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Education


Hiram becomes training ground for the Peace Corps
One of six schools chosen for the prep program for overseas work
Story by AMY HANSEN


 
Hiram has been highlighting its ties to the Peace Corps, including alumni who have volunteered with the program.
Courtesy of HIRAM COLLEGE
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Most college students don’t see themselves as Peace Corps volunteers when they graduate. But for those who do, the Peace Corps is working with select colleges to improve their chances of being accepted. StateImpact Ohio’s Amy Hansen reports Northeast Ohio's Hiram College is among the latest schools chosen to participate.

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Hiram College is among six schools nationwide chosen to offer the Peace Corps Prep Program beginning next fall. They join eight others, including Ohio’s Wittenberg University and Shawnee State, already offering the training.

Peace Corps Prep is a combination of courses and community service that, taken together, prepare students for work in international development, according to the agency.

Students who finish the program get a special certificate along with their degree in their chosen field.  A certificate doesn’t guarantee applicants acceptance into the Peace Corps, but it does give them a competitive edge.

For those who do get in, the financial rewards are minimal. But Hiram’s program director, Lisa Safford, maintains the experience is worth it.

 “I’ve heard from returnees that the experience is so enriching, and so confidence-building, that they come back and think there’s nothing that they cannot do. And I don’t mean to exaggerate that potential, but I do think that the perception is the experience is very worthwhile.”

Peace Corps volunteers get a living stipend and a modest bonus upon completing a two-year stint

More than 215,000 volunteers have worked in developing international countries through the Peace Corps since it was created 53 years ago.

 

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