New Peace Corps Program to Start this Fall

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Tech is poised to launch its fourth Peace Corps program this fall.

The new Master's International program in Education">Science Education is geared toward students with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences, said chemistry chair Sarah Green, who developed the program along with Brad Baltensperger, chair of the education department.

Students will spend a year on campus taking courses in science and education, complete a two-year hitch in the Peace Corps and return to Michigan Tech to finish a written project. When they are done, they will have their master's degree and be close to completing secondary teacher certification.

"The idea was to combine science education and national service," Baltensperger said.

Green agreed. "It will be great for people who will ultimately pursue careers in science education, research or industry," she said. "This lets them try something different for a year while helping to meet the global need for science educators."

Demand for science educators is high among countries that host Peace Corps workers, Green said. Plus, students in this program will be able to interact on campus with those in MTU's other Peace Corps Master's International programs, in natural hazards, civil engineering, environmental engineering and forestry.

"These programs attract a very enthusiastic, positive group of students," she said. "Some were MTU undergrads, but the rest of the volunteers are from all around the country. One of the reasons we decided to go ahead with this new program is that the students in our other Peace Corps programs are so great."

As the number of Peace Corps Master's International programs has grown, the whole is proving to be greater than the sum of its parts.

"These are all terrific programs," Baltensperger said. "What I'm looking forward to is the cross-fertilization between them."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.