To prepare you for Peace Corps service, you are expected to complete 3 courses and 50 hours of volunteer work in your desired work sector.

The Peace Corps currently has six specific work sectors: education, health, the environment, agriculture, youth in development, and community economic development. Completing Peace Corps Prep coursework and hands-on experience in these sectors will greatly improve your chances of Peace Corps acceptance after college. Listed below are suggested courses and experiential extracurricular activities for each sector. 

A downloadable PDF for each individual track is available at the end of each description.

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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.

If you choose Education, you must take 3 courses in the following two areas.

courses from the following: 

  • Introduction to Fiction Writing (ENGL 200)
  • Symbolic Logic (PHIL 201)
  • Child Development (PSYC 223)
  • Educational Psychology (PSYC 224)
  • Introduction to Programming (SCMP 118)

course in math:

  • Elements of Statistics (STAT 106)
  • Calculus I (MATH 111)
  • Calculus II (MATH 112)
  • Statistics in Sports (STAT 116)
  • Data Analysis (STAT 206)
  • Non-Parametric Statistics (STAT 216)
  • Linear Algebra (MATH 224)
  • Mathematical Problem Solving (MATH 231)

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: 

  • Teaching in a classroom, with a community outreach organization, or in a formal tutoring capacity. The subject of the teaching may be English as a Foreign/Second Language, special education, drama, or a STEM subject
  • Volunteer or service hours acquired in a school or other educational institution during study abroad (such as in programs operated by the School for International Training)
  • Volunteering and teaching at local schools, such as Wiggin Street School or East Knox Elementary in Danville
  • Volunteering and teaching at local agencies, such as Head Start
  • Engaging in translation services as part of the Kenyon Latino Studies concentration

Download Education Track Description


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.

If you choose Health, you must take 3 courses in the following two areas.

natural science courses on health-related topics: 

  • Biology of Exercise (BIOL 105)
  • Health Service and Biomedical Analysis (BIOL 211)
  • Microbiology (BIOL 238)
  • Immunology (BIOL 345)
  • Virology (BIOL 375)
  • Health Psychology (PSYC 230)

1 social science course on health issues:

  • Ethnomedicine in Africa (ANTH 471)
  • Economics of Health (ECON 386)
  • History of Public Health (HIST 342)
  • Sociology of Health and Illness (SOCY 224)

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: 

  • Volunteer or work experience in such areas as HIV/AIDS outreach, hospice, family planning counseling, emergency medical technician (EMT) or CPR teaching/certification, maternal health, and hands-on caregiving in a hospital, clinic, or lab technician setting

  • Conducting research or volunteering with public health agencies during study abroad

  • Counseling or teaching in health subjects

  • Working as a resident advisor in a dormitory, as a peer nutritionist, or as a sexually transmitted infections counselor

  • Significant experience in mechanical repairs, construction, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, hydrology, or set design

Download Health Track Description


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.

If you choose Environment, you must take 1 course in the following three areas.

environmental studies course: 

  • Solar Power Systems (ENVS 104)
  • Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVS 112)
  • Field Experience: Environmental Outreach (ENVS 251)
  • Geographic Information Science (ENVS 261)
  • Seminar in Environmental Studies (ENVS 461)

1 natural science course on ecology or conservation:

  • Energy in Living Systems (BIOL 115)

  • Conservation Biology (BIOL 106)

  • Seminar in Restoration Ecology (BIOL 311)

  • Global Ecology and Biogeography (BIOL 328)

  • Environmental Toxicology (BIOL 333)

  • Solar Energy (CHEM 108)

  • Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 110)

  • Earth Systems Science (ENVS 231)

  • The Science of Climate Change (ENVS 341)

course on social, political or cultural aspects of the environment:

  • Life Along the Kokosing (ANTH 157)

  • Anthropology of Food (ANTH 320)

  • Human Ecology: Biocultural Adaptations (ANTH 324)

  • Environmental Economics (ECON 336)

  • Global Environmental Politics (PSCI 363)

  • Religion and Nature (RLST 350)

  • Science, Society and the Environment (SOCY 242)

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: 

  • Volunteering at the Brown Family Environmental Center of Kenyon College

  • Educating the public on environmental or conservation issues, or working on environmental campaigns

  • Conducting biological surveys of plants or animals

  • Conducting research or volunteering with environmental agencies during study abroad

  • Gardening, farming, nursery management, organic or low-input vegetable production, or landscaping

  • Providing technical assistance and training in natural resource management

Download Environment Track Description


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.

