UAB’s School of Education (SOE) began hosting the Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) in 2013. This PCMI program allows students to combine a stateside master’s degree program with teaching English overseas as Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). The SOE began hosting Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows in 2015. The Coverdell Fellows program is for returning PCVs who, upon arriving back in the United States, wish to pursue a graduate degree.

PCMI students and Coverdell Fellows may pursue an ESL master’s degree at UAB in one of three tracks: International Track, Traditional Track, or Alternative Track. The International Track is an MA without K-12 certification; it is for applicants who wish to teach ESL to adult learners. The Traditional Track is an MA with advanced K-12 teacher certification; it is for applicants who already hold valid teacher certification from any state and in any teaching field and who wish to become certified to teach ESL. The Alternative Track is an MA with initial K-12 teacher certification; it is for applicants who do not already have teacher certification and who wish to become certified to teach ESL in grades K-12. Another option for Coverdell Fellows is an ESL Education Specialist degree; it is for applicants who already have an MA in ESL.


To learn how PCMI students and Coverdell Fellows can combine their Peace Corps service with an ESL degree at UAB, prospective applicants should contact Dr. Susan Spezzini at spezzini@uab.edu or 205-934-8357. Having served as a PCV in Paraguay (’76-’79), Dr. Spezzini coordinates the Peace Corps programs at UAB’s School of Education where she serves as Associate Professor of ESL Teacher Education. Prospective applicants are also encouraged to contact returned PCVs who obtained graduate degrees from UAB’s School of Education: Dr. Sue Seay (Antigua ‘72-’74) at sueseay@uab.edu and Dr. Jennifer Greer (Costa Rica '88-90, Panama '90-91) at jlgreer1@uab.edu

Graduate Assistantships
PCMI students and Coverdell Fellows are encouraged to seek graduate assistantships, such as at UAB’s English Language Institute. Such assistantships are usually only available for starting in August. To be considered for an assistantship, applicants must adhere to the following timeline:
May 1
Submit degree-seeking application to UAB Graduate School
May 10 Participate in initial interview with SOE selection committee for PCMI and Coverdell Fellows
May 15 Inquire about competitive graduate assistantship with Dr. Susan Spezzini, spezzini@uab.edu
June 15 Be admitted to Graduate School, and be accepted as PCMI student or Coverdell Fellow
June 20
Participate in an interview to be considered for a graduate assistantship at UAB
June 30  
Receive confirmation of having been selected for an assistantship

 







Course Plans for the Master’s International

PCMI International Track/ESL (33 credit hours): for teaching adults, non-certification
PCMI Traditional Track/ESL (34-37 credit hours): with advanced K-12 certification
PCMI Alternative Track/ESL (44 credit hours): with initial K-12 certification

Course Plans for the Coverdell Fellows
Fellows MA International Track/ESL (31-33 credit hours): for teaching adults, non-certification
Fellows MA Traditional Track/ESL (34-37 credit hours): with advanced K-12 certification
Fellows MA Alternative Track/ESL (44 credit hours): with initial K-12 certification
Fellows Education Specialist—EdS/ESL (31 credit hours): beyond an MA in ESL (information available upon request)

Peace Corps Links
Peace Corps programs in UAB's School of Education
Other Peace Corps programs at UAB
Peace Corps and its Graduate Programs

Greater Birmingham Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (GBRPCV)

Benefits of Peace Corps
First career-related job
Substantive professional experience
Immediate use of MA skills
Cross-cultural, language, and technical training
Full medical/dental coverage
Overseas living allowance
Travel to and from the country of service
Vacation time
Student loan assistance
Global, cultural, and language competencies for resume
Transition funds after service with job search support
Advantages when seeking federal employment
No fee to participate