Arcadia University is one of six schools accepted into the Peace Corps Prep Program, an academic and service initiative designed to build solid cultural awareness and develop practical skills sought by the Peace Corps, other non-profit organizations, and global employers. The program at Arcadia will begin in fall 2014, with applications being accepted this spring.
The program will provide several opportunities for Arcadia students to share service learning experiences, make connections with others both on and off campus, and build their futures in global careers.
“The students who emerge from the program will be highly valued in whatever international or community pursuits that lay ahead of them,” explained Dr. Sandra Hordis, director of international academic programs and the University’s Peace Corps Prep Program coordinator. “Arcadia is positioned to be a front-runner in these new collaborative ventures and hopes to deepen our reputation as a leader in global education with organizations like the Peace Corps, Global Brigades, and Heifer International.”
The Peace Corps Prep Program was established in 2007 to offer more targeted educational and skill-building opportunities to undergraduates interested in serving with the Peace Corps or within the international development and service communities. Students who complete the program gain knowledge and experience that make them more competitive Peace Corps applicants. All Peace Corps Prep graduates receive a signed certificate of completion from the Peace Corps.
Arcadia’s Office of International Affairs advises 10 students per year on average who wish to join the Peace Corps; in the past 15 years, 42 Arcadia graduates have completed Peace Corps assignments, with five currently serving in Peace Corps projects.
“At Arcadia, we place a premium on linking international experiences and global initiatives with academic development,” said Dr. Steve O. Michael, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Arcadia. “This program will allow students to explore even more global opportunities, expanding their options and enriching their development. We are proud and excited to partner with an organization whose global commitment is deeply imbued in its mission.”
In addition to Arcadia, the Peace Corps Prep Program will begin this fall at Georgia Gwinnett College, Hiram College, Ursinus College, Wilmington College, and the University of Washington Tacoma. These institutions join Elon University, Knox College, Pittsburg State University, Shawnee State University, University of Missouri, University of Montana, University of North Georgia, and Wittenberg University as other schools in the nation with Peace Corps Prep programs. Each college or university designs its program based on specific criteria reflecting the Peace Corps’ grassroots, integrated approach. The typical program consists of two years of coursework with a focus on international development, internship or volunteer experience related to Peace Corps’ project areas, and foreign language study.