After graduating from UVM in 2017, Brenna Lewis-Slammon (above, second from left) served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching secondary education English in Myanmar.
October 1, 2020
The Peace Corps announced yesterday that The University of Vermont ranked No. 10 among Peace Corps Prep schools on the agency’s list of top certificate-issuing institutions in 2020. UVM issued 17 Prep certificates to the graduating class of 2020, and the program’s enrollment at the school reached 64 students during the 2019–20 academic year.
Peace Corps Prep is a certification program that teaches students sector-specific skills, foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence and professional experience and leadership. While having a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps, it provides potential volunteers with education and training that makes them more competitive applicants.
“The PC Prep program helps students think concretely about how they can use their time as undergraduates to build a portfolio of coursework and community engagement relevant to future Peace Corps service,” said Travis Reynolds, assistant professor in the UVM Department of Community Development and Applied Economics and coordinator of the UVM Peace Corps Prep Program. “In many cases this is simply bringing structure to the important work they are already doing – using their time as students to build the skills and experiences that will help them make meaningful contributions locally and globally, wherever their future paths might lead.”
The program centers on empowering students to prepare themselves to be the best Peace Corps volunteers they can be and enhances students’ undergraduate experience by preparing them for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.
UVM has consistently ranked as a top volunteer-producing university. In 2020, UVM ranked No. 4 on the Peace Corps’ list of medium-sized schools producing Peace Corps volunteers and 954 alumni have served abroad as Peace Corps volunteers since the agency’s founding in 1961.
“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,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen.
There are more than 140 Peace Corps Prep partner institutions across the country. Established in 2007, the program aims to meet the demand for Peace Corps Volunteers with a broad and relevant areas of expertise and to support schools’ efforts to provide substantive, globally focused experiences for their students.