UAlbany Among Peace Corps' Top 10 Peace Corps Prep Certificate Institutions

Woman Teaching in the Peace Corp

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 1, 2020) – The Peace Corps has announced that the University at Albany ranked No. 7 among Peace Corps Prep schools on the agency’s list of top certificate-issuing institutions in 2020. The 2019-2020 academic year was UAlbany’s first with the program, yet it soared to the top 10 by issuing 22 Prep certificates to members of the graduating class of 2020.

“As part of our strategic core priority of internationalization, the University at Albany supports our students to become engaged global citizens,” said President Havidán Rodríguez. “Placing 7th out of 140 institutions in our first year of certifying students in Peace Corps Prep is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to this critical aspect of academic excellence.”

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, enrolling in the program will help students be more competitive. In the current academic year, more than 60 students have expressed interest in the Prep program at UAlbany, with 16 already enrolled.

“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.”

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.

The program centers on empowering students to prepare themselves to be the best Peace Corps volunteer they can be and is 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.

Interested students can find additional information about the Peace Corps Prep program at UAlbany by contacting Peace Corps Prep co-chairs/coordinators Annette Richie, director of Global Academic Programs at the Center for International Education and Global Strategy, and John Justino, director of the Center for Global Health and a returned Peace Corps volunteer, via email.

“The certificate and those who earn it represent the very best of UAlbany, and we are so proud of them,” said Richie. “Through Peace Corps Prep, our UAlbany community unites to engage in inclusive student excellence and global career readiness. We are just beginning to see the phenomenal results.”

“Our Peace Corps Prep graduates are well-equipped for global service and leadership, thanks to their own hard work and that of our amazing Peace Corps recruiter Abigail Knickerbocker and the program’s sector coaches (all of whom are returned volunteers), as well as the support provided by the Peace Corps Prep Faculty Council, UAlbany’s Peace Corps campus ambassadors and our globally engaged alumni,” added Justino.