Iowa State University Selected as Peace Corps Preparation Program Site

More than 935 Iowa State University alums have served in the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961. Rebecca Chamberlin, a 2015 graduate in Environmental Sciences and Global Resource Systems, served in Benin.

AMES, Iowa – The Peace Corps has selected Iowa State University as a training site to help students from across campus prepare for service in other countries.

The Peace Corps Prep Program is offered at 50 universities and colleges throughout the United States. Iowa State was one of 20 schools selected last year to hold this certification. Iowa State currently is the only university in Iowa offering a Peace Crops Prep Program.

“Students from all majors are encouraged to participate in the program,” said Gail Nonnecke, who is serving as the coordinator for the Peace Corps Prep Program on campus. “This will help students qualify to serve in the Peace Corps and help us with our goal of helping students become global citizens.”

Iowa State currently has alumni working in the Peace Corps in several countries. Since the Peace Corps inception in 1961, 935 Iowa State graduates have served throughout the world.

The Peace Corps selected Iowa State in part because the requirements for global resource systems majors help prepare students for the Peace Corps, said Nonnecke, who is a Morrill Professor in the Department of Horticulture, Global Professor in Global Resource Systems and faculty coordinator of the global resource systems major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The global resource systems major requires students to participate in an international internship. Students in the major select a region of the world to focus on, a language to learn and an area of expertise among the majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Peace Corps Prep Program began offering targeted educational and skill-building opportunities to undergraduate students in 2007. The programs provide support for students interested in serving in the Peace Corps and in international development and service communities. The program provides experiences to help students become more competitive Peace Corps applicants.

Each school designs its program based on specific criteria that reflects the Peace Corps’ grassroots, integrated approach. A typical Peace Corps Prep Program consists of two years of coursework with a focus on international development, internships, foreign language studies and volunteer experience related to Peace Corps projects.

The Peace Corps is operated by the United States government and began 55 years ago. Since its implementation more than 220,000 volunteers have served in 140 countries. Volunteers work in areas such as education, health, environment, youth, economic development and agriculture.

For more information about the Peace Corps Prep Program at Iowa State email