Peace Corps Fellows/USA Partners with the University of Southern California

January 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2009 - Peace Corps recently welcomed the University of Southern California (USC) to its Fellows/USA program. The program will be housed in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD), and will offer participants masters degree options in public administration, public policy, planning, health administration, or real estate development.

Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed their Peace Corps service will be eligible for the program which, besides completing class work towards the degree, will require a commitment to work in an underserved local community either teaching in public schools, working in public healthcare facilities, or contributing to neighborhood development projects at a nonprofit.

"We are delighted to partner with USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development," said Peace Corps Acting Director Jody K. Olsen. "Returned Peace Corps Volunteers participating in the Fellows/USA program through USC will bring their rich and diverse international experiences not only into the classroom, but also to the work they will carry out in their local community as part of this unique program."

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers selected for the program will receive a $10,000 scholarship to be disbursed over two years. They will also be eligible for additional, merit-based funding.

Jack H. Knott, dean of SPPD, noted the benefits of the new partnership by saying, "Our school is committed to educating the future generation of leaders, and global experience and understanding are more important now than ever before," Knott said. The Peace Corps Fellows/USA program is a remarkable opportunity to bring additional global knowledge to SPPD's international programs and projects."

An integral part of the Peace Corps Fellows/USA program is a substantive, degree-related internship in a high-need community. With their cross-cultural skills, adaptability, and desire to work for improvement, returned Volunteers are valuable assets at their universities. The program has established partnerships with over 50 universities nationwide. As one of Peace Corps' domestic programs, Fellows/USA enables returned Volunteers to pursue graduate degrees at a reduced cost while aiding underserved U.S. communities through internships. .

For more information about Fellows/USA, please visit the Peace Corps website at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, over 195,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased 16 percent this past year, the largest boost in the last 5 years. Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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