCATE accredited teacher education program.
We welcome your interest and questions. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott D. Farver, Director of Field Supervision, RPCV Philippines, 2006-2008
Ms. Emily Sims, PCCF Assistant, RPCV South Africa, 2005-2007
Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program Western New Mexico University Gallup 2055 State Road 602 Gallup, NM 87301
Phone: (505) 722-3389
Fax: (505) 722-3195
Web Site: http://gallup.wnmu.edu/pc/GGSCHome.html