Peace Corps Prep

Are you service-minded? Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty to help you community? Are you interested in international learning opportunities? Western's Peace Corps Prep program is designed for undergraduate students seeking to gain invaluable service experience, cultural competencies, and additional language skills for students seeking to apply for the Peace Corps after they've received their undergraduate degree.

Benefits of Peace Corps Prep Certification

The Peace Corps Prep program prepares undergraduate students for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service. To accomplish this, program participants build  five core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support. These five competencies, or “learning objectives,” are the following:

  1. Training and experience in a work sector. Students select and develop skills in one of the Peace Corps' six sectors — education, health, environment, agriculture, youth in development, or community economic development. Students must complete three classes of related coursework, plus 100 hours of related field experience in their chosen sector.

  2. Foreign language skills. Language course requirements vary depending on where students would like to serve once they enter their Peace Corps service. This requirement is fulfilled by completing two 200-level courses in Spanish, utilizing Mango Languages' free language-learning software through Western's library, completing special topic language courses, or through study abroad experience.

  3. Intercultural competence. Students complete three pre-approved introspective courses related to cultural awareness. 

  4. Professionalism. Visit the Office of Career Success for a resume critique and to develop interview skills.

  5. Leadership development. Students must develop one significant leadership experience, either on or off campus. Join an club or organization or help organize an event. For ideas, check out Western's LEAD Office webpage.

 Students who complete the program requirements will receive Peace Corps Prep certification upon graduation. The certification will give students eligible to enter the Peace Corps an advantage in the highly competitive process. For more information about Peace Corps Prep, please refer to the Student Guide below. 

How to Apply

It's easy to apply to the Peace Corps Prep program.

  1. Review the Peace Corps Prep Student Guide & Worksheet for program requirements and additional details.

  2. Meet with the Peace Corps Prep Coordinator to discuss the program and begin documenting the requirements that you have already met. E-mail Sara Phillips (sphillips@western.edu) to schedule an appointment.

  3. Meet with the Peace Corps Prep Coordinator each year to review your progress.

  4. Upon completion of requirements, you will receive a Peace Corps Prep Final Checklist and certificate.

Please review the following documents prior to applying to the Peace Corps Prep program. 

For more information, please contact LEAD Office Director Sara Phillips at sphillips@western.edu or 970.943.2469.