Florida A&M University and the Peace Corps Sign Joint Agreement for New Master's Degree Program
September 18, 2000Washington, D.C., September 18, 2000—The Peace Corps and Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Fla., have announced a new partnership, establishing the only Master's International Program at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The program allows agriculture students to earn academic credit for an overseas volunteer assignment after completing three semesters of graduate coursework on campus.
"We at Florida A&M University understand the benefits of being involved with a program that helps improve the quality of life globally," said President Frederick S. Humphries. "Our students will receive extensive training in academics, foreign language, and agriculture, and gain valuable experience in public service. FAMU students can serve as role models in developing countries."
The Memorandum of Cooperation Signing Ceremony took place in FAMU's Perry-Paige Auditorium. At this event, the Master's International Program was formally presented to students, faculty and the local community by Peace Corps Deputy Director Charles R. Baquet III and FAMU Provost James H. Ammons. Baquet, Ammons, and other Peace Corps and university representatives participated in several Peace Corps Awareness Week activities on campus to encourage students of color to join the Peace Corps.
"With this partnership, Florida A&M University continues to demonstrate its national academic leadership. I applaud this institution for ensuring that its graduates are prepared for the global economy," said Baquet, a former ambassador to Djibouti and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia. "The Peace Corps is the vehicle which will carry FAMU's expertise around the world. We encourage more HBCUs to offer the Peace Corps' Master's International Program to their students."
HBCUs are the top producers of African-American Peace Corps volunteers. Among several initiatives to boost diversity among its volunteers and promote international service careers, the Peace Corps also partners with HBCU Texas Southern University to provide African-American and Latino students with summer volunteer opportunities through the Overseas Intern Program.
There are currently 54 Master's International Programs at 47 universities. Today more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers serve in 76 countries around the world. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.