Gonzaga University, already ranked second in the nation among its peers for producing Peace Corps volunteers, now adds a new distinction with the worldwide relief agency. Gonzaga’s Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (MA/TESL) program has been chosen to become a partner in the Master’s International program of the Peace Corps.
Thirty-two GU alumni currently serve the international relief agency and those numbers are likely to increase as a result of this new partnership.
Now, students will have the unique opportunity to combine Peace Corps service with this Gonzaga master’s degree program.
Prospective students apply separately to the Peace Corps and to one of the participating Master’s International programs. Once accepted by both, students study on campus usually for a year, then spend the next two years earning academic credit while working overseas in a related Peace Corps project.
Most schools provide students in this program with opportunities for research or teaching assistantships, scholarships or tuition waivers for the academic credits earned while serving in the Peace Corps.
Gonzaga Associate Professor Mary Jeannot, director of the MA/TESL program, said the Gonzaga program can expect to receive several inquiries within the next year as a result of this new affiliation. “Affiliating with the Peace Corps program enables us to provide a high quality program for our TESOL students while also enabling them to make a global impact,” said Jeannot, adding that the service work is especially appropriate for Gonzaga and its mission that calls for loving service to the human community.
Since the Peace Corps’ inception 46 years ago, 254 Gonzaga alumni have joined its ranks, making Gonzaga the No. 169 all-time producer of Peace Corps’ volunteers. Schools are ranked according to their number of students. The small undergraduate schools category includes those with less than 5,000 undergraduates, the medium undergraduate schools have from 5,001 to 15,000 undergraduates, and the large undergraduate schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates.
There are 1,192 institutions of higher learning currently represented by Peace Corps volunteers serving in 74 countries overseas. Gonzaga will soon have a presence on the Peace Corps Web site at www.peacecorp.gov and will be listed in all Peace Corps’ publicity about its Master’s International program. Washington State University, University of Montana and University of Washington also are Peace Corps Master’s International universities.
For more information, contact Mary Jeannot at (509) 313-6559.