If your organization is interested in moving special projects forward, seeking skills or expertise unavailable within the organization, or hoping to advance the established mission of the organization in new ways, a Fellow might be the perfect fit. Each year the Stevenson Center matches Fellows and organizations for an 11-month professional practice placement. Stevenson Center Fellows are emerging community and economic development professionals eager to share their experience and expertise and to help your organization achieve its goals.
We require that every Fellow bring experience in the non-profit and/or public sector to our program. They then spend an intensive year in the classroom layering research and training atop that strong base of practice. For our Fellows this 11 month, 35 hour/week professional practice placement is part of a plan of study that challenges them to integrate research and practice. These placements also provide an opportunity for organizations to push past barriers on new projects, ongoing initiatives, or in daily operations. Our Fellows produce amazing results and host organizations love them! In alumni surveys, we find that hosts tend to express interest in hiring their Fellow following approximately 71% of placements.*
Local organizations or those offering remote opportunities can also host graduate assistants for the academic year, August through May (subject to availability). In exchange for a stipend, these students work up to 20 hours per week to assist organizations with their programs and services.
*Survey results of alumni collected between 2014 and 2019.
View a list of communities and organizations that have hosted Fellows over the past decade.
Our Fellows have a key role in messaging and resource sharing with organizations like Credit Builders Alliance in Washington, DC, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights, where Fair Housing Month Proclamations quadrupled during our Fellow’s placement.
A Fellow can help your organization understand where you are and how to get to where you want to be. One recently established benchmarks and an information management structure, as well as a performance-based reporting system for the Bloomington Fire Department.
A Fellow can collect and interpret important information about community needs and context for your work. Examples include an in-depth study of poverty issues like the one completed for the Fremont Area Community Foundation, and an analysis of best practices for the Land O’ Lakes International Development dairy cooperatives program in western Africa.
Fellows have helped organizations secure grants of all sizes. One helped Habitat for Humanity of Indiana secure a $700,000 HOME grant.
The cost to host a Fellow is well below the market salary rate for development professional and changes slightly (based on tuition and fees) from year to year. This single cost allows organizations to increase capacity without incurring the usual hiring costs associated with new employees. Fellows generally remain employees of Illinois State University during placement. Please contact us for the current rate.