Peace Corps Graduate School Programs Enjoy Record Participation
February 17, 2009WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17, 2009 - Graduate school or the Peace Corps? Why not do both? This semester, nearly 1,000 students are doing just that through the Master's International and Fellows/USA programs. This year's rankings of the top colleges and universities partnering with the Peace Corps in these programs contained some continued strong showings, along with a few surprises.
Of the 62 schools that participate in Master's International, Michigan Technological University maintained its position at the top of the list for participation for the fourth consecutive year, with 34 students currently serving abroad. Next is the University of Washington, with 19 students. Tulane University came in a close third with 18. More than 220 Master's International students are current Peace Corps Volunteers.
The Fellows/USA program has 472 returned Peace Corps Volunteers enrolled in 52 schools across the country. Moving up two spots to take the top position in this year's rankings is Johns Hopkins University. The School of Nursing has 63 Fellows. Second is the University of Arizona with 57 Fellows, followed by the University of Denver with 50.
"By combining Peace Corps service with graduate studies in two distinct ways, our unique graduate school programs offer tremendous benefits to Peace Corps, the university partners, and the students who enroll," says acting Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. "The programs attract dynamic people who are committed to service. Their contributions to the countries in which they carry out their Peace Corps service, as well as to communities across the United States, are significant and continue long after they graduate."
The Master's International program, which started in 1987 at Rutgers UniversityCamden, combines graduate school with Peace Corps service by allowing students to earn a master's degree during their service abroad. Master's International students help the Peace Corps meet a need for volunteers in hard to fill assignments. More details may be found at: www.peacecorps.gov/masters.
Fellows/USA, a program that began in 1985 at the Teachers College of Columbia University, reserved exclusively for Peace Corps Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed their service, integrates graduate school with community service. Each Fellow is required to undertake an internship related to his or her degree that helps meet the needs of underserved American communities. In the process, the Volunteer fulfills the Peace Corps third goalto bring the world back home. To find out more, go to www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.
The University of Denver (DU) has the unique honor of appearing on both the Master's International and Fellows/USA lists this year. DU holds the number three position among Fellows/USA schools, as well as the fifth position among Master's International schools. DU has 50 Fellows on campus and 12 Master's International students serving in the Peace Corps.
As the Peace Corps approaches it 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 over the past five 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.
# # #