NAICU Washington Update

Peace Corps Looks to Expand Higher Ed Partnerships

Peace Corps officials are encouraging campus leaders to explore partnership opportunities that allow students to integrate corps service with their studies.  Officials are interested in expanding the four programs described below.

  • The Master's International (MI) program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service into a master's degree program at participating universities.  Begun in 1987, it provides potential Peace Corps volunteers with academic preparation in scarce skill areas.  Currently these areas include education, agriculture, environment/natural resources, business development, and public health.
  • The corps recently issued a Request for Proposals to add up to eight new universities to the program.  While the current solicitation period has closed, the agency is accepting names of individuals and colleges interested in applying in the next RFP round (no date has yet been established, however).  For more information:  Program contact:  Eric Goldman, (202) 692-1896,
  • Through the Fellows/USA program, returned Peace Corps volunteers use the skills and experience gained overseas to work with underserved U.S. communities while pursuing graduate studies at a reduced cost.  Fellows/USA is a collaboration of university programs, communities, community agencies, and the corps.  Fellows/USA proposals are accepted on a rolling basis.  For more information:  Program contact:  Julie Driver, (202) 692-1432,    ∙
  • Peace Corps Prep is currently in the pilot stage at Knox College in Illinois.  It prepares participating undergraduate students to be better equipped for Peace Corps service through appropriate academic course work and curricular enhancements, including experiential learning based on community service.  (While completing the program should increase students' competitiveness for Peace Corps service, it does not guarantee acceptance.)  The corps hopes to replicate the program on other campuses soon, and is seeking new university partners.  For details or to express interest in participating, call (202) 692-1442.  
  • Peace Corps Baccalaureate is a pilot program geared toward community college graduates, and allows students to pursue their bachelor's degrees at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn., while serving in the Peace Corps.  The corps is currently evaluating the success of this program and may be looking for new partners in the future.

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