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TCNJ announces new partnership with the Peace Corps 

Peace Corps volunteers who have completed their service abroad can now apply for graduate study in nursing at The College of New Jersey, thanks to a new partnership with the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program offered through the Peace Corps. 

The Coverdell Fellows program is a graduate school program for returned Peace Corps Volunteers in which schools across the country offer financial support to returned volunteers who, in turn, complete substantive internships related to their program of study in underserved communities in the United States. 

TCNJ’s Department of Nursing will provide two fellowships, annually, in the Masters of Science in Nursing program. The fellowship offers a direct tuition discount. 

“We are excited to be a part of this partnership. Peace Corps volunteers will enrich our graduate nursing program as they bring a global perspective,” said Dean Carole Kenner, School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science.

All fellows complete internships in underserved communities in the United States, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Peace Corps volunteers, including adapting to new cultures, developing and managing projects, dealing with language barriers, and leveraging limited resources. 

“The addition of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to our student base can only strengthen the diversity, equity, and inclusion within TCNJ, as well as foster advanced nursing practice from a global perspective,” said Sharon Byrne, associate professor of nursing and public health, who will serve as coordinator of the program. 

Four current TCNJ faculty and staff members — including President Kathryn A. Foster — and 37 alumni have served in the Peace Corps. 

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 and has more than 120 college and university partners across the United States. More than 5,000 returned Peace Corps Volunteers have participated in the program. 

To learn more about the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at TCNJ, contact Sharon Byrne at or 609.771.3840.

— Emily W. Dodd ’03