Kenyon College and the Peace Corps have partnered to offer a program that combines coursework with community service to prepare students for international careers.
The Peace Corps Prep program, housed in the Center for Global Engagement, requires students to complete six courses, three of which must be intercultural competency courses, as well as at least 50 hours of work or volunteer experience in one of the six sectors that Peace Corps volunteers work in: agriculture, education, community economic development, health, environment and youth in development. Students also must obtain one substantial leadership experience.
“The Peace Corps Prep program allows students to gain the breadth of a liberal arts education and the depth of a major while allowing students to have a particular focus combining coursework, service and reflection,” Marne Ausec, director of the Center for Global Engagement, said. “The program will allow students to demonstrate their commitment to tying academics with service.”
Students will be able to apply for enrollment in the program beginning in the fall semester of 2016. Completion of the program will not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps, but it will offer applicants a competitive edge. Students will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps upon completion of the program.
The Peace Corps has partnered with about 50 schools across the country on prep programs. Its program with Kenyon is specifically structured to best complement a Kenyon education. Students will collaborate with the Career Development Office, the Office for Community Partnerships and the Dean of Students Office to ensure successful completion of the program.
“At Kenyon we seek to combine rigorous study of the liberal arts with exploration of post-college opportunities, whether for further study, employment in the private sector, or service in public and nonprofit organizations,” Provost Joseph L. Klesner said. “PC Prep will provide an excellent program for our students to prepare for service abroad while reminding them of why they are pursuing this path.”
The program adds to a healthy tradition of global engagement at Kenyon, which was named a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers in 2014. “We have a robust off-campus study program, and we have an excellent Fulbright track record,” Ausec said. “Peace Corps Prep allows us to expand our offerings, serving our students and our community, both local and global.”