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University of Bridgeport and Peace Corps establish program to prepare students to work for the agency’s international service programs

Leslie Geary
Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The University of Bridgeport (UB) and Peace Corps have established the first academic program in New England to prepare undergraduates for service in the agency’s international service campaigns.

Groundbreaking.jpgPresident Neil Albert Salonen joins Peace Corp Preparation coordinator Dr. Stephen Hess after signing the memorandum of cooperation with the U.S. Peace Corps.

Under the agreement signed on August 27, qualified students in the newly established Peace Corps Preparatory Program will receive an official Certificate of Completion from the Peace Corps, granting them special consideration for placement in the Peace Corps upon graduation.

To qualify for placement, Peace Corps Preparatory Program students must also demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, complete five area studies or global affairs courses, and donate 100 hours of volunteer service, either internationally or in the local community.

The Peace Corps Preparatory Program begins in the spring of 2015.

It will be housed in UB’s College of Public and International Affairs (CPIA), and will be co-coordinated by Stephen Hess, an assistant professor of Political Science and a former Peace Corps volunteer who served as a foreign language instructor in China from 2006 to 2008, and by Brandon LaFavor, who coordinates overseas studies at the University.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and a natural extension of the mission of College of Public and International Affairs,” said CPIA Dean Dr. Thomas Ward.

“The College already strongly encourages internships for undergraduates and is committed to the fostering of deepening of international awareness. This is expressed by the involvement by many of our students in National Model United Nations, in overseas study programs, and in the University status as a registered NGO by the United Nations,” Ward added.
 

About the College of Public and International Affairs
In addition to the Peace Corps Preparatory Program, CPIA offers six undergraduate programs in Criminal Justice and Human Security, International Political Economy and Diplomacy, Martial Arts Studies, Mass Communications, Social Sciences, and World Religions. Its three graduate programs include Global Development and Peace, East Asian and Pacific Rim Studies, and Global Media and Communication Studies.

CPIA graduates include alumni who currently work for the United Nations Development Program, the Council of Europe, the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. Passport Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among other institutions. Four of its faculty have been chosen as Fulbright Scholars, and since 2007, six of CPIA students have been awarded the highly prestigious U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship.

About the Peace Corps
Established in 1961, the Peace Corps is the preeminent international service organization of the United States. It has sent over 215,000 volunteers and trainees to 139 countries to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.


Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu