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Bard Center for Environmental Policy and Peace Corps to Partner in New Graduate Program for Returning Peace Corps Volunteers


Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—With climate change, renewable energy, and other critical environmental concerns remaining at the forefront of public attention and policy discussions across the globe, Bard College and the Peace Corps are teaming up to offer graduate degrees in environmental policy to returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). As part of the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, selected RPCVs will pursue either a master of science in climate science and policy or a master of science in environmental policy at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Peace Corps in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, and enhance Bard’s commitment to making the planet a more sustainable and equitable place for all,” said Eban Goodstein, director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

“The Peace Corps is delighted to have Bard College as a partner in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “This new partnership not only opens doors to an enriching graduate school opportunity at a reduced cost, it also enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their work in public service through meaningful internships in underserved American communities. Experience overseas, combined with graduate studies, position a Peace Corps Fellow well for all future endeavors.” 

Fellows selected for the program will receive a 10-credit tuition waiver for their Peace Corps service and will also receive 33% tuition remission in their first year—a financial aid package amounting to more than $18,000. Bard anticipates that selected Fellows will have worked on environmental projects during their service overseas with the Peace Corps. More information about Bard CEP programs and how to apply can be found at

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program (formerly known as Fellows/USA) started in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now embraces more than 60 graduate schools across the country. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their tenure abroad with the Peace Corps. In a special feature of this program, all participating students apply the experience they have gleaned as Peace Corps Volunteers to internships in underserved American communities. More details can be found at

President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 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. Visit for more information.

The Bard Center for Environmental Policy provides master’s level leadership education for a generation that will change the future. Bard CEP believes that to solve environmental challenges and achieve sustainability in our institutions and in society, government and business policies must be grounded in the best available science. At the same time, effective policy leaders must bring to bear the insights of ethics, economics, politics, and the law, and must have both the skills and the courage to promote policy change within business and government.

Bard CEP’s cohort-based program and intensive, campus-based, first-year curriculum requires students to synthesize information from a range of disciplines and sources. The emphasis on science-based policy enables students to progress from knowledge of the issues to the formulation of feasible, effective policy responses. Distinctive program features include a modular approach to course work; close student-faculty interaction; professional internships; practical training in geographic information systems (GIS), statistics, leadership, and communication strategies; and research opportunities created to fit student interests.

Directed by Eban S. Goodstein, Bard CEP offers graduate degree programs for the aspiring leader. Earning either an M.S. in environmental policy or an M.S. in climate science and policy, Bard CEP graduates enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue high-level careers in research and policy. The value of Bard CEP’s approach as been recognized through established partnerships with Pace Law School, the Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Program, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and the Peace Corps.

For more information about the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, please call 845-758-7073, e-mail, or visit

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This event was last updated on 05-19-2011