About a year ago, an incoming student asked us if Fletcher would match his AmeriCorps Education Award. With so many students who have service experience, and so many alumni in public service, forming a connection with AmeriCorps seemed like an obvious step for Fletcher to take – but somehow it hadn’t yet been taken. A bunch of conversations and some research later, I’m happy to announce three new partnerships for Fletcher. Formally or informally, we are connecting with key organizations through which our students pursue service opportunities before starting their graduate studies.

For September 2007 incoming students, Fletcher is officially among the schools that match the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards, and we will provide the match for as long as the student is studying full-time at Fletcher. The match amount (generally $5,000 per year) will serve as the base for the AmeriCorps alum’s scholarship, and additional funds could be awarded following our usual review, which considers both need and merit. You can find Fletcher listed on the AmeriCorps web site, among the grad schools that have pledged to match this post-service benefit received by AmeriCorps members.

We didn’t stop with AmeriCorps – and looked next at how we might connect with Teach For America. We will award a scholarship of $5,000 per year to Teach For America alumni who enroll at Fletcher, and these students will also be eligible for additional funds based on need and merit. You can find Fletcher listed among the Government and Public Policy schools on the grad school partnerships page of the Teach For America web site.

Finally, we considered the service organization that is best-represented among our students: the Peace Corps. Every entering Fletcher class has a half-dozen or more returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and we count on them to bring passion and experience to the classroom. Although the Peace Corps doesn’t have a partnership program precisely like those of AmeriCorps or Teach for America, Fletcher will offer the same $5,000 per year base scholarship to returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

We’re very much looking forward to the opportunity to recognize the service experience of our students. If you have questions about Fletcher’s connection to any of these programs, please contact me directly.

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