by Geoff Larcom, Published October 20, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Peace Corps has announced a new partnership with Eastern Michigan University, offering selected students the opportunity to earn a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in combination with Peace Corps service.
The new partnership is a part of the Peace Corps' Master's International program, which allows volunteers to combine Peace Corps service with a master's degree program and receive credit for their Peace Corps service abroad. Participants must apply to Peace Corps and Eastern Michigan University separately.
"The Peace Corps welcomes Eastern Michigan University to the Master's International program," said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. "With this new partnership, our volunteers - who will also be Eastern Michigan University students – will be able to meet the worldwide demand for highly skilled professionals. This program will help create a new generation of TESOL teachers prepared to bring the Peace Corps experience back to classroom in the United States."
"Eastern Michigan University has a strong and flexible curriculum, with a practical focus that ideally fits the needs of the Peace Corps," said Deb deLaski-Smith, interim dean of the Graduate School. "We are excited to be affiliated with the Peace Corps in this program. Our students will benefit, and so will the people they help around the world."
Participants in more than 60 Peace Corps Master's International programs typically finish one year of graduate school in the U.S. before earning additional academic credit while serving as Peace Corps volunteers abroad. Upon their return, Master's International participants complete any remaining academic degree requirements. Many of Masters International partner schools also offer volunteers financial benefits such as scholarships and reduced tuition. Further information on Master's International is available at www.peacecorps.gov/masters.
Eastern Michigan University is particularly committed to incorporating service learning and public service into its programs. In fact, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected Eastern Michigan University to receive its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. The award provides national recognition of the university's commitment and impact to improving the lives of individuals and the community.
Note: A story on the Oct. 15 visit of Peace Corps officials to Eastern Michigan can be found in FOCUS EMU at http://www.emich.edu/focus_emu/101910/peacecorps.html
As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.
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