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Peace Corps Baccalaureate Degree Dr. Carol Lacey Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN.

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Presentation on theme: "Peace Corps Baccalaureate Degree Dr. Carol Lacey Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peace Corps Baccalaureate Degree Dr. Carol Lacey Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN.

2 One of a kind  Metropolitan State University partnership with the Peace Corps as the first and only university to offer a Peace Corps baccalaureate degree program.  Launched August, 2006, the degree is patterned after Peace Corps Masters International programs.

3 Right place, right time  Peace Corps/American Association of Community Colleges in 2003 led to more recruits without 4-year degrees.  Peace Corps sought a university to offer such a bachelor’s degree.  Simultaneously, Metropolitan State’s initiative began with a single student/PCV.

4 Reflecting the “face of America”  Community college graduates are more likely to be diverse and mature and possess technical skills needed in PC host countries.  Result of Peace Corps/AACC partnership: PCV applications from community colleges have tripled.

5 A global journey begins  Metropolitan State student began PCV service while pursuing her degree.  Poor communication/mail thwarted efforts to pursue independent study while a PCV.  Upon return, student had to apply for readmission and redesign her degree.

6 Daunting 5+ years option  Being accepted as PCV after community college degree;  Completing PCV training and service (roughly 27 months)  Returning and applying/reapplying for admission to 4-year program  Continuing 2+ years to completion of 4-year degree.

7 A better way  Students accepted as Peace Corps volunteers/Metro State students retain active status without extra cost during service.  Reliable, one-stop communication point for student/Metro State.  Focus on community college grads, but others welcome.

8 Faster track  Students can register for credits at any point during PCV service.  Or they can accumulate documentation of their PC learning and register upon return.  Completing service and credits simultaneously expected to benefit recruitment and retention.

9 Program requirements  Students must meet Metropolitan State’s admissions requirements.  Students must meet the Peace Corp volunteer requirements.  Entering participants complete pre-service training (12 weeks).  Training successfully completed, they begin a two-year tour of service as Peace Corps Volunteers in their host country.

10 Quality degree pathway Accredited individualized distance degree assures academic quality Facilitates transfer of credits Efolio electronic portfolio pathway to document learning achieved through Peace Corps training and service

11 Meeting student needs  NetDirect portal accesses electronic library, records and registration, email, file storage, student services and orientation  Exceptional online access to scholarly work through Metro State electronic library and Peace Corps resources

12 Practical aspects  Resident tuition and fees during a program participant's Peace Corps service.  Participants are eligible for all applicable funding sources.  Web page on Metro State’s site will provide a direct link to the Peace Corps' web site.

13 Why Metro?  Fits Metropolitan State University’s mission as an urban university, meeting needs of adult students engaged in self-directed learning and civic engagement.  Metro State’s individualized degree at a distance degree is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Collaboration with MN Online and Efolio electronic portfolio.

14 Perspectives  Required for all Metropolitan State students pursuing an individualized degree.  Examines philosophies and challenges of liberal education at an urban university.  Prepares students to articulate educational goals and design a plan to meet them.

15 Minnesota Efolio  This multimedia electronic portfolio creates a living showcase of education, career and personal achievements.  All Minnesota residents, including students enrolled in Minnesota schools, can use eFolio Minnesota.  Perspectives students begin establish their own basic electronic portfolio.

16 Peace Corps efolio links  Dozens of specific learning options and outcomes from potential Peace Corps training and field experience  Peace Corps evaluation measures and reflection and other documentation can provide evidence to assess for credit.

17 Toolkit competence examples  Awareness of development impact on people’s lives  Gender and development awareness  Youth community commitment and citizenship.

18 Field placement possibilities  Language training (4)  Development concepts (4)  Intercultural/c ross-cultural communicatio n training (4)  Training and development application (4)  Community development application (4)

19 Computer access  Plan for technology of the future, while accounting for present limitations.  Widespread expansion of Internet access, particularly wireless access, will increase PCV opportunity to file communication and documentation electronically.

20 Customized degree  Like all individualized degree students, PCV choose the components of their degree, important as areas of expertise and application vary considerably.  Consider this perhaps a customized, individualized B.A. degree, as it offers a structure (through efolio) to identify and document quality learning.

21 Growth  First year is very limited since PCV selection and MSU admission processes take time.This provides opportunity to build a strong infrastructure.  MSU students have been and continue to be attracted to Peace Corps service.  Peace Corps will recruit at 100+ community colleges this year.

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