The Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community Development began in 1994 with a three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The primary purpose of the program is to provide high-quality students, who have served overseas in the Peace Corps, an opportunity to earn a master's degree with a specialization in community development. As part of their degree plan, Peace Corps Fellows serve an eleven-month internship in which they gain practical experience while leading community development projects in rural Illinois towns. Since its inception, the Fellows Program has placed interns in over 60 rural Illinois communities and has received several awards for the excellence of their service.
All Fellows have a minimum of two years overseas experience with the Peace Corps. Many Fellows have significant life and professional experiences in addition to Peace Corps. When applying to the program, the Fellows select a master's degree program from one of the following departments:
· Business Administration (MBA)
· Political Science (Public Administration)
· Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration
· Geography (Regional Planning)
· Health Sciences
· Education & Interdisciplinary Studies
As part of their degree plan, Fellows take specialized coursework in community development in addition to the courses required by the academic departments listed above.