The Peace Corps announced today that Mercer University ranked No. 5 among more than 140 Peace Corps Prep schools on the agency’s list of top certificate-issuing institutions in 2020.
Mercer issued 28 certificates to seniors and juniors in 2020, tying the University for fifth place with Monmouth University in New Jersey. A total of 55 students were enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep program at Mercer during the 2019-20 academic year.
Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program that teaches students sector-specific skills, foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence and leadership. While having a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps, enrolling in the program helps students be more competitive.
Last year, a record six Mercer students received Peace Corps placements.
Established in 2007, the prep program 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.
“Partner institutions that provide Peace Corps Prep programs are an invaluable asset because they help potential Volunteers attain education and training that makes them more competitive candidates,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “Prep-certified Volunteers often arrive in their communities possessing valuable leadership skills and intercultural savvy – necessary building blocks to achieving lasting impact. We applaud partners for their dynamic role in our Volunteers’ success.”
The program centers on empowering students to prepare themselves to be the best Peace Corps Volunteer they can be and provides an opportunity for colleges and universities to globalize their campuses through a partnership with the Peace Corps. This diversity-focused program enhances students’ undergraduate experience by preparing them for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.
“Peace Corps Prep is a wonderful 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 10 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing schools, and a special thanks to all of our partnering institutions for cultivating students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”
Mercer’s Peace Corps Prep program has created a streamlined path that all undergraduate students, regardless of discipline or major, are able to complete.
“The Peace Corps Prep program has proven to be a perfect fit for our students here at Mercer, as they are globally engaged and service-minded, eager to make a difference in the world upon graduation. The program provides a guiding path for the students who are interested in Peace Corps service and also showcases the commitment that so many of our students have made to developing intercultural competency, foreign language skills, professional experience and leadership qualities,” said Rebekah Anaya, Mercer’s Peace Corps Prep coordinator.