WASHINGTON – The Peace Corps announced this week that the University of Florida (UF) ranked No. 3 among Peace Corps Prep schools on the agency’s list of top certificate-issuing institutions in 2020. UF issued 35 Prep certificates to the graduating class of 2020. There were 305 Gators enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep program during the 2019-20 academic year.

Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program, which teaches students sector-specific skills, foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence, 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.

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 broad and relevant areas of expertise and to support schools’ efforts to provide substantive, globally focused experiences for their students.

“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.”

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

“Peace Corps Prep is a wonderful opportunity for all undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad,” said La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps director of University Programs. “Congratulations to the top ten Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing schools, and a special thanks to all of our partnering institutions for cultivating students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”

At the University of Florida, Peace Corps Prep is an avenue for undergraduate students to structure their global learning experience along with the International Scholars Program (ISP) housed at the International Center.

“Peace Corps Prep at the University of Florida provides a path for students to internationalize their education, regardless of their degree, while they earn valuable transferable skills and contribute to their communities. Additionally, having a Peace Corps recruiter on campus gives our students access to an increased number of Peace Corps-related events on campus, and they can also connect to a newly created returned Peace Corps volunteer network. Being able to assist and guide students as they navigate the International Scholars Program and Peace Corps Prep on their journey to become global leaders has been an honor,” said Carly Vogelsang, coordinator of the Office of Global Learning at the University of Florida International Center.

The top ten 2019-20 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing institutions are:

Rankings Certificate Issued

1. Virginia Commonwealth University 81
2. University of South Florida 49
3. University of Florida 35
4. Pacific Lutheran University 34
5. Mercer University 28 (tied)
6. Monmouth University 28 (tied)
7. The University at Albany - SUNY 22
8. University of South Carolina 19
9. University of Georgia 18

10.University of Vermont 17

Interested students can find additional information about the Peace Corps Prep program at the University of Florida by contacting Carly Vogelsang at cvogelsang@ufic.ufl.edu or 352.273.4439.

About the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment, and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.