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About the Peace Corps

THE PEACE CORPS – WHAT VOLUNTEERS DO

IS THE PEACE CORPS RIGHT FOR ME?

UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS

JOINING THE PEACE CORPS STRAIGHT OUT OF COLLEGE CAN BE A GREAT IDEA


WORK SECTORS

Education

Teach lessons that last a lifetime. Education is the Peace Corp’s largest program area. Volunteers play an important role in creating links among schools, parents, and communities by working in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools as math, science, conversational English, and resource teachers or as early grade reading and literacy teacher trainers. Volunteers also develop libraries and technology resource centers.

If you choose Education, take 3 courses from the following areas:

  • Elementary, Secondary, or Special Education
  • English, Linguistics, or Drama
  • STEM subjects

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as:

  • Teaching in one of these or a similar form: in a classroom, with a community outreach organization, or in a formal tutoring capacity. 
  • The subject of the teaching may be English as a Foreign/Second Language, special education, drama, or a STEM subject.
  • Tutoring opportunities are available in the Banacos Tutoring Center and in the Reading and Writing Center.
  • Participation in Westfield’s short-term Education courses in Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica (other short-term courses may apply to this area; check with your PC Prep program Advisor).

Health

Serve on the front lines of global health. Health Volunteers work within their communities to promote important topics such as nutrition, maternal and child health, basic hygiene, and water sanitation. Volunteers also work in HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs to train youth as peer educators, develop appropriate education strategies, provide support to children orphaned by the pandemic, and create programs that provide emotional and financial support to families and communities affected by the disease.

If you choose Health, take three courses from the following areas:

  • Nursing
  • Nutrition or Dietetics
  • Health Studies
  • Biology
  • Environmental Engineering

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as:

  • Volunteer or work experience in such areas as HIV/AIDS outreach, hospice, family planning counseling, emergency medical technician (EMT) or CPR teaching/certification, maternal health, and hands-on caregiving in a hospital, clinic, or lab technician setting.
  • Counseling or teaching in health subjects.
  • Working as a resident advisor in a dormitory, as a peer nutritionist, or as a sexually transmitted infections counselor.
  • Significant experience in mechanical repairs, construction, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, hydrology, or set design.
  • Westfield’s short-term courses in Puerto Rico or Guatemala.

Environment

Help forge a global movement to protect our planet. Volunteers lead grassroots efforts in their communities to protect the environment and strengthen understanding of environmental issues. They teach environmental awareness in elementary and secondary schools and to youth groups and community organizations, empowering communities to make their own decisions about how to protect and conserve the local environment. Volunteers also address environmental degradation by promoting sustainable use of natural resources.

  • If you choose Environment, take three courses from the following areas:
  • Environmental Science or related field
  • Natural Resources Conservation
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Natural Resources or Wildlife Management
  • Forestry
  • Biology, Botany, or Ecology
  • Geology
  • Oceanography or Marine Sciences

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as:

  • Educating the public on environmental or conservation issues, or working on environmental campaigns
  • Conducting biological surveys of plants or animals
  • Gardening, farming, nursery management, organic or low-input vegetable production, or landscaping
  • Providing technical assistance and training in natural resource management
  • Westfield’s short-term Environmental Science course in Costa Rica.

Youth in Development

Empower the next generation of change makers. Volunteers work with youth in communities on projects that promote engagement and active citizenship, including gender awareness, employability, health and HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, sporting programs, and info technology.

If you choose Youth in Development, take three courses from the following areas:

  • International Development
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Health Studies
  • Human Development
  • Family Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Social Work

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as:

  • Teaching or counseling in at-risk youth programs
  • Boys and Girls Club, YMCA
  • Activities that involve planning, organizing, assessing community needs, counseling, and leadership, in areas such as education, youth development, health and HIV/AIDS, the environment, and/or business
  • Westfield’s short-term courses.

Community Economic Development

Harness 21st-century tools to help communities lift themselves. Volunteers work with development banks, nongovernmental organizations, and municipalities to strengthen infrastructure and encourage economic opportunities in communities. They frequently teach in classroom settings and work with entrepreneurs and business owners to develop and market their products. Some Volunteers also teach basic computer skills and help communities take advantage of technologies such as e-commerce, distance learning, and more.

If you choose Community Economic Dev., take three courses from the following areas:

  • Business or Public Administration
  • Entrepreneurial Management
  • Accounting, Banking or Finance
  • Computer Science and related majors
  • Graphic Design
  • Communication
  • International Business

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as:

  • Working with businesses, organizations, or cooperatives in accounting, finance, microfinance, management, project management, budgeting, or marketing
  • Starting and running your own business or other entrepreneurial activity
  • Training others in computer literacy, maintenance, and repair
  • Website design or online marketing
  • Founding or leading a community- or school-based organization
  • Westfield’s short-term International Business course.

Requirements

All students in good academic and good conduct standing may apply to the Peace Corps Prep Program.  Students in ALL majors are encouraged to consider this opportunity.

Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a formal Certificate of Completion from the Peace Corps.

PC Prep Program Requirements
  1. Choose one sector to focus on (see the Student Guide). You will take 3 courses that are approved for that specific sector. PC Prep program Advisors are available to assist you with this selection.
  2. A minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or work experience in the same sector.
  3. Two upper-level courses in a foreign language. See the Student Guide for language suggestions for specific countries.
  4. Take 3 Intercultural Competence courses. Take one core Intercultural course: POLS 0209 International Relations or  POLS 0224 Politics of Developing Countries.  You can choose 2 others from the recommended list in the Student Guide.
  5. Schedule an appointment with the Career Center for assistance with your Professional resume and job interview preparation.
  6. You will choose a Leadership project or document a Leadership experience.
  7. Complete the Exit Checklist with your PC Prep program Advisor.