Columbia University, Teachers College - Peace Corps Fellows Program

Why you should consider this program

The Teachers College, Columbia University Peace Corps Fellows Program supports Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with 100% tuition scholarships as they become outstanding New York City public school teachers in high need schools while earning a master’s degree. We are proud to be the first Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program, established in 1985.

After a three-month Intensive Summer Institute, Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows work as full-time, certified teachers earning $61,070+ annually, plus great benefits, while earning a tuition-free master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, where social justice is the focus.

The Jaffe Fellows benefit from the support of their Peace Corps Fellows Program cohort, alumni, mentors and staff as they teach in the most diverse schools in the nation.

For the past three decades, Peace Corps Fellows Program alumni have supported incoming Fellows by hosting them in their classrooms, providing advice and leading professional development workshops.

The Peace Corps Fellows participate in a rigorous and rewarding program that provides opportunities to both teach and learn with a cohort of RPCVs. Jaffe Fellows can choose to teach in the following content areas: teaching English as a second language, mathematics, science, English, social studies, elementary education, special education or bilingual/ bicultural education in Mandarin or Spanish.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 63,040 $ 63,040 $ 0
Out of state $ 63,040 $ 63,040 $ 0
* Net cost is equal to tuition/fees minus fellowship value. For some universities, the fellowship value includes non-tuition/fee benefits such as health insurance or housing—see the first point below for more details.

Where the cost savings value of the Coverdell Fellowship comes from

The cost savings derive from Teachers College and the Jaffe family's Peace Corps Fellows Program scholarships. Fellows also earn salaries from the New York City Public Schools is $64,789+ for a Jaffe Peace Corps Fellow. The scholarships cover 100% of tuition. Students are responsible for fees, including; the College Fee, Course Fees, and Health Fees and Insurance as applicable.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

The Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows Program Enrichment Grants are available to all current Peace Corps Fellows and alumni for service learning and classroom projects. The Jaffe Family's Cultural Arts Grant provides the Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows and alumni funding for their classes to attend concerts and performances. The Jaffe Fellows have monthly seminars for professional development to explore ideas, share experiences and visit cultural institutions. During the first two years of teaching, the Jaffe Fellows are mentored monthly by seasoned mentors.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 37,609

Application fee waived?



The Peace Corps Fellows work as teachers of record in high need New York City Public Schools as they earn their master's degrees in graduate school classes. The Jaffe Fellows are supported by their Peace Corps Fellows Program seasoned mentors who visit them monthly in their classrooms and provide support.

The Peace Corps Program's Director visits classrooms and meets to discuss ideas and issues. In this strong and supportive environment, Fellows gain strategies, knowledge and skills.

Jobs for program alumni

Jaffe Fellows commit to teaching in a high need New York City public school for a minimum of four years. Returned Peace Corps Fellows' resourceful determination combined with a Teachers College education create educators who are sought after by New York City school administrators. Many Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows spend long and fruitful careers as teachers, administrators and educational leaders in NYC. Thousands of students have benefited from the Jaffe Fellows’ global experience and the educational expertise generated at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Other details

Program length

2-3 years

Application requirements

  • College transcript.
  • The Mathematics Program recommends the GRE. For all other programs, the GRE is optional.

Admissions process

  • Teachers College Application
  • Peace Corps Description of Service (official, signed DOS)
  • Peace Corps Fellows Program Essays
  • After the TC application and Peace Corps Fellows supplementary materials have been reviewed, selected applicants will be contacted regarding individual interviews.

Program begins


Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Amy Nelson, Director

Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027