Peace Corps Prep Program
The University of Arizona, in partnership with the Peace Corps, has established the University of Arizona Peace Corps Prep Program (PCPP), to prepare undergraduate students for international fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.
Open to students of any major, the PCPP builds on the international mission of the University of Arizona, and aims to expand the the classroom through applied learning with volunteer and non-profit organizations. You will become part of a community of like-minded students interested in international service and the betterment of all peoples.
Although completion of the program does not guarantee acceptance as a Peace Corps volunteer, you will gain skills which are an advantage in the competitive application process. Additionally, the program will expand your global awareness and provide experiences that will be of added value to most careers even if you do not choose service in the Peace Corps.
You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to participate in the UA PCPP; however, you must have U.S. citizenship to serve in the Peace Corps.
The PCPP is a certificate, issued by Peace Corps upon completion of requirements, that complements any undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona. Combining traditional academic instruction with a significant component of service-learning, students will choose one of six Peace Corps work sectors: Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Youth in Development, or Community Economic Development.
The certificate requirements are at least 7 courses (21 credit hours). These will include 3 courses in the student's chosen work sector and 3 courses in intercultural studies. At least one foreign language course will be required. In addition, each student will be expected to volunteer for at least 50 hours.
Teach lessons that last a lifetime. Education is the Peace Corp’s largest program area. Volunteers play an important role in creating links among schools, parents, and communities by working in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools as math, science, conversational English, and resource teachers or as early grade reading and literacy teacher trainers. Volunteers also develop libraries and technology resource centers.
Serve on the front lines of global health. Health Volunteers work within their communities to promote important topics such as nutrition, maternal and child health, basic hygiene, and water sanitation. Volunteers also work in HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs to train youth as peer educators, develop appropriate education strategies, provide support to children orphaned by the pandemic, and create programs that provide emotional and financial support to families and communities affected by the disease
Help forge a global movement to protect our planet. Volunteers lead grassroots efforts in their communities to protect the environment and strengthen understanding of environmental issues. They teach environmental awareness in elementary and secondary schools and to youth groups and community organizations, empowering communities to make their own decisions about how to protect and conserve the local environment. Volunteers also address environmental degradation by promoting sustainable use of natural resources.
Lead grassroots efforts to fight hunger in a changing world. Agricultural Volunteers work with small-scale farmers and families to increase food security and production and adapt to climate change while promoting environmental conservation practices. They introduce farmers to techniques that prevent soil erosion, reduce the use of harmful pesticides, and replenish the soil. They work alongside farmers on integrated projects that often combine vegetable gardening, livestock management, agroforestry, and nutrition education.
Youth in Development
Empower the next generation of changemakers. Volunteers work with youth in communities on projects that promote engagement and active citizenship, including gender awareness, employability, health and HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, sporting programs, and info technology.
Community Economic Development
Harness 21st-century tools to help communities lift themselves. Volunteers work with development banks, nongovernmental organizations, and municipalities to strengthen infrastructure and encourage economic opportunities in communities. They frequently teach in classroom settings and work with entrepreneurs and business owners to develop and market their products. Some Volunteers also teach basic computer skills and help communities take advantage of technologies such as e-commerce, distance learning, and more.