The University of Redlands and the Peace Corps are launching Peace Corps Prep, an undergraduate certificate program. The program combines targeted coursework with hands-on experience, building the competencies needed for students to be Peace Corps volunteers or other intercultural fieldworkers. University of Redlands is one of only 11 institutions across the country partnering with the Peace Corps on such a certificate.
“Our participation in this program further solidifies our commitment to preparing our students for global service work,” says Steve Wuhs, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and senior international officer at the University of Redlands. “Given our long history as a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers, we welcome the opportunity to offer a new pathway for our students to develop skills and gain experience to help them make meaningful contributions to communities overseas.”
Almost 300 Bulldogs have volunteered with the Peace Corps to support projects in more than 60 countries around the world. The University of Redlands was named a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The Peace Corp Prep program will be structured as an interdisciplinary certificate program housed in the University’s Office of Career and Professional Development.
Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn said, “Today’s students are passionate about service and leaving their mark on the world. Through the Peace Corps Prep program at University of Redlands, students can develop skills specifically targeted to Peace Corps service and careers in the international development and service communities.”
La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps director of University Programs, added, “Peace Corps Prep is an opportunity for undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad. Congratulations to University of Redlands on joining the Peace Corps family. We are thrilled to work together to spark students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”
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 COVID-19, more than 700 undergraduate students completed the Peace Corps Prep program in the 2020-2021 academic year.
Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a lifelong 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.