September 18, 2012
Shawnee State University has recently added a new program – the International Service and Peace Corps Prep Program (ISPCPP). It is one of only five universities in the United States to offer the program.
The program prepares students with the necessary skills, experience and academic background to work with international volunteer service organizations, including the Peace Corps.
SSU student Melissa Collins, of Portsmouth, a social science major graduating in the spring of 2013, is applying for the Peace Corps.
"Since my desired career will be human services related, I know my Peace Corps experience will add diversity and promise to any future professional goal," Collins said.
The curriculum includes academic coursework, language study, community service and cross-cultural experiences. Any student who has completed at least one semester and maintains a GPA of 2.5 or higher can apply for the ISPCPP.
It can take up to a year after applying for Peace Corps service to be placed in a host country for 27 months at the most.
The training that goes with this program will provide a foundation of knowledge about global poverty, international development issues and practical experience in interacting with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Tracey Henderson, Ph.D., one of the teachers in the program, went to Ghana when she was 16 as an exchange student and decided she wanted to go back to a developing country and work. In college, her undergraduate work was in agriculture.
She joined the Peace Corps and went to Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working in agricultural development.
"This program will prepare students interested in pursuing international service work or Peace Corps service after graduation," Henderson said.
The course work includes language study, seminars on cross-cultural skills, a class on global poverty and development and upper-level course options on global health, agriculture and food security, global environmental issues, and teaching English as a second language.
Students will need to do several things to complete the course including: