Peace Corps Prep Program

The Peace Corps Prep Program (PCPP) at Aurora University is an undergraduate certificate program designed to partner with the Leadership Studies major - although all majors and fields of study are welcome. The curriculum for the Global Service concentration (within the Leadership Studies major) offers a multidisciplinary approach on the topics of globalization, cultural competency, social and economic development, and humanitarian issues as well as empowers students to continue developing their vocational path and outlook within international settings.

The Peace Corps Prep Program helps to enhance this education process with additional learning outcomes, skills, and resources designed to better prepare students for entry into the Peace Corps or other professional international development careers. As a recognized credential, students completing the necessary requirements for the Aurora University Peace Corps Prep Program (in addition to the requirements for their major) will graduate with both an undergraduate degree and the PCPP certificate.

What is the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps is a volunteer-based organization directed by the U.S. government to provide assistance and support to global social/economic initiatives by serving within international communities. Located in over 65 countries, Peace Corps volunteers serve through various settings including working with governments, nonprofit organizations, foundations, schools, and businesses to help tackle some of the greatest challenges facing those communities.

More information regarding the Peace Corps, its global initiatives, and resources for future volunteers can be found at: https://www.peacecorps.gov

Requirements for the Peace Corps Prep Program

Students at Aurora University choosing to participate in the PCPP must complete four learning requirements:

1. Intercultural Competence

Students must take 2 courses (3 if non-LS major) focused on intercultural competency, diversity, inclusion, and/or expanding their understanding of globalization. Available courses include:

LTS1200 Intro to Latino Cultural Studies (4)
LTS/PSC3200 Contemporary Latin American Politics (4)
ENG3520 Racial and Ethnic Themes in Literature (4)
COM3500 Intercultural Communication (4)
HIS3100 The African American Experience (4)
HIS/SBS3350 The Native Americans (4)
HIS3450 Latin American History (4)
SBS2100 Human Geography (4)
SOC1100 Introduction to Society (4)
SOC2150 Cultural Anthropology (4)
SOC2250 Social Inequalities (4)
SOC/PSC2500 Human Rights and Responsibilities (4)
SPN3600 Latin American Civilization & Culture (4)

2. Expertise in Work Sector

Students must take at least 3 courses that build their capacity to work in one of the following sectors:

Education Track (12 semester hours)

PED1510 Foundations of Teaching K-12 Physical Education (4)
PED2510 K-12 Learning through Fitness Activities (4)
PED2520 K-12 Learning through Sport Activities (4)
EDU2100 Foundations of Teaching & Learning (4)
EDU2260 Learning Theories and Application K-12 (4)
EDU3110 Foundations for Language Minority Education (2)
EDU3120 Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL (4)
EDU/ENG3180 Multicultural Literature for Children (4)
EDU3350 Democracy, Diversity and Social Justice for Teachers (4)

Health Track (12 semester hours)

PED1200 Fitness for Life (2)
HED1500 Health Behaviors & Social Responsibility (4)
HED3260 Strategies in Health Promotion (4)
HED3300 Planning for Health Education (4)
SWK2050 Drugs and Human Behavior: Substance Abuse Eval. and Treatment (4)
BIO1060 Human Biology (4)
BIO2080 Nutrition and Health Promotion (4)
BIO/PSC/SOC3700 Politics of Global Health & Medicine (4)
PSY1100 General Psychology (4)
PSY3250 Lifespan Development (4)
PSY3430 Gender, Sexuality and Society (4)

Environment Track (12 semester hours)

BIO1220 Biology of Organisms (4)
BIO2200 Humans and the Environment (4)
BIO2350 Introduction to Botany (4)
BIO3370 Conservation Biology (4)
BIO3510 Ecology (4)

In addition, students must accumulate a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or work experience (preferably in the same work sector) through one of the following options:

  • Student-teaching program
  • Internship
  • Field-work experience
  • Undergraduate research project
  • Formal volunteer program

3. Professional/Leadership Development

Students are expected to attend a formal Career Services workshop/meeting on professional development, as well as actively develop and refine their leadership skills through completion of at least 2 of the following courses or options:

  • LED1500: Foundations of Leadership
  • LED2320: Intro to Nonprofit Leadership
  • At least one semester (16 weeks) in a formal leadership position (officer level) in a student registered organization
  • At least one semester (16 weeks) serving in a peer leader or mentor role, such as a resident assistant or peer advisor
  • Complete all levels of the LEAD program

4. Foreign Language Skills

Student should be able to communicate and interact professionally using a non-English language. Students must complete at least two (2) foreign-language courses at the 2000-level or higher, or test out at a strong intermediate proficiency level.

Career Opportunities

In addition to serving in the Peace Corps, a PCPP certificate can help prepare you for numerous other careers fields including:

  • Global Development (ex: USAID)
  • Community Organizing
  • Government (ex: US Department of State)
  • Public Policy/Public Administration
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Lobbying Agencies
  • Social Policy Institutes

Program Coordinator

For more information or to apply for the Peace Corps Prep Program, please contact the program’s coordinator:

Amir St. Clair
Director of Servant Leadership
630-844-7556
astclair@aurora.edu