HOUGHTON – Michigan Technological University ranks as the No. 1 Peace Corps Master’s International university nationwide for the seventh consecutive year.
With 31 PCMI graduate students currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Michigan Tech has earned top spot in the 2012 rankings of Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools.
The Peace Corps’ Master’s International program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service as credit toward their graduate degree. The Coverdell Fellows Program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, academic credit and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service.
“The heart of the program is the students we attract, not just in numbers, but in quality,” said Professor Blair Orr, PCMI director. “They bring an interest in the world at large and the desire to help others. They return from two years in a different country with stories of new friends, new ideas, a different perspective on how things do work and should work. They have succeeded professionally and personally in a different culture. Many of the skills and traits they acquire along the way are also the skills that employers are looking for.”
Michigan Tech became a Master’s International partner in 1995. Offering eight distinct graduate programs affiliated with Peace Corps, Michigan Tech has the largest number of Peace Corps Master’s International programs in the country. PCMI programs at Michigan Tech include applied science education, geological and mining engineering sciences, mechanical engineering, rhetoric and technical communication, biological sciences, civil and environmental engineering, applied natural resource economics and forestry.
Michigan Tech’s PCMI graduate students have served as Peace Corps volunteers in many countries, including Armenia, Belize, Bulgaria, Fiji, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Paraguay, Uganda and Zambia. There are also students enrolled in the program who are on campus fulfilling the academic portions of their master’s degree at Michigan Tech, including Megan Abbott who recently returned from service in Belize, and Colin Casey, who is back from Uganda.
More than 190 Michigan Tech alumni have served in the Peace Corps overall.
Rounding out the top five of Peace Corps Master’s International institutions are Tulane University, the University of Washington, the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of South Florida.
The Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to enable students to earn a master’s 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 a Peace Corps volunteer’s service, the volunteer will work on projects related to his or her master’s studies. The 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.