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FVSU to offer international career training program spring 2016

Published: 11/03/15 9:01AM
By: booner

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Fort Valley State University will soon offer students Peace Corps preparation in spring 2016.

The Peace Corps and Fort Valley State University are collaborating to offer a program designed to enhance the skills of students interested in obtaining international work experience.

 Beginning spring 2016, freshman and sophomore students may enroll in the Peace Corps Prep Program. The Peace Corps is a U.S. service organization developed to send Americans abroad to help countries in meeting their needs in numerous areas. This is FVSU’s first year as a participating institution, joining other public universities such as the University of Missouri and the University of Montana.

Ann Gillespie, FVSU veterinary technologist, will coordinate student recruitment for the Peace Corps Prep Program. Gillespie said the program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for international development work (which may include teaching or digging wells on farms) and global citizenship through coursework and practical learning. Gillespie said freshman and sophomore students are prime applicants because they have time to work in the needed electives with their required major classes.

According to Gillespie, the Peace Corps is interested in various majors, but the focal points are agriculture, health care and economic development. She added other candidates for openings include students in technology, early childhood and grade school education.

Presently, 39 colleges and universities take part in the Peace Corps Prep Program. “The program provides a framework for a well-rounded education that will help students in a global or international market. Most of the courses are in their major, so it’s just being able to add a global aspect to their major. It will not only make them more attractive to the Peace Corps but to NGO’s [non-governmental organizations] and other international organizations,” Gillespie said.

Participating schools independently develop their programs based on the Peace Corps focus on the human experience. The curriculum consists of two years of classwork focusing on international affairs, volunteerism, internships and foreign language study.

Enrollment in the Peace Corps Prep Program does not guarantee participants a position in the Peace Corps. It may however, enhance their chances of selection. 

Leslie Jean-Pierre, regional recruiter and outreach specialist for the southeast regional Peace Corps recruitment office in Atlanta, will visit campus Oct. 28. Jean- Pierre will recruit students for the Peace Corps and encourage them to enroll in the program. Since its inception in March 1961, more than 215,000 people served and provided help to more than 140 countries.

For more information about the Peace Corps Prep Program at FVSU, contact Gillespie at 478-825-6424 or gillespiea@fvsu.edu.