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Peace Corps, PSU partner in Prep Program

April 30, 2013 12:00AM

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PSU Provost Lynette Olson prepares to sign a historic agreement with the Peace Corps.

Representatives of the Peace Corps and Pittsburg State University gathered at PSU on April 26, to officially announce a new partnership to increase opportunities for students to prepare for Peace Corps service.

The Peace Corps Prep Program offers institutions of higher education a way to gain a competitive advantage through a specialized curriculum promoting international service. PSU is just the seventh university in the nation to partner with the Peace Corps Prep Program.

“Pittsburg State encourages its students to make a difference by becoming global leaders through community service and international study,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “We are excited to welcome them as a partner with the Peace Corps Prep Program and we look forward to more Pitt State alumni becoming our next generation of highly skilled volunteers.”

Lynette Olson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the Peace Corps Prep Program is a good fit for Pittsburg State University.

“Pittsburg State has a long history of encouraging students to develop a global perspective,” Olson said. “Whether it is through international study and travel, providing a welcome environment for international students who study here or working to internationalize our own curriculum, Pittsburg State has opened windows to the world for thousands of American students. It is also a place that encourages and supports the concept of student service.”

Undergraduates at PSU will be able to immediately incorporate Peace Corps Prep’s internationally focused curriculum into their studies. They will be required to take courses in foreign language, and have course options in social sciences, health sciences, environmental sciences, business and education.

The Peace Corps Prep Program is intended for students who plan to apply to enter the Peace Corps upon graduation. Students who complete the program requirements will be competitive applicants, however completion of the program does not guarantee acceptance in the Peace Corps. Although participation in Peace Corps Prep doesn't guarantee that applicants will be accepted as volunteers, the specialized curriculum and experience should make them strong candidates for service.

Since Peace Corps was established in 1961, nearly 100 Pittsburg State alumni have served as volunteers. To find out more, students can contact Peace Corps recruiter Linda Tucker, ltucker@peacecorps.gov.

During Peace Corps service, college graduates work to make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

©2013 Pittsburg State University