The University of Washington Tacoma’s mission is to educate diverse learners and transform communities by expanding the boundaries of knowledge and discovery. We educate students for life as global citizens through a focus on interdisciplinary education and engagement with our community. In living our mission, we strive to connect students with opportunities to impact the world around them through engaging in volunteerism, internships at non-profit and governmental agencies, and participation in federal programs, such as Americorps and Peace Corps, after graduation. The Peace Corps Prep Program presents our students with a clearer pathway to the Peace Corps and an increase in the ability of our students, particularly our first generation college students, to see Peace Corps as an attainable career option.
UW Tacoma developed this program to align with the Peace Corps' Mission to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans
Upon completion of the program, students are awarded a Peace Corps Prep Program certificate from the U.S. Peace Corps.
Students participate in leadership and service trainings, foreign language learning, academic coursework connected to their area of interest, and experiential learning in our community. There are four requirements to complete the program including:
- Foreign language (a minimum of 20 credits)
- The Peace Corps's strategic languages are Spanish and French.
- Academic coursework related to one of the following five areas of specialization (15 credits total)
- Enhancement activities (200 hours) including any combination of the following which relates to your area of specialization:
- study abroad
- community service (see areas of specialization)
- work experience
- Participation in quarterly meetings and trainings. These opportunities are interactive and allow students to learn from one another and create a sense of community among our students. An annual schedule is posted on the DawgDen site during the fall quarter of each academic year. The trainings will provide education about the following themes:
- partnership versus charity approach to service
- building organizational capacity
- diversity within the context of volunteerism
Students develop their global perspective and acquire the skills needed to achieve success as leaders serving in communities abroad. The program shapes student potential and propels them to engage in relationship building with communities around the world. Participants hone their proficiency in a foreign language, gain leadership and professional development experience, and work within their community as a partner and friend. Although participation in the Peace Corps Prep Program does not guarantee that applicants will be accepted as Peace Corps volunteers, the specialized academic coursework and service experience will make them strong candidates.
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