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Peace Corps and St. Catherine University partner to educate business leaders

St. Catherine University is giving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) new opportunities to bring their talents home to the United States. As a new partner in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program, St. Catherine will offer student fellowships to returned Peace Corps volunteers  that will enable them to pursue a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL). 

“The Peace Corps is delighted to bring St. Catherine University in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams.  “This new partnership not only opens doors to an enriching graduate school opportunity at a reduced cost, but it also enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their work in public service through meaningful internships in underserved American communities.  Experience overseas, combined with graduate studies, position a Peace Corps Fellow well for all future endeavors.” 

“We believe it will be a profound experience for our graduate students to learn beside accomplished colleagues who have served as Peace Corps  volunteers,” said Paula King, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business and Leadership at St. Catherine University. “As well, returned Volunteers’ involvement in the greater Twin Cities community through action-based research and community internships will significantly impact the under served populations of Minneapolis-St. Paul and the broader state.”

More about the St. Kate's program

St. Catherine University offers its master of arts in organizational leadership as an alternative to a traditional master of business administration degree. The university prides itself on a curriculum that emphasizes strong business education through the lenses of ethics, leadership and global perspective.

Students selected into the program will complete internships with area nonprofit organizations such as the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Minnesota Council of Churches, Advocates for Human Rights and WomenVenture. The internships are designed to help students build their professional skill-sets while also helping people in need. Each Fellow accepted into the program will receive approximately $10,500 in financial aid.

About the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program (formerly known as the Peace Corps Fellows/USA program)

Peace Corps partners with more than 60 colleges and universities nationwide to offer RPCVs the opportunity to earn their graduate or doctorate degree at a reduced cost.  RPCVs receive financial benefits like reduced tuition and stipends in return for professional internships in underserved American communities.  Volunteers who have successfully completed their Peace Corps service have lifetime eligibility for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.  

Since the program was founded at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1985, nearly 4,000 RPCVs have completed the program.  For more information about Peace Corps graduate programs, visit www.peacecorps.gov/gradschool.

About the Peace Corps

President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order.  Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world.  Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries.  Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries.

Peace Corps volunteers work in education and English teaching; agriculture, forestry and environment; public health and HIV/AIDS; youth and community development; math, science and engineering; and business, planning and IT.  Today’s volunteers are tackling global issues such as education reconstruction, HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, food security, clean water accessibility, technology access and environmental conservation. 

Benefits offered with Peace Corps service include graduate school programs, paid living expenses, full health and dental coverage, readjustment allowance, federal employment advantage, and field experience and cross-cultural skills.

Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age, but there is no upper age limit.  Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. 

July 18, 2011 by Julie Michener

See also: Business, Leadership