Elon ranked among top 10 Peace Corps Prep partner universities

Elon ranked #7 among 150 partner universities for the number of Peace Corps Prep certificates issued this year.

The Peace Corps announced today Elon University ranked No. 7 among schools on the agency’s list of top Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing partners in 2021. The university had 49 students enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep program during the 2020–21 academic year, with 20 certificates issued to members of the Class of 2021 in the spring.

“At this pivotal time in our history, young people have a crucial role to play,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “Through the Peace Corps Prep program, these schools have equipped students with the skills and understanding necessary to help communities near and far recover from the multidimensional and global shocks of the pandemic.”

Established in 2007, Peace Corps Prep 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. Through the program, students learn about leadership, intercultural competencies, foreign language, and a professional sector of their choice like education, health, or the environment. While having a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the international service agency, enrolling in the program helps them be more competitive during the selection process.

Chloe Hultman ’20 at a community garden at an elementary school in Langa, a Township in Cape Town. Hultman completed the Peace Corps Prep program in 2020.

“I am thrilled that the Peace Corps Prep program has been recognized as being among the top 10 schools,” said Assistant Professor of English Jennifer Eidum, a who served in the Peace Corps and head Elon’s Peace Corps Prep program. “This reflects the importance Elon University places on global education and public service. Although the past year has been challenging for prospective Peace Corps volunteers due to COVID-19, students are still seeing the value in the Peace Corps Prep program in preparation for their future careers.”

Through Elon’s program, students develop four competencies — training and experience in a specific work sector, foreign language proficiency, intercultural competency, and professional leadership and development skills. The program expanded in 2018 to cover all six Peace Corps service areas — Agriculture, Community Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health and Youth in Development.

Elon has consistently ranked as top producer of Peace Corps volunteers. Among medium-sized colleges and universities, Elon ranked No. 25 in 2020 for the number of Peace Corps volunteers it produced.

Peace Corps works with more than 150 partner institutions nationwide to deliver programming that underscores a commitment to global citizenship, intercultural competencies and a sense of service among students. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing a global evacuation of Peace Corps volunteers, more than 700 undergraduate students completed the Peace Corps Prep program in the 2020–21 academic year.

“Peace Corps Prep is an opportunity for all undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad,” said La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps director of University Programs. “Congratulations to the top ten Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing schools and a special thanks to all of our partner institutions for cultivating students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”

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Established at Elon University in 2013, the Peace Corps Prep program supports students preparing for international service. When students participate in the program, they are connected with an Elon faculty advisor who guides them academic courses in their sector along with 50 hours of complementary extracurricular work, foreign language proficiency, intercultural competency, and professional leadership and development skills, all of which prepares students for Peace Corps service.

The top ten 2020–21 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing partners ranked by number of certificates issued are:

1. Virginia Commonwealth University — 114

2. University of South Florida — 58

3. University of Florida — 37

4. Mercer University — 33

5. Monmouth University — 26

6. University of California Education Abroad Program — 21

7. Elon University — 20

8. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor — 19

9. Walsh University — 18

10. Pacific Lutheran University  — 14

For more information about the Peace Corps Prep program at Elon, contact Eidum at jeidum@elon.edu or (336) 278-6481.