Bonner Leader AmeriCorps Program
Montclair State University is one of more than 60 colleges and universities nation-wide honored to host a Bonner Leaders AmeriCorps Program. The Bonner Leader Program is part of AmeriCorps, a national service initiative that provides opportunities for participants to engage in community service in return for a modest stipend and scholarship funds. Each year over 100,000 American citizens and college students serve their communities and country through participation in AmeriCorps programs located throughout the U.S.
Bonner Leaders commit to an average of 10 hours of service a week. These hours are made up primarily of service to a community agency or project, but also from activities such as in-service workshops, training sessions, and retreats that address pertinent issues and teach valuable, transferable skills. Bonner Leaders receive a minimum of a $1,400 stipend through the program or, if eligible through the Federal Work-Study program. Bonner Leaders are also eligible to receive a $1,000 education award (scholarship) when they complete their one-year term of 300 hours of community service. This education award can be used to offset educational costs including tuition and student loans.
While the financial aspect is not the primary motivation for individuals to join AmeriCorps, it does provide valuable monetary assistance as well as empowers each student to invest their time, energy and idealism in a positive and enriching experience.
At Montclair State University, the Bonner program has launched the Bonner SPOTS Community Service Resource Room, in an effort to connect students with community partners and volunteer opportunities. The Bonner Leaders also participate in mentoring and tutoring programs with community partners, support charitable initiatives on campus and attend local, state, and national training meetings, retreats, and lead community service projects. If you are interested in information about current service opportunities, complete our online survey.
The MSU Bonner Leaders AmeriCorps Program is a collaboration between the Service Learning and Community Engagement program and the Center for Student Involvement.
If you are interested in being a Bonner Leader, please contact Bryan Murdock at email@example.com
Environment, Education, and Community Outreach (EECO)
The Environment, Education, and Community Outreach (EECO) project is a collaboration of Montclair State University's New Jersey School of Conservation, Service-Learning and Community Engagement Program, and Center for Student Involvement. EECO project will work to assist public schools, community- and faith-based organizations, non-profits, and other civic organizations effected by the economic down-turn and the state's economic crisis by leveraging the power of AmeriCorps members to significantly expand the scope and range of MSU's community engagement efforts in order to better serve its community partners. The largest component of EECO involves the creation of a conservation corps that will support the education and conservation mission of the School of Conservation. Once fully operational, approximately 25 EECO AmeriCorps members will contribute to the community while developing valuable skills to support their professional and personal development. EECO is funded by a $260,000 grant from the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service.
Emerging Leaders Learning Community (ELLC)
The ELLC is a living/learning community focused on leadership development and community service. Students in this program live in Blanton Hall together and take four classes in the fall semester of their first year, including Psychology of Leadership, College Writing, Fundamentals of Speech, and New Student Seminar. Residents also participate in weekly service-learning projects tied to the Psychology of Leadership class, leadership seminars, retreats, and conferences throughout the academic year. Between 85 and 100 students participate in this program each year.
Leadership Development through Civic Engagement Minor
Through engagement in the wider community, this multi-disciplinary minor assists students from any major in developing the knowledge and skills to enhance performance in current and future leadership roles. Students develop competencies in three areas: setting direction; aligning and motivating people, and managing complex challenges. Through the applications of these competencies, students address important life issues, and develop a deeper commitment to using knowledge and skills in the service of the public good. Speakers, faculty, and students discuss what leadership is and what it looks like in today’s global community. Currently there are 22 students registered in the minor.
Bringing Theory to Practice
The Bringing Theory to Practice Project (BTtoP) is an independent project established in partnership with the Association for American Colleges and Universities, and funded by the Charles Engelhard Foundation with additional support from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavour Foundation and from other foundations, individuals and institutions.
MSU was awarded a grant in July 2007 to develop and implement a demonstration projects titled: Expanding Capacity for Engaged Learning across Montclair State University: Building academic, personal, and civic development through a Service Leadership Program. The BTtoP grant provided $90,000 to develop, establish, and begin assessment of an interdisciplinary, cross-divisional leadership development program, including a leadership minor. The project’s vision is to engender and institutionalize a philosophy of civic engagement and creative leadership in students, to enable them to develop collaborative solutions to pressing issues facing today’s communities. The strategy for achieving this vision is to build the infrastructure and programming necessary to transform and add to existing resources at MSU, creating an integrated nexus of service and leadership, and utilizing a continuum of curricular engaged learning experiences and co-curricular service and leadership programming.
Silver Scribes, a writing workshop for senior citizens funded by the Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement. The Silver Scribes program is a collaboration of the Montclair Arts Council’s Creative Aging Initiative, the New Jersey Play Wrights Theater, MSU’s service-learning program and the Little Falls Senior Advisory Board. Fifteen seniors from Montclair Township participated in Silver Scribes during the summer of 2009 and 17 Little Falls seniors will be enrolled in the workshop between April and June 2010.