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George Washington University — Special Education and Disability Studies

Program Type:
Coverdell Fellows
Special Education and Disability Studies
Degrees Awarded:
Master of Arts (MA)
Admissions Cycle:

Rolling admissions

Program Start:
Early July (summer) and late August (fall)
Program Founded:
June, 1990


The Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program provides tuition benefits for coursework leading to teacher certification. Depending upon funding, stipends are also available. Fellows fulfill preservice student teaching requirements during the first year of the program, and they are eligible for full-time teaching positions when they have successfully completed the program requirements in year two.


The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program is a collaborative effort between GW, the Peace Corps, and several school districts located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Within the Department of Special Education and Disability Studies, the program is interdisciplinary, research-based, and prepares secondary and early childhood special educators for leadership roles in urban public school settings. The program is a two-year, full-time program with a strong emphasis on diverse learners.

New cohorts of Peace Corps Fellows begin each year in the summer (early July) and the fall (end of August). The fall cohort is for individuals who are interested in a career working with students in pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade (early childhood special education). The summer cohort is for individuals who wish to become special educators in secondary schools and who have a strong content background in English, social studies, math, or science.

The program is designed for RPCVs who taught as part of their Peace Corps service, but this is not a requirement for admission. Successful completion of the program leads to certification and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Special Education or in Early Childhood Special Education.



In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (including acceptable GRE or MAT scores), RPCVs must have an outstanding record of Peace Corps service. A Description of Service statement and a letter from the Country Director are required. Evidence of commitment to teaching is also required for admission and is based on a candidate's Peace Corps work as well as other related work, school, and volunteer experience. A personal statement that describes background information on service activities prior to and during Peace Corps service must be provided. The personal statement should include personal as well as professional goals for the future.

For application information, please visit the following website: https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/ApplicantConnectLogin.asp?id=GWUGRAD

An interview with GW faculty and staff will be scheduled after a completed application is reviewed. Please contact program staff at cpcf@gwu.edu if you have questions regarding the program or the application process.

For inquiries about Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, call 855.855.1961 x1440.

For inquiries about Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, call 855.855.1961 x1440.

Program Contacts

If you have questions, please contact:
Carrie Gillispie

Department of Special Education and Disability Studies
2134 G Street, NW #310
Washington, District of Columbia 20052

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