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Peace Corps Prep Program

Established in 1961 by the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps is a highly respected and competitive volunteer program that sends U.S. citizens to serve in communities around the world. Peace Corps volunteers commit to serving two years abroad during which they contribute to developing sustainable solutions which address challenges in education, health, environment, agriculture, youth development, and community economic development. Peace Corps provides financial, student loan, travel, medical/dental, and career benefits. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit: peacecorps.gov

The purpose of the Peace Corps Prep (PC Prep) program is to produce more effective volunteers for the Peace Corps and as a result, improve the benefits for host countries. Students who participate in PC Prep complete academic course work and practical field experience according to one of the six sectors that align with the Peace Corps volunteer assignments. Students will also develop foreign language skills, enhance intercultural competence and participate in professional and leadership development activities.

Student who complete PC Prep are encouraged to apply for the Peace Corps. Although completion of the PC Prep program does not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps, it assists students in submitting stronger applications. PC Prep also helps prepare students for other global opportunities, such as teaching abroad or Foreign Service.

Eligibility: 

The PC Prep program is open to any UH undergraduate student who is not facing disciplinary action and is in good academic standing as reflected by a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above. Students are eligible to participate regardless of major, minor, department, or academic year, but they must complete all PC Prep requirements prior to graduation.

Process: 

Students who are interested in completing the PC Prep program should follow these steps:

  1. Register Here 
  2. Learn more about the six Peace Corps sectors, choose one sector and region/country you would like to focus on, and then Complete an Application.
  3. Schedule your first Advising Session with the Peace Corps Prep Coordinator. 
  4. After completing all requirements, complete an Exit Checklist and submit any supporting documentation by email to uhglobal@uh.edu. 
  5. Schedule a Final Advising Session with the Peace Corps Prep Coordinator.

Students can schedule advising through the Navigate App, which can be downloaded in the Apple Store or on Google Play by searching 'Navigate Student'. Students should login with their CougarNet ID and password and choose the following options: Support Services, UH Global, and Peace Corps Prep. Navigate can also be acessed online here: https://uh.navigate.eab.com or within AccessUH.

Program Requirements: 

Students must complete activities outlined in the four core competencies below:

1. Training and experience in a specific work sector: Students must complete three courses that align with one of the six Peace Corps Prep sectors below as well as complete a minimum of 50 hours of field experience in that same field through volunteer, work or internship positions. You may click the links below to view the course options and field experience suggestions for that corresponding sector. 
  1. Education 
  2. Health
  3. Environment
  4. Agriculture
  5. Youth in Development
  6. Community Economic Development
2. Foreign Language Skills: Foreign language is only required for students who intend on serving in Latin America or West Africa. Please find more info about the language requirements by region below. Students who intend on serving outside these regions do not have language requirements but are encouraged to take at least one foreign language course. 
  1. Latin America: Students must complete two intermediate Spanish courses (2000 level or higher). Students may also submit proof of proficiency through a placement exam offered by Testing Services or written documentation by a faculty member from the Department of Hispanic Studies who is willing to verify proficiency. 
  2. West Africa: Students must build proficiency in French or another Romance language by completing at least one intermediate course (2000 level or higher). Students may submit proof of proficiency through a placement exam offered by Testing Services or written documentation from a UH faculty member who teaches that language and is willing to verify proficiency. 
  3. Other regions: Students indicating an intention to serve anywhere else have no explicit language requirements, but are encouraged to take at least one foreign language class. For information about the foreign language courses available at UH, visit the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.
3. Intercultural Competence: There are multiple ways students can fulfill this requirement. Students must complete one of the options below: 
  1. Complete the Global Citizens Credential (GCC) Program
  2. Take three global courses from the approved global course list
    • Students may substitute a learning abroad experience for two global courses. For more information, visit the Learning Abroad website
    • Students may substitute one global course by participating in two documented intercultural activities. Visit the GCC website above for a list of intercultural activities offered on campus and in the community each semester.
4. Professional and Leadership Development: Students must complete all three activities below: 
  1. Make an appointment a career counselor at Career Services to have your resume reviewed. 
  2. Attend an interview workshop or schedule a mock interview with a career counselor at Career Services
  3. Participate in one activity to develop significant leadership experience such as, leading a volunteer project, serving as a leader of a student organization, organizing an event, etc. Students are encouraged to visit the Center for Student Involvement to learn more about how to get involved on campus. For a complete list of student organizations, please visit: https://uh.campuslabs.com/engage/organizations.

Download the Peace Corps Prep Student Guide Here

Awards:

The Peace Corps will award a certificate to all Peace Corps Prep graduates each semester. PC prep graduates will be invited to a certificate ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments.