Shippensburg University students will have the opportunity to apply for a Peace Corps Prep program starting this fall.

Several Ship students join the Peace Corps each year, but those who complete the new Peace Corps Prep will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps and preference in hiring. The Peace Corps is twice as likely to hire applicants with Peace Corps Prep certification.

The program is coordinated by the International Studies Program and the Career, Mentoring, and Professional Development Center.

Dr. Jonathan Skaff, Professor of History and Director of International Studies, says it is rare to see a public university with this program. Shippensburg University is only the fifth college or university in Pennsylvania that is a Peace Corps Prep partner.

“The Peace Corps encourages (the program) because it teaches students what it takes to be a good applicant,” Skaff said.

All students are eligible to apply beginning August 2018 and must fulfill academic, career, leadership and work experience requirements.

Applicants must declare a minor in International Developments, which will require courses in international studies and a Peace Corps work sector field such as education, health, environment, agriculture, youth in development or community economic development.

The process also includes each applicant completing 50 hours of volunteer, internship or work experience in their chosen Peace Corps work sector field, obtaining leadership experience in a club or organization, and preparing for a career by completing a resume, application essay and interview.