Peace Corps Prep
If you are adventurous with a deep personal drive to act and seek to be immersed in countries and cultures outside of your own, our Peace Corps Prep program will help you gain the intercultural skills you need for a life-changing service experience.
Peace Corps Prep is an academic-partnered certificate program that helps you build the skills you need to have a positive impact as a volunteer. It helps you become a stronger candidate for positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs, and at the same time, you gain skills and a cultural worldview that employers value. It's a competitive edge that sets you apart and broadens your opportunities, no matter what path you choose.
Scroll down to the Student Guide section to learn more. Get additional information about your Peace Corps service opportunities by clicking here. And contact your SAU faculty advisor or an admissions representative to learn how Peace Corps Prep fits within your undergraduate studies.
Immerse in a New Culture
Peace Corps is active in more than 70 countries on five continents.
So many choices!
Any major can take advantage of Peace Corps Prep. Scroll down to the Student Guide section of this page for more details.
About Peace Corps
Peace Corps volunteers serve in more than 60 countries, doing grass-roots work that improves the lives of those they serve, as well as their own.
Every day, Peace Corps Volunteers – and all of us who support them – wake up and spend the day working hard to make the world a better place. Peace. It's the first word of who we are.
Learn More About Peace Corps Prep
At. St. Ambrose, your learning experience is focused on service and social justice, two values that are deeply woven into our mission and vision as a university. These values reflect the origin and continued ethos of the United States Peace Corps, which is why this program is a great fit for many.
Peace Corps Prep gives you a structured path to hone your professional skills, intercultural competence, and foreign language abilities. This dovetails with our focus on service learning and social justice as well as the many opportunities you get to grow and develop a life of service.
As a university, we believe there is great value in partnering with the Peace Corps to recognize a student's skills in service, diversity/inclusion, and intercultural competence. Completing this certificate program can help if you decide to submit a volunteer application, but more importantly, it prepares you for a life of service, to live in a manner that shows your dedication to others and the world.
To earn the certificate – awarded by the Peace Corps – you take courses to hone your intercultural competency, build your foreign language skills, and grow your professional and leadership abilities.
You'll also complete certain courses (see the Student Guide below) and 50 hours of service or work that's related to one of six sectors the Peace Corps identifies as priorities:
- Education: Teach lessons that last a lifetime. Education is the Peace Corp's largest program area. Volunteers play an important role in creating links among schools, parents, and communities by working in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools as math, science, conversational English, and resource teachers or as early grade reading and literacy teacher trainers. Volunteers also develop libraries and technology resource centers
- Health: Serve on the front lines of global health. Health Volunteers work within their communities to promote important topics such as nutrition, maternal and child health, basic hygiene, and water sanitation. Volunteers also work in HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs to train youth as peer educators, develop appropriate education strategies, provide support to children orphaned by the pandemic, and create programs that provide emotional and financial support to families and communities affected by the disease.
- Environment: Help forge a global movement to protect our planet. Volunteers lead grassroots efforts in their communities to protect the environment and strengthen understanding of environmental issues. They teach environmental awareness in elementary and secondary schools and to youth groups and community organizations, empowering communities to make their own decisions about how to protect and conserve the local environment. Volunteers also address environmental degradation by promoting sustainable use of natural resources.
- Agriculture: Lead grassroots efforts to fight hunger in a changing world. Agricultural Volunteers work with small-scale farmers and families to increase food security and production and adapt to climate change while promoting environmental conservation practices. They introduce farmers to techniques that prevent soil erosion, reduce the use of harmful pesticides, and replenish the soil. They work alongside farmers on integrated projects that often combine vegetable gardening, livestock management, agroforestry, and nutrition education
- Youth In Development: Empower the next generation of change makers. Volunteers work with youth in communities on projects that promote engagement and active citizenship, including gender awareness, employability, health and HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, sports programs, and info technology.
- Community Economic Development: Harness 21st-century tools to help communities lift themselves. Volunteers work with development banks, nongovernmental organizations, and municipalities to strengthen infrastructure and encourage economic opportunities in communities. They frequently teach in classroom settings and work with entrepreneurs and business owners to develop and market their products. Some Volunteers also teach basic computer skills and help communities take advantage of technologies such as e-commerce, distance learning, and more
SAU already offers a large number of service activities and courses within our academic programs that meet the Peace Corps Prep requirements, so in many cases, you can earn the certificate without adding extra courses. And the program is open to all undergraduates, no matter your major or field of study.
The Student Guide gives an overview to help with planning, which includes approved Peace Corps Prep courses you can take at SAU. Be sure to contact your faculty advisor, too. They will help you map your courses and explain your options for meeting the program requirements.
Serving others and making the world a better place are values held by our students, and our faculty and staff.
Do you want to learn more about the rewards, challenges, and adventure of Peace Corps service? How can the certificate program help you become a stronger candidate and professional? How can service help you define your future goals?
The following Ambrosian faculty and staff members are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) and serve on our Peace Corps Prep advisory committee. They are available to answer your questions and tell you about their life-changing Peace Corps experiences.
Melissa Sharer, PhD
Assistant Professor and Director, Master of Public Health
Administrative Assistant, MPH Department
Argrow Kitnequa "Kit" Evans-Ford, DMin
RPCV St. Christopher and Nevis
Adjunct Professor of Theology
Adjunct Professor, MPH