The goal of the Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program is to help talented students to become ethical and engaged leaders, and the program will require participants to:
- Enroll in a baccalaureate program that can be completed at Penn State Berks, with a major declared no later than the sophomore year. If a student chooses to leave Penn State Berks, he or she will no longer be considered a Fellow, and financial support from the program will be discontinued.
- Meet regularly with a faculty mentor who will help them to define their goals and projects within the program and who will assess their progress each semester, reporting to the program director.
- Pursue a project each academic year that will connect their studies to a specific need within the Reading area. The project, which may continue over multiple academic years as appropriate, can be conducted independently with faculty supervision or in partnership with an existing community organization.
- Complete a capstone project that, in the senior year, will take the place of the annual project described above. The capstone project will include both service/leadership in the community and a substantial piece of academic work, equivalent to a senior thesis, in which the student analyzes and evaluates the outcomes of their efforts.
- Participate in a one-credit seminar exclusively for the Cohen-Hammel Fellows cohort in which students meet weekly with a range of community leaders, Penn State Berks faculty, and guest speakers who can offer unique perspectives on service and leadership. A running theme of the seminar will also be the challenges of ethical leadership, with required readings and discussions around this topic.
- Provide mentorship, after they themselves have completed at least one year in the program, to an entering Cohen-Hammel Fellow to share the lessons that they have learned through the program.
- Present their work in an annual colloquium, open to the public, that will encourage dialogue between the Fellows and members of the community and that will draw the attention of local media, leaders, and citizens to the work of the Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program