College Creates English for Refugees Fellowship

Parent sitting with children and coloring books

February 22, 2017

Marlboro College and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) recently signed a partnership to create the English for Refugees Fellowship, in support of Marlboro’s MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program. The fellowship will enable Marlboro’s MATESOL students to serve at one of six resettlement centers in the U.S., and to teach English to refugees and immigrants while completing their graduate degree.

“USCRI is a nationally recognized non-profit that has worked toward protecting the rights of displaced peoples for over 100 years,” said Beverley Burkett, chair of Marlboro’s MATESOL program. “We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with them and support their mission while training educators who will make a positive contribution. We hope to develop a cohort of teachers who are sensitive to the needs of a population that has experienced the trauma of displacement, who recognize their resiliency, and who will support these people in creating dignified independent lives in their new homes.”

The new partnership will allow USCRI to host MATESOL students, during the academic year between their summer residencies at Marlboro, and increase their capacity to serve learners of English. It will also give MATESOL students the opportunity to put the theories they’ve been learning into practice and work with learners from very diverse backgrounds and life experiences while learning about the process of resettlement.

“I’m excited to learn more about each of the USCRI field offices and forge connections with their surrounding communities,” said Kara Hamilton, Marlboro College Graduate & Professional Studies’ admissions counselor for education programs, and the fellowship coordinator. “As an institution I think it’s really important that we stand in solidarity with USCRI, refugees, and all immigrants, to say that every person is valuable and has the right to feel safe, not just American citizens. No one is free while others are oppressed.”