Peace Corps Fellows/USA Partners with University of Maryland

June 5, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2008 - The Peace Corps recently welcomed the University of Maryland, College Park as its newest Fellows/USA partner school. The campus joins more than 45 other institutions in offering the Fellows/USA option to returned Peace Corps Volunteers. College Parks program, housed in the Maryland School of Public Policy, will grant successful Fellows masters degrees in either public policy or public management.

"Given the Maryland School of Public Policy's burgeoning programs in international development and the Peace Corps's leadership role in the field, we are delighted to be partnering with the Corps in this important fellowship program, Dean Steve Fetter said.

Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed their Peace Corps service will be eligible for the program which, besides class work towards the degree, will include work with high-needs populations in and around the College Park area. Work placements will be coordinated in concert with the Community Partners Program of the Engaged University. Fellows will receive a half graduate assistantship which carries a yearly stipend of $6,350 and five credits of tuition remission per semester. All other credits will be charged in-state tuition rates. Fellows/USA participants will also be eligible for other merit-based assistantships.

Peace Corps Deputy Director and University of Maryland graduate Jody K. Olsen said, "I am enthusiastic about this Peace Corps partnership with the University of Maryland. Every year, countries that we serve request more skilled Volunteers, and with this new program, the Peace Corps will have the opportunity to develop more Volunteers who are highly trained in the public policy field. I am confident that this will prove to be a strong and lasting partnership.

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 more than 45 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 Web site at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 47-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 30-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. 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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