For 13 years, the Peace Corps has ranked the University of Mary Washington among the nation’s top-producing colleges for alumni now serving as Peace Corps volunteers. UMW’s Peace Corps Prep program will prepare current students for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service. To accomplish this, students will build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support.
Leveraging concrete knowledge and skills is central to on the ground international development work. Through this PC Prep program, you will begin to build a professional specialty, which should serve your career well whether or not you become a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Participants will complete the requirements of each competency listed below by their graduation date (Training and Experience, Intercultural Competence, Professional and Leadership Development, and Foreign Language Skills).
Training and Experience
Complete at least 3 courses that align with a specific work sector (they can but do not need to come from your academic major or minor). You also must accumulate a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or work experience in that same sector.
Engaging thoughtfully and fluidly across cultures begins with one’s own self-awareness. With this learning objective, you will deepen your cultural agility through a mix of three introspective courses in which you learn about others while reflecting upon your own self in relation to others.The goal is for you to build your capacity to shift perspective and behavior around relevant cultural differences.
Professional and Leadership Development
Peace Corps service and similar international development work opportunities are highly professional and selective. PC Prep requires three specific activities that will strengthen your candidacy for the Peace Corps (or any other professional endeavor).
Foreign Language Skills
Working across cultures often entails verbal and nonverbal languages distinct from your own. Building foreign language skills is thus a second key component of the PC Prep curriculum.
Where would you like to serve? PC Prep minimum course requirements align with those needed by applicants to the Peace Corps itself, which vary by linguistic region.
For assistance with the application process or further information, contact the UMW Peace Corps Prep at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Dandridge, Program Assistant
Kyle Danzey, Director