CHICAGO – Peace Corps and Michigan Technological University have expanded their efforts to provide educational and service opportunities to Americans interested in making a difference abroad and at home. A new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program partnership provides graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers, who will also complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community.
At Michigan Tech, Fellows will choose between graduate degrees in biological sciences, forestry, applied ecology, forest ecology and management, forest molecular genetics and biotechnology, environmental policy, and industrial archaeology.
“The Peace Corps is delighted to have Michigan Tech as a partner in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program,” Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “This new partnership enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their work in public service through meaningful internships in underserved American communities. Experience overseas and graduate studies position Peace Corps Fellows to launch their careers by combining coursework with service.”
For more than 15 years, Peace Corps and Michigan Tech have collaborated on the Peace Corps Master’s International Program, which allows students to simultaneously complete two years of Peace Corps service and specific graduate degrees from Michigan Tech. In fact, Michigan Tech ranks as the top Master’s International university nationwide for number of students enrolled and degrees offered through the program, and nearly 150 Peace Corps volunteers have participated.
“Michigan Tech is extremely pleased to be selected to participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program,” Graduate School Dean Jacqueline Huntoon said. “With this program we will continue to strengthen our collaboration with the Peace Corps, building on our existing programs for returned Peace Corps volunteers and students in our Peace Corps Master’s International programs.”
Michigan Tech Fellows will receive a tailored financial aid package, including 30 percent of graduate tuition and enrollment in the AmeriCorps VISTA program, which will allow them to earn four credits for VISTA service, as well as VISTA health insurance and an AmeriCorps education award. The value of these tuition benefits is $14,129.
Internships in underserved communities will be an integral part of each recipient’s degree and will allow returned Peace Corps volunteers to make a difference in the United States with the skills they acquired during service. In addition, students will gain valuable skills and networking connections with professional internships at nonprofits and governmental organizations. All Michigan Tech Coverdell Fellows will participate in the OSM (Office of Surface Mining) VISTA program.
Some 12 Michigan Tech undergraduate alums are currently serving in the Peace Corps, and a Peace Corps representative will be on campus on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. to meet students and provide more information about applying for Peace Corps service after graduation, and Peace Corps grad school programs.
About Michigan Tech: Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School, specializing in training for mining engineers, with four faculty members and 23 students in the second story of the old Houghton Fire Hall. Today, Michigan Tech is a leading public research university and a key educational partner with the state of Michigan, the nation and beyond.
About the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program: The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program started in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 80 university partners in 31 states and the District of Columbia. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their service abroad with the Peace Corps. More details can be found at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.
About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.