The Peace Corps and University of South Carolina Upstate announced a new partnership that will offer students a unique combination of undergraduate coursework and community service that prepares them for a career in international development.
University of South Carolina Upstate students will be able to apply to the new Peace Corps Prep program for enrollment beginning spring of 2017.
“Students today have a passion for service and are interested in not just imagining a better world, but rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Through the Peace Corps Prep program, University of South Carolina Upstate students can develop skills specifically targeted to Peace Corps service and careers in the international development and service communities.”
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Students in University of South Carolina Upstate’s Peace Corps Prep program will build hands-on experience and leadership skills while completing courses focused on intercultural competence and foreign language. Upon completion of the program, which will be housed in the Center for International Studies, students will receive a signed certificate of completion from the Peace Corps.
“This is an exciting day for USC Upstate as we officially partner with the Peace Corps,” said Clif Flynn, interim senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at USC Upstate. “This program creates a framework for students in any major to integrate their coursework with hands-on experience, study abroad opportunities, community service and professional development. Upon completion, while not guaranteed acceptance, our students will be placed among the top applicants for Peace Corps service. This gives USC Upstate an opportunity not only to create change in South Carolina, but sustainable change throughout the world.”
The Peace Corps has Peace Corps Prep program partnerships with more than 25 leading academic institutions nationwide. Established in 2007, the program aims to support schools’ efforts to provide substantive, globally focused experiences for their students. Those who successfully complete the program make competitive Peace Corps applicants.
There are currently three USC Upstate graduates serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Costa Rica, Guyana and Tonga. Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 12 USC Upstate graduates have served overseas.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.