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UGA to launch Peace Corps Prep certificate program, host national director at event

UGA to launch Peace Corps Prep certificate program, host national director at event

March 8, 2016

Athens, Ga. – Starting this fall, a new certificate program at the University of Georgia will give students the skills and knowledge they need to have a greater global impact.

Through a new Peace Corps Prep certificate program, undergraduates will gain international leadership and public service skills-and give them each a much stronger application when applying for Peace Corps service.

To celebrate the new program, a Peace Corps Prep launch event and reception will be held March 21 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. Carrie Hessler-Radelet, director of the Peace Corps, will provide brief remarks, and Peace Corps alumni will be on hand to discuss their experiences both during and since their service. UGA faculty member and Peace Corps alumnus Kris Irwin, a senior public service associate in the Warnell School of Foresty and Natural Resources, will lead a panel of Peace Corps alumni, often called Returned Peace Corps Volunteers or RPCVs. 

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Students interested in the Peace Corps, the certificate program or any form of public service are encouraged to attend.

"The UGA Peace Corps Prep certificate is a welcome expansion of an already strong UGA-Peace Corps partnership," said Yana Cornish, director of education abroad. "It offers UGA students a way to diversify their robust academic experience, infusing into it globalization, service and citizenship."

The university has long history of sending graduates into the Peace Corps, she said. Since 1961, when President John F. Kennedy established the organization, 603 UGA alumni have volunteered, and, currently, 27 are serving throughout the world.

Peace Corps volunteers work with their community members at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions to challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. In total, more than 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.

The Peace Corps Prep certificate program integrates training and coursework designed to equip students with the skills needed to be the most effective volunteer possible. Requirements include 50 hours of field experience in the community; coursework to build foreign language skills, intercultural competence and diversity awareness; and professional leadership development through a variety of workshops and other opportunities.

The intent of the partnership between UGA and the Peace Corps is to promote skills in four key areas identified by the Peace Corps as being essential to future volunteers, including foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence, professional savvy and leadership and other sector-specific skills.

UGA is one of 53 schools nationwide to partner with the Peace Corps to create such a program.

More information on the certificate program can be found at, and more information on the Peace Corps is available at To apply for the certificate program, students should speak with their advisers and research major areas in which volunteers regularly serve within the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps Prep certificate program is being offered through the UGA Office of International Education, which supports the university's academic, research and outreach missions and strategic directions through the promotion of global learning experiences, sponsorship and support of international students, scholars, faculty and staff, and development of international research and instructional partnerships and collaborations. For more information, visit

Sarah Jenkins 

Susan Myers Smith, 
Yana Cornish 


Related Links:

University of Georgia event press release

Global Atlanta e-newsletter

The Red & Black post-event article: Director of the Peace Corps visits UGA to celebrate launch of prep programs


View photos from the UGA Peace Corps Prep launch event on Flickr