Peace Corps Prep Program
The Shippensburg University Peace Corps Prep program is one of only five in Pennsylvania. It prepares you for international development careers and Peace Corps service. To accomplish this, you must build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience and professional development support. These four competencies are:
- Training and experience in a specific work sector
- Foreign language skills
- Intercultural competence
- Professional and leadership development
Participation in the Peace Corps Prep Program does not guarantee selection into the Peace Corps, but applicants with Prep certification are twice as likely to be hired.
The Peace Corps Prep Program is open to all undergraduate students on campus. While only United States citizens are eligible to apply to the Peace Corps, the Prep program is open to students who are permanent residents, non-resident aliens, and undocumented.
I. Minor in International Development (21 credit hours)
The minor provides academic preparation in three areas necessary for international development careers and Peace Corps service.
1. Work Sector Concentration (9 credit hours):
Leveraging concrete knowledge and skills is central to on-the-ground international development work. Students should take at least three courses that build their capacity to work in one of the following Peace Corps work sectors:
- Youth in development
- Community economic development
2. Foreign Language (3 credit hours):
Take one foreign language class at any level. The international development minor's foreign language requirement is meant to show that you have the willingness and ability to learn a foreign language. Additional Peace Corps Prep foreign language requirements and recommendations vary by placement region:
- Latin America: Two 200-level courses of Spanish is required. A Spanish certificate or minor is recommended.
- West Africa: One 200-level course of French is required. A French certificate or minor is recommended.
- China: CHN103 Intermediate Chinese is recommended.
3. Intercultural Competence (9 credit hours):
Engaging thoughtfully and fluidly across cultures begins with one's own self-awareness. Students should deepen their cultural agility through three courses. The goal is to build the capacity to shift perspective and behavior around relevant cultural differences.
- Core course: INT 200: Introduction to International Studies (3 credit hours)
- One Global Perspectives course (3 credit hours)
- One Area Studies course (3 credit hours)
II. Professional and Leadership Development (non-credit Peace Corps Prep requirements)
Peace Corps service and similar international development work opportunities are highly professional and selective. Students will benefit from these six activities:
- Hands-on experience in the same work sector selected in the international development minor (at least 50 hours in education, environment, health, agriculture, youth in development, or community economic development)
- Professional feedback on your resume at the Career, Mentoring, and Professional Development Center (CMPD)
- Professional feedback on your Peace Corps application essay at the CMPD
- Professional interview prep at the CMPD
- Leadership training through the Leader@SHIP program
- At least one significant leadership experience (i.e., organizing an event, serving on an executive board of student organization or leading a project)