Peace Corps Fellows/USA Partners with University of Pennsylvania

December 18, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2007 - The Peace Corps is proud to welcome the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) as its newest Fellows/USA partner school, the first partner of its kind in the city of Philadelphia.

Already ranked among the top 15 mid-sized universities producing Peace Corps Volunteers, Penn will now welcome returned Peace Corps Volunteers to participate in this unique program, which allows them to combine the skills and knowledge learned overseas with a graduate degree, as well as gain valuable on-the-job experience through internships in underserved communities here in the U.S.

Peace Corps Fellows will be able to pursue a Master of Governmental Administration degree in addition to graduate certificates in nonprofit administration, economic development and growth, politics, and public finance. The program will be run out of the Fels Institute of Government, currently celebrating its 70th anniversary. Expanding on its original mission of improving local government, Fels prepares graduates for a broad range of public leadership positions in city, state, and federal government, nonprofit organizations, and private firms with close connections to the public sector.

"I am confident that the University of Pennsylvania will be a strong partner. Their Fels Institute of Government sets a progressive example for all collegiate programs of its kind," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter.

To fulfill the internship component required by all Fellows/USA programs, Fellows at Penn will participate in the Fels Internship Program with the Fels Government Research Service, area nonprofits, local governments, and school systems to address community and social problems. In the past, Fels interns have worked with organizations including the People's Emergency Center, Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia Housing Authority, School District of Philadelphia, and the William Penn Foundation. As Peace Corps Fellows at Penn, returned Volunteers will receive a minimum of $6,000 per year for two years and will be eligible for other merit-based awards.

"We are thrilled to be part of this program to prepare returned Volunteers for even more challenging leadership careers," said Professor Donald Kettl, director of the Fels Institute. "We have long found that previous leadership experience predicts future leadership excellence, and it's impossible to find any better preparation than the Peace Corps. This program will create a powerful partnership that will bring some of the country's best students to Penn."

No stranger to international service and education, Penn currently ranks 12th in the country among mid-sized universities in producing Peace Corps Volunteers, with 34 alumni currently serving overseas. Offering opportunities in over 60 countries, Penn also ranks first among Ivy League schools for undergraduate and graduate students studying abroad, and third in terms of international student enrollment.

Peace Corps' Fellows/USA program enables returned Volunteers to pursue graduate degrees at reduced cost while aiding underserved U.S. communities through internships. The program has established partnerships with more than 40 universities nationwide. For more information about Fellows/USA, please visit the Fellows page of the Peace Corps website at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 37-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 citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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