Western New Mexico
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Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Welcome Letter

Dear Prospective Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows:

We welcome your interest in the 2014-15 Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows 14th Cohort at Western New Mexico University - Gallup. WNMU-Gallup is known for rigorous, cutting edge, culturally relevant graduate studies grounded in social justice that purposefully blend practice and theory. Our programs embody the WNMU College of Education mission to "ignite and nurture a spirit of learning." WNMU Teacher Education, and Educational Leadership programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the premier U.S. teacher education accreditation body.

A Little History

WNMU was established in 1893 when New Mexico was a territory. 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 and professional development for area educators. Historically, Northwest New Mexico had been underserved by New Mexico institutions of higher education. The story of the development of the WNMU-Gallup resonates with Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows 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.

What are we looking for?

We are seeking applicants with a strong desire to work in a very rural, under-resourced yet culturally rich, challenging setting. The Gallup area offers many outdoor recreational oportunities and breathtaking natural beauty. We seek applicants who have carefully considered how the WNMU-Gallup PCCF program and context match your unique interests, needs, and hopes. Applications for the 2014-2015 cohort will be accepted on a rolling basis, with empolyment at a school and coursework at WNMU beginning in the Fall of 2014.

What do we offer?

WNMU-Gallup offers three distinct degree programs for applicants.

  1. We offer the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary, Secondary and Special Education for those who are not currently licensed teachers.
  2. RPCVs who are already licensed teachers can diversify their knowledge and skills in the Master of Arts in Interdicipinary (MAIS), choosing 2 or 3 concentrations to include in their degree (Reading, Elementary Education, Special Education, Bi-lingual Education are just a few choices)
  3. For RPCVs who have been practing teachers, 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.

The MAT Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education are intended for applicants with no pre-professional education background or credentials.

Secondary teachers must already have 24-30 university credits in a teaching content area, as determined by the New Mexico Public Education Department. In most instances, your teaching content area is based on your undergraduate major.

The MAIS degree option is 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. Most graduate candidates take three years to complete the MAT MAIS.

How do I apply?

Application to the WNMU PCCF Program is a three-part process. To complete the first two parts, i.e. application to the Graduate Division and to the PCCF Program, applicants complete the College of Education Teacher Education Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program Admission packet. You can download most components of the packet from our web site http://gallup.wnmu.edu You can submit the completed forms and materials electronically (download documents, complete, and return as attachments via email to wnmupcf@gmail.com, by fax (505)722-3195, or through the mail.

To meet the minimum Graduate Division admission requirements, you should hold a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA for your last 64 semester hours. Applicants with a GPA between 2.99-2.75 may be granted provisional admission pending successful coursework at WNMU. In either case, for the MAT program, preference is given to applicants clearly stated on their Peace Corps Description of Service (DOS) or teaching experience of some type.

Fellows need to then secure a teaching position with one of our partner school districts. We work most closely with Gallup McKinley County School (GMCS) District. The student population of GMCS is 79% Native American. You can access information about GMCS at their web site http://www.gmcs.k12.nm.us In late spring and early summer, vacancy postings postings for the next school year can be found on their website. Complete the online application form through NMREAP. Once you have comleted the application, email Betty Hudson (bhudson@gmcs.k12.nm.us) to let her know that you have registered You must have this application on file with the school district when you begin to search for teaching positions.

Although you must take the lead to do the legwork to secure a position, we support you in the process and are available via email, phone, and in person for ongoing consultation through this phase.

The Teacher Education Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program Admission Packet for the 2014-2015 Cohort is enclosed. Again, these documents are also available electronically on our web site http://gallup.wnmu.edu/pc/GGSCHome.html

While we accept and consider packets on a rolling basis, packets received after May 1 will be considered for the following, not the upcoming, school year.

As you complete the application process, please feel free to email wnmupcf@gmail.com or call us at (505) 722-3389 with questions. Scott Farver (Director of MAT Field Experience, PCCFAdvisor), and Shafiq Chaudhary (PCF Assistant) are all available to help you.

Thank you for your interest in the WNMU-Gallup Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. We look forward to working with you as you embrace the third Peace Corps goal.

Sincerely,

Scott D. Farver
Assoicate Professor & PCCFAdvisor
RPCV Philippines 2006-2008