The Peace Corps Fellows Program at Columbia University Teachers College

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 $58,300+ 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, 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 $ 55,548 $ 55,548 $ 0
Out of state $ 55,548 $ 55,548 $ 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 Peace Corps Fellows Program scholarships. Fellows also earn salaries from the New York City Department of Education. Starting salary from the New York City Board of Education is $58,300 for a Jaffe Peace Corps Fellow. The scholarships cover 100% of tuition.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

The Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows Program Service-Learning Grants are available to all current Peace Corps Fellows and alumni. The Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Service-Learning Grants provide funding for service learning and classroom projects. Professional Development Grants are available to fund activities that help to cultivate a more critical, innovative and skilled teaching force that is both adequately prepared to face the challenges of teaching in urban schools and capable of harnessing the many talents and experiences that students bring with them to the classroom.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 18,674

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 current cohorts meet for monthly seminars to explore ideas, share experiences and visit cultural institutions. In addition, the Peace Corps Program's staff 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 after graduating from Teachers College, Columbia University. 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 Peace Corps Fellows spend long and fruitful careers as teachers, administrators and educational leaders in NYC. Thousands of students have benefited from the Fellows’ global experience and Teachers College expertise.

Other details

Program length

2-3 years

Application requirements

  • GRE scores
  • College transcript

Admissions process

  • Teachers College Application
  • Peace Corps Fellows Applicant Information Form
  • 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

January 18, 2021 or May 16, 2021

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Elaine Perlman, Director

Teachers College, Columbia University, 411 Zankel Hall PO Box 90
525 West 120th Street
New York, New York 10027