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Teachers College Among the Best in the Peace Corps' Ranking of Coverdell Fellows Program

Coverdell fellowship at TC has graduated more than 700 returning Peace Corps volunteers to teach in NYC schools
Teachers College, Columbia University has taken third-place honors in the Peace Corps’ 2013 ranking of top Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs, the Peace Corps announced.  The rankings are based on the current enrollment of returning Peace Corps volunteers. There are 45 returned Peace Corps volunteers enrolled this year in the Coverdell Fellows program at Teachers College.

The Peace Corps’ Coverdell Fellows program (formerly known as Fellows/USA) was established at Teachers College in 1985. The program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) with scholarships, academic credit and stipends toward an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service. Since 1985, more than 700 graduate students have completed the Coverdell Fellows program at Teachers College. Since 1961, 1974 Columbia University alumni have served in the Peace Corps, with 16 currently serving overseas.

“Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers make a difference by combining meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs,” said Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them for success in today’s global job market.”

For nearly 30 years, the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Teachers College has brought “the cross-cultural and community-building skills of returning Peace Corps volunteers to the public schools of New York City,” says Nicolas Stahelin, Director, Teachers College Peace Corps Fellows Program. “We are proud to be among the top schools that continue to attract highly skilled individuals who have served abroad, who now commit to the cause of social justice at home by launching careers in public education. The legacy of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in our city schools will only grow and strengthen to the benefit of children and youth in diverse communities throughout New York."

Adam Johnson, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in both Costa Rica from 2005-2007 and Guinea from 2007-2009, says his experience as a Peace Corps Fellow at Teachers College has inspired him.  “My objective as a bilingual education teacher working with underserved youth is to equip my students with the tools they need to understand the world around them and inspire them to feel that they can accomplish any goal.  But I must also guide them to understand what they are being taught, push them to achieve, teach them to think critically, and provide them with the ego strength to challenge societal views of the ability and value of the communities they live in.”  

The following are the top 10 Coverdell Fellows programs, ranked by enrollment, in 2013. The number in parenthesis represents the number of students currently enrolled in the program.

1. University of Denver (56)
2. University of Arizona (52)
3. Columbia University, Teachers College (45)
4. Johns Hopkins University (42)
5. Brandeis University (27)
6. The New School (25)
7. University of Michigan (20)
8. Duke University (19)
9. Western New Mexico University (18)
10. University of Maryland – Baltimore (16)

To view the full ranking of Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs, click here. To view the 2013 top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities, click here.

About Coverdell Fellows: Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to offer RPCVs an opportunity to earn their graduate or doctorate degree at a reduced cost. In return for financial benefits like reduced tuition, assistantships, and stipends, RPCVs will put the skills they learned in the Peace Corps to work in professional internships in underserved American communities. Volunteers who have successfully completed their Peace Corps service have lifetime eligibility for Coverdell Fellows. The program was started in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and since then, more than 4,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed the program. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.  

About Master’s International: Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to enable students to earn a graduate degree while serving in the Peace Corps. Students begin their studies on campus, serve overseas with the Peace Corps for two years, then return to school to finish graduate work. As part of Peace Corps service, the volunteer will work on projects related to his or her graduate studies. The Master’s international program began at Rutgers University–Camden in 1987 and since then, more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed the program. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/masters.     

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.

Published Wednesday, May. 8, 2013