Fairfield University Becomes First Jesuit Institution to Offer Peace Corps Prep Program

Fairfield University Becomes First Jesuit Institution to Offer Peace Corps Prep Program

Peace Corps Volunteer to Peru Ashley Toombs '07

The international service program launched this fall as a joint initiative between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Faith and Public Life

With a Peace Corps Prep certificate, graduates will have a head start when applying to international service opportunities, as well as a diverse community of peers who share their global outlook.

— Anita Deeg-Carlin, international studies program associate director and co-director of the Peace Corps Prep Program

This past November, Fairfield University became the first Jesuit University to offer the Peace Corps Prep Program, a unique interdisciplinary program in partnership with the United States Peace Corps that prepares students for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.

The program is being offered as part of a joint collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences' international studies program and the Center for Faith and Public Life, and prepares students interested in pursuing Peace Corps volunteer work by combining hands-on experience with specialized coursework that builds necessary competencies. 

“The first of its kind among our Jesuit peer institutions, this dynamic new program allows us to address students’ ardent interest in pursuing international careers by honing their intercultural skills and building their professional portfolios,” said Anita Deeg-Carlin, international studies program associate director and co-director of the Peace Corps Prep Program. “With a Peace Corps Prep certificate, graduates will have a head start when applying to international service opportunities, as well as a diverse community of peers who share their global outlook.”

As a highly selective organization, the Peace Corps holds applicants to rigorous academic, competency, and experiential standards. To best prepare students and graduates for the Peace Corps, Fairfield University has engaged a diverse faculty who teach within the six Peace Corps sectors of education: health, environment, agriculture, youth in development, and community economic development. As part of the program, students are exposed to foreign language skills and cultural awareness through introspective courses and activities that target focused coursework, practical skills training, intercultural competency, career preparation, and leadership skills. Embracing what it means to be a young adult for and with others, students enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep Program have the opportunity to hone their skills and knowledge through intercultural community-building experiences.

This past year, Lesbia Orellana Recinos ’19, a management major and Global Scholar, successfully completed all requirements of the Peace Corps Prep Program and will receive her official certificate. Recinos served as a Global Scholar in her native country of Guatemala this past summer and is interested in serving in the Peace Corps upon graduation.

“I want to have an impact on people’s lives and have a global career,” said Recinos. “I love interacting with people around the world and I also love to travel. Serving in the Peace Corps would be an opportunity for me to combine my interests while serving others.”

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 U.S. citizens have served in 141 countries worldwide. Volunteers from Connecticut total 3,466, including 156 volunteers from Fairfield University, four of whom are currently serving.

For more information about the Peace Corps Prep Program, visit fairfield.edu/pcprep.

Tags:  College of Arts & Sciences

Last modified: 04-23-19 12:00 AM

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