Peace Corps Announces Top 10 Peace Corps Prep Certificate-Issuing Schools in 2021

September 30, 2021

Agency also announces newly established university partnerships

WASHINGTON – The Peace Corps announced today the top 10 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing institutions for the 2020–2021 academic year. Additionally, the global service agency announced it is partnering with 11 more universities in 2021 to provide the Peace Corps Prep certificate program to undergraduate students.

“At this pivotal time in our history, young people have a crucial role to play,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “Through the Peace Corps Prep program, these schools have equipped students with the skills and understanding necessary to help communities near and far recover from the multidimensional and global shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Established in 2007, Peace Corps Prep aims to meet the demand for Peace Corps volunteers with broad and relevant areas of expertise and to support schools’ efforts to provide substantive, globally focused experiences for their students. Through the program, students learn about leadership, intercultural competencies, foreign language, and a professional sector of their choice like education, health or the environment. While having a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into an agency Volunteer program, enrolling in the program helps graduates be more competitive during the selection process.

“Peace Corps Prep is an opportunity for all undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad,” said La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps director of University Programs. “Congratulations to the top 10 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing schools and all newly-established partnerships on joining the Peace Corps family through the Peace Corps Prep program. We are thrilled to work together to spark students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”

The Peace Corps works with more than 150 partner institutions nationwide to deliver programming that underscores a commitment to global citizenship, intercultural competencies and a sense of service among students. Despite the global evacuation of all Peace Corps volunteers in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 700 undergraduate students completed the Peace Corps Prep program in the 2020-2021 academic year. Dozens of Peace Corps Prep partner schools adapted their programming to the virtual environment during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Cassandra Vega-Rivera, Peace Corps Prep coordinator at la Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, Puerto Rico, explained how her program successfully navigated the switch to a virtually-run operation, “Despite the difficulties of providing services to students in remote settings, both fully online and hybrid, we were able to pivot our planned annual programming to meet with students over Zoom, document their progress in our contact management system, and create interactive online orientations and events. This allowed us to successfully maintain engagement with our students and expand our program virtually.”

The top 10 2020-2021 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing partners are:

Rankings - Certificates Issued

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University - 114
  2. University of South Florida - 58
  3. University of Florida - 37
  4. Mercer University - 33
  5. Monmouth University - 26
  6. University of California Education Abroad Program - 21
  7. Elon University - 20
  8. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor - 19
  9. Walsh University - 18
  10. Pacific Lutheran University - 14

The 11 New Peace Corp Prep University partnerships in 2021 are:

  1. College of Staten Island
  2. Rochester Institute of Technology
  3. St. Lawrence University
  4. University of Redlands
  5. Humboldt State University
  6. University of Guam
  7. University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  8. Utah State University
  9. Florida A&M University
  10. University of Maryland – College Park
  11. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

To find additional information and a full listing of Peace Corps Prep programs around the county, visit Peace Corps Prep.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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