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With 16 participants currently in service, the Monterey Institute of International Studies ranks fourth for the number of students participating in a Peace Corps Master’s International Program, the Peace Corps announced today. Sixty-one graduate schools now offer Peace Corps Master’s International programs. This year’s top five schools — based on the number of Masters International participants serving as Peace Corps volunteers overseas as of September 30, 2009 — are:

1. Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI) – 37
2. Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) - 21
3. University of Washington (Seattle, WA) - 18
4. Monterey Institute of International Studies (Monterey, CA) - 16
5. SIT Graduate Institute, Brattleboro, VT - 14

Participants in the Institute’s PCMI program finish one year of graduate study in Monterey before beginning a 27-month Peace Corps assignment overseas, where they earn additional academic credit for their service. Upon their return, participants complete their remaining academic degree requirements at their school, typically in one additional semester. MIIS offers four Peace Corps Master’s International programs: IEP (International Environmental Policy), MPA (Public Administration), TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages), and the Fisher International MBA.

“The Master’s International programs provide Peace Corps volunteers unique opportunities to apply the grassroots, hands-on experience they developed abroad toward a graduate degree,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “These programs give returned Peace Corps volunteers the tools they need to succeed in their careers and be leaders in their communities.”

Current MIIS PCMI students include Alexandra Ogden (MAIEP), who will be doing environmental management work in Peru; Joseph Clark (TESOL), who will be teaching secondary-level English in Armenia; and Sky Lantz-Wagner (TESOL), who will be a teacher trainer in China.

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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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir