AmeriCorps West Virginia:

Master of Arts Degree in Applied Community Change

-In Partnership with AmeriCorps West Virginia-
 

Complete 2 years of AmeriCorps service in West Virginia and earn your Master’s degree at the same time!

  • Your West Virginia “host” organization will serve as your primary classroom where academic work is practiced through professional application.
  • Online, graduate level coursework will augment AmeriCorps professional responsibilities by building capacity during your 2 years of service.
  • Guided mentorship and reflective practice will allow students to earn graduate credit in our applied practicum sequence for project-based work in your host community.

Learn from Place
learn from professional experiences serving a host organization

 

Learn from Experts
receive one-on-one mentorship from faculty and local experts

 

Learn from Demonstrations
attend multi-day residential programs to visit demonstrations of best practice throughout Appalachia

 

Learn from Peers
collaborate on assignments and develop professional networks through learning exchanges with classmates

 

Distance Learning
augment your AmeriCorps service with 10-15 hours of online coursework per week

 

Curriculum:

  • Introduction to Social Change
    An introduction to various schools of thought regarding community change and development, with a focus on methodologies for local, sustainable social change.

  • Volunteer Management
    A skills-based course on effective recruitment, training, and management of volunteers for project and field managers working in non-profit organizations.

  • Community Leadership
    An exploration of leadership styles and strategies for application in groups, organizations, and communities, with an emphasis on leadership development.

  • Communications for Community Change
    An applied course that surveys various communications platforms and practices and asks students to cultivate skills for effective and persuasive communication.

  • Financial Administration & Non-profit Management
    In addition to financial administration skills, this course covers organizational management skills and strategies for making effective plans & partnerships.

  • Healthy People, Healthy Communities
    Examine the intersections between poverty, primary healthcare, and community change, with a focus on finding people-based solutions using available resources.

  • Community-based Natural Resource Management
    A course that couples natural resource management & conservation methodologies with approaches to promoting sustainable livelihoods & local ownership.

  • Advanced Seminar on Applied Community Change
    A seminar examining the challenges and processes of scaling up local examples of successful community change to larger regions and/or populations.

Plus 12 Project-based Research in Community credits:

Students complete continuous Project-based Research in their host communities with direct mentorship from faculty culminating in a capstone product that documents their individual learning in an Appalachian community.

  • Students complete independently designed projects and research in community with faculty mentorship.
  • Each term’s Project-based Research is showcased in an online ePortfolio.
  • Upon completion of the program, students have a comprehensive portfolio documenting their individual learning journey for their graduate studies.
 

Program Learning Outcomes:(per accredited status by Higher Learning Commission)

  • Critical Thinking -Graduates will be able to analyze a problem and reach their own evidence-based conclusions.
  • Community Change Skills -Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to be agents of change and empowerment in their communities.
  • Knowledge of Development Issues -Graduates will be able to demonstrate both a theoretical and practical understanding of social change issues by analyzing the social, economic, political, and environmental implications.
  • Program Design & Management -Graduates will be able to independently, and in teams, design and implement sustainable community development programs, using SEED-SCALE and other social change models
  • Monitoring & Evaluation -Graduates will be able to employ quantitative and qualitative methods to monitor and evaluate a program, and can adapt the program based on assessment of results.
  • Applied Skills of Scholarship -Graduates will be able to use written and oral communications to tell community-relevant stories and explain complex situations, helping them act as facilitators of change processes at the community level.
  • Research & Evidence of Decision-making -Graduates will be able to research, synthesize, and analyze information learned through courses, books, the internet, and field experiences, and apply it to community problems.
  • Science & Technology -Graduates will understand and apply the basic principles of ecology and other scientific disciplines, and utilize available methodologies and technologies to develop and implement integrated ecosystem-based development and conservation strategies in communities.
 

Admissions Requirements:

Applicants must satisfy the following requirements to be accepted into the Appalachian Master’s Cohort, with coursework beginning in August of 2017:
  • An application to AmeriCorps West Virginia for the 2017/2018 Academic year.*--your application must be either completed or “in process.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university- we welcome applicants from all majors!
  • Your academic transcripts – from all academic institutions of higher education that you have attended.
  • A Statement of Purpose – roughly a 2 page narrative about why you want to pursue this program. More details available when you visit our application portal.
  • A Letter of Recommendation – from a professor or professional supervisor.
  • Ownership of a personal laptop computer—as well as internet access, in order to participate in distance learning activities during your AmeriCorps service.
*For more information on qualifying AmeriCorps programs in WV visit the website for Volunteer West Virginia
No need to take the GRE!
 

Appalachian Masters Academic Calendar:

  • Term 1. (September 5th 2017 to December 29 2017)
  • Term 2. (January 23rd 2018 to May 25th 2018)
  • Term 3. (September 4th 2018 to December 28 2018)
  • Term 4. (January 22nd 2019 to May 24th 2019)
  • Commencement: May 25th 2019
*Dates for regular residentials to be determined (regional travel required).
 

Residential Learning Experiences:

Your cohort will have the opportunity to meet up with each other periodically during residential learning experiences. These brief face-to-face classroom and hands-on learning sessions will complement the online learning you do each semester and provide the opportunity for collaboration with fellow students in your cohort as well as your professors.

More specifically, on residentials students are able to:

  • Meet their faculty and fellow classmates face-to-face and benefit from close collaboration and networking opportunities;
  • Work closely with faculty to integrate their practical and theoretical learning;
  • Refine and focus their research question(s) and methodologies or share their progress on independent, community-based work;
  • And participate directly in a range of projects that demonstrate successful applied community change strategies and methods across the Appalachian region.
These experiences stimulate the rich exchange of ideas, foster social interactions and create lasting professional connections. They also provide a solid foundation for integrating the virtual and community-based learning activities that are the hallmark of a Future Generations education.
 

Tuition Costs and Financial Aid:

Full Tuition: $25,000 (does not include travel or living expenses)*
Other Costs: Student’s are responsible for their own travel expenses to and from residential programs within West Virginia
Financial Aid: As an AmeriCorps volunteer, you would be eligible for significant savings by applying your Segal educational award(s) to the tuition for your Master’s Degree. See the full breakdown of potential financial aid savings, below.
  • Segal Award #1: $5,800 (educational stipend earned for successfully completing first year of AmeriCorps service)
  • Segal Award #2: $5,800 (educational stipend earned for completion of second year of AmeriCorps service).
  • Institutional Match 1: $5,800 Future Generations will provide a dollar for dollar match with the Segal award for year one.
  • Institutional Match 2: $5,800 Future Generations will provide a dollar for dollar match with the Segal award for year two.
  • Total Scholarship Possible: $23,200
  • Student Loans: We participate in the Federal Student Aid program. Students interested in additional assistance financing their degree may elect to take additional federal loans.
*Participation in our graduate program does not in any way impact member benefits through AmeriCorps such as living allowance or health coverage.
For more information, contact:
Luke Taylor-Ide (Regional Academic Director)
luke@future.edu
Future Generations
304-358-2000