If you choose Agriculture, you must take 3 courses in the following two areas:.

natural science course on agriculture: 

  • Ecology (BIOL 228)

  • Environmental Plant Physiology (BIOL 245)

  • Photosynthesis (BIOL 323)

courses on social, political, or cultural aspects of agriculture:

  • Anthropology of Food (ANTH 320)

  • Sustainable Agriculture (ENVS 253)

  • Seminar in Environmental Studies (ENVS 461)

  • Corn, Farming and the Roots of American Cultures (HIST 360)
  • Feast, Fast, Famine (HIST 428)

  • Sociology of Food (SOCY 233)

 And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: 

  • Working with a large-scale or family-run business involving vegetable gardening, farming, nursery work, tree planting or care, urban forestry, landscaping, livestock care and management, or fish cultivation and production
  • Teaching or tutoring the public in environmental or agricultural issues and activities
  • Working on the business management or marking side of a commercial farm
  • Volunteering or working on the Kenyon Farm

Download Agriculture Track Description


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, sporting programs, and info technology.

If you choose Youth in Development, you must take 3 of the following courses:

  • Human Sexuality and Culture (ANTH 350)

  • Child Development (PSYC 223)

  • Psychology of Women and Gender (PSYC 246)

  • Psychology in Context (PSYC 350)

  • Sociology of Heath and Illness (SOCY 224)

  • Notions of Family (SOCY 225)

  • Issues of Gender and Power (SOCY 231)

  • Introduction to Queer Studies (WGS 121)

  • Gender and Race in Popular Culture (WGS 150)

  • Topics in Masculinity (WGS 232)

  • Transnational Feminisms (WGS 242)

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: 

  • Teaching or counseling in at-risk youth programs

  • Activities that involve planning, organizing, assessing community needs, counseling, and leadership, in areas such as education, youth development, health and HIV/AIDS, the environment, and/or business

  • Service required for the Psychology in Context course

  • Service or volunteerism acquired through the Psychology Department’s Off Campus Activity Program

  • Service or volunteerism acquired as part of the Center for Community Engagement

  • Service at the local domestic violence shelter, New Directions

  • Service at other local agencies that service the community, such as AMIGOS

Download Youth in Development Track Description


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.

If you choose Community Economic Development, you must take 1 courses in each of the following 3 areas.

economics course: 

  • Microeconomics (ECON 101)

  • Macroeconomics (ECON 102)

  • Poverty in Developing Countries (ECON 300)
  • Economics of Development (ECON 331)

  • International Trade (ECON 338)

course in math or computer skills:

  • Elements of Statistics (STAT 106)
  • Calculus I (MATH 111)

  • Introduction to Programming (SCMP 118)

course on cultural, social, or political dimensions of development:

  • Commodities and Consumption (ANTH 200)

  • Habitat and Humanity (ANTH 256)

  • Global Crisis (HIST 256)

  • Politics of Development (PSCI 342)

  • Globalization (PSCI 361)

  • Global Poverty, Policy and Politics (PSCI 366)

  • The Poor: From the Bible to Beyoncé (RLST 312)

  • Institutions and Inequalities (SOCY 107)

  • Wealth and Power (SOCY 223)

  • Global Cities (SOCY 432)

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: 

  • Working with businesses, organizations, or cooperatives in accounting, finance, microfinance, management, project management, budgeting, or marketing

  • Starting and running your own business or other entrepreneurial activity (needs to be pre-approved)

  • Training others in computer literacy, maintenance, and repair

  • Website design or online marketing

  • Founding or leading a community- or school-based organization

Download Community Economic Development Track Description