VCU issued 81 Peace Corps Prep certificates this year, the most in the country

The certificates are offered at more than 140 U.S. institutions, and help students develop skills sought by the Peace Corps, nonprofit organizations and global employers.

overhead of the VCU Compass
VCU issued 81 Peace Corps Prep certificates this year, the most in the country. (File photo, University Marketing)

Virginia Commonwealth University is the nation’s No. 1 institution this year for Peace Corps Prep certificates. The certificate program teaches students foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence and professional experience and leadership, and helps make them more competitive applicants to the Peace Corps.

VCU issued 81 Peace Corps Prep certificates to students this year, followed by the University of South Florida, which issued 49 certificates. No other Virginia institutions were among the top 10 nationally.

The Peace Corps Prep program “has been an invaluable resource for so many of our students,” said Jill Blondin, Ph.D., VCU Global Education Office executive director.

“Not only does it help prepare them to enter the Peace Corps, it helps them envision the bigger role they play in shaping our world,” Blondin said. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Peace Corps to give our students this opportunity.”

Established in 2007 and offered at more than 140 U.S. institutions, the Peace Corps Prep program 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. VCU’s Peace Corps Prep program is offered through the VCU Globe living-learning program, and is designed to help students develop skills sought by the Peace Corps, nonprofit organizations and global employers.

“Peace Corps Prep is a wonderful opportunity for all undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad,” said La’Teashia Sykes, director of university programs for the Peace Corps. 

VCU students who receive the certificate complete a globally-themed curriculum as well as more than 50 hours of community service. During the fall 2019-20 academic year, 124 students were enrolled in the program at VCU. Since becoming a Peace Corps Prep partner in 2014, VCU has issued 243 certificates to graduates.

Students interested in learning more about the Peace Corps Prep program at VCU should contact Christina Marino at cmmarino@vcu.edu or 804-828-8471. 

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