Peace Corps program offered for graduate students
Published: Friday, October 8, 2010
Updated: Friday, October 8, 2010 00:10
Graduate students at West Virginia University pursuing degrees within the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will also have the opportunity to provide service for the Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps Master's International Program blends a student's graduate degree with overseas service.
Members of the Peace Corps wanted to try to integrate their program with WVU since the state and the University have a low enrollment rate in the Peace Corps, said Todd Petty, associate professor with the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.
The Peace Corps chose the WVU Davis College based on the degrees they offer, allowing students the opportunity to volunteer all over the world, Petty said.
Some things participants will help out with include water purification, agriculture, forestry and other scientific aspects of communities, he said.
Graduate students involved in the program will have cross training throughout the Davis College, Petty said.
The requirements for their majors will remain the same, but a focus on Peace Corps service will be added, he said.
Typically, international studies and international programs have been a part of undergraduate degrees and not graduate degrees, said Jonathan Cumming, associate provost of Graduate Studies.
"It's great to have a master imbedded with Peace Corps International," he said. "There is a tendency to overlook it in graduate degrees."
The Peace Corps Master's International Program is designed to be in line with the new Strategic Plan since international programs are a focus of the plan, Petty said.
The University is also looking at possible tuition assistance for those who wish to pursue the Peace Corps Master's International Program, but nothing has been set, Cumming said.
Petty said he had originally thought about joining the Peace Corps, but the uncertainty of the organization was a deterrent, he said.
"This program would offer some certainty to graduate students who want to join the Peace Corps," Petty said. "There's a high placement rate."
So far, 88 colleges and universities across the nation have partnered with the Peace Corps for the program, he said.
Representatives from the Peace Corps along with faculty from the Davis College will hold an information session on the program Oct. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Percival Hall.