CSU, Chico News

Peace Corps Partners with Chico State to Combine Graduate Studies with International Service

Date: 11-01-2010

Nathan Hale Sargent
Public Affairs Specialist, Peace Corps
Joe Wills
Public Affairs

The Peace Corps and the California State University, Chico, have come together to offer students the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree while also volunteering overseas for the Peace Corps.

The new partnership is part of a national expansion of the Peace Corps Master’s International program, which combines Peace Corps service with post-graduate study.

“The Peace Corps welcomes Chico State to the Master’s International program,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “With this new partnership our volunteers, who will also be Chico State students, will be able to meet the worldwide demand for highly skilled professionals.”

Participating degree programs at Chico State will include Education and TESOL. Participants in the program will have the opportunity to choose specializations in curriculum and instruction or in teaching international languages. Participants must apply and be accepted to both Peace Corps and Chico State.

“I have always believed that the integration of theory and practice is an essential component of any educational program,” said CSU, Chico Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sandra Flake. “The opportunity for our graduate students to gain real world experience and apply their theoretical knowledge in the field will be an invaluable addition to their professional development.”

This year, Peace Corps welcomes more than 20 new schools to the Peace Corps Master’s International program, bringing the total from 60 to more than 80 participating programs.

In California, Chico State joins existing partnership programs at CSU Northridge (Mathematics), CSU Sacramento (TESOL), Humboldt State (English/TESL), Loma Linda University (Public Health), the Monterey Institute of International Studies (International Environmental Policy, TESOL, International Management, International Business Administration), UC Davis (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Civil & Environmental Engineering) and the University of the Pacific (Intercultural Relations, Business).

Participants in 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.

Chico State already enjoys a tradition of diversity and internationalism and includes students from 42 countries in its student body. The university is consistently ranked by US News and World Report in the top 10 master’s granting public universities in the West.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961 by executive order. Peace Corps will commemorate 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world through 2011. 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 must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, visit: www.peacecorps.gov

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