Academics and Research / News

DU earns top ranking for Peace Corps participation

The University of Denver in 2012 ranked No. 1 among colleges and universities participating in the Peace Corps’ Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate school program, with 77 returned Peace Corps volunteers enrolled as graduate students at DU, Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams announced earlier this month.

The Coverdell Fellows program gives students the opportunity to earn their graduate or doctorate degree at a reduced cost in return for serving 27 months in the Peace Corps.

“We have a wonderful partnership with DU,” says LaShonda Walker, public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps’ Southwest regional office. “DU has always been extremely supportive of the Peace Corps. These are students that just have this heart for service and for helping other people.”

Through the Coverdell Fellows program, the Peace Corps partners with more than 70 colleges and universities nationwide, offering financial benefits such as reduced tuition, assistantships and stipends for Peace Corps alumni who put their skills to work serving their local communities while obtaining graduate degrees. At DU, the Coverdell program is partnered with the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

“When they come back they take the skills they learned overseas to help with projects in their communities,” Walker says.

Nearly 4,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed the Coverdell Fellows program since it started in 1985, according to a press release. Walker said about 400 students at DU have completed the Coverdell program since its inception at the University in 2003.

Last year DU ranked No. 2 in the Coverdell Fellows program.

In addition to DU, the other four top-ranked universities and colleges participating in the Coverdell Fellows program in 2012 include University of Arizona, Johns Hopkins University, Teachers College at Columbia University and Duke University.

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