Carolyn R. Payton, head of the University Counseling Center at Howard University, is expected to be named by the White House as director of the Peace Corps.

John Carlin, an assistant in ACTION, Director Sam Brown said, Payton was the only person Brown recommended to President Carter and confirmed that she met with Carter and Brown on Monday. Carlin called the meeting "very successful" and said the standard security and conflict of interest checks are now being made.

ACTION was created in 1971 as an umbrella agency that administers the Peace Corps, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) amd other volunteer service programs.

Payton, 52, said she couldn't comment on whether she's been offered the $47,000-a-year job, but acknowledged that she has been "under consideration."

A native of Norfolk, Va., Payton received a Ph.D. in education from Columbia University. She has taught at several colleges in Virginia and North Carolina and was an assistant professor of psychology at Howard from 1859 to 1964.

In 1965, Payton joined the Peace Corps and a year later was made a deputy director for the Windward and Leeward Islands and Barbados in the Carribean, where she supervised 130 volunteers on eight islands. She remained with the Peace Corps until 1970, when she went back to Howard to begin her present job.

Carlin said Brown and ACTION's deputy director, Mary King, agreed that they wanted as director a woman, a member of a minority and someone who would "symbolize the direction the program is heading in." He said the program will be "identifying with third world concerns."

Acting on a proposal by President Kennedy, Congress created the Peace Corps in 1961. Last year it had nearly 77,000 volunteers serving in 68 countries.