Peace Corps Director Announces Historic High in Peace Corps Prep Partners during Event with Senator Patrick Leahy in Vermont

The agency formalized partnerships with 26 new universities throughout past year

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 2, 2015Today, Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet announced a historic high in the number of colleges and universities to join the Peace Corps Prep program during an event with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) at the University of Vermont. Throughout the last year, 26 new schools – including the University of Vermont – have partnered with the Peace Corps to offer students a unique combination of undergraduate coursework and community service that prepares them for work in international development. The new partners represent the highest number of schools to join the program in one year since its establishment in 2007.

“We’re excited to collaborate with schools like the University of Vermont to prepare civic-minded students for careers in international development,” Director Hessler-Radelet said. “The Peace Corps Prep program is a wonderful example of the agency’s growing efforts to strengthen collaborations with schools nationwide.”

In addition to the University of Vermont, Vermont state is also home to new Peace Corps Prep partner St. Michael’s College, which debuted on Peace Corps list of top volunteer-producing universities this year and is Senator Leahy’s alma mater. Vermont is currently the top Peace Corps volunteer-producing state per capita in the country.

Senator Leahy, the Ranking Member of the Senate’s State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, said: “I am always proud to mention that Vermont consistently has one of the highest per capita rates of participation in the Peace Corps in the country. That is not surprising as Vermonters are engaged in the wellbeing of their communities, their nation and their world. Peace Corps service has improved the lives of countless people in scores of far-off societies, while also enriching the lives of our volunteers and of our state. We’re delighted to welcome Director Hessler-Radelet to showcase and build on the enduring partnership with Vermont that has yielded the most Peace Corps volunteers of any state on a per-capita basis. The Peace Corps promotes goodwill and shows the best face of America to the world, and we are proud that so many of those faces are Vermonters.”

Including the new partners, 39 universities across the country now offer Peace Corps Prep programs. Each school independently designs its program based on specified criteria that reflects Peace Corps’ grassroots, integrated approach. A typical Peace Corps Prep 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. Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate of completion from Peace Corps and a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, 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, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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