Update: We've added the full conversation with Dr. Renae Duncan about this program, which aired on Sounds Good.
Murray State University is the first academic institution in Kentucky to become a Peace Corps Prep partner school. The program is a field of study designed to help students develop competencies that the volunteer service organization looks for in applicants.
Murray State Acting Provost Dr. Renae Duncan says the program doesn’t require students to go into the Peace Corps (and doesn't guarantee that they'll get in) but provides an opportunity for experiential learning from studying abroad to an internship in the local community.
“It’s a series of courses and experiences that help ensure that the student has all of the skills that they would need to go into anything in life that would involve working with different cultures, different communities, different areas of study," says Duncan.
Duncan says the Peace Corps is important to a large group at Murray State. She says it's not unusual to have a few graduates serve each year. A large number of faculty and staff have also served, she says.
In the past, someone interested in joining would just apply after graduation and hope they got in, with nothing specifically set up at the university to prepare the student.
The program is intended to ensure students graduate with the experience and knowledge sought out by the Peace Corps.
"The program really does give the graduate a head start in comparison to people who applied to the Peace Corps who don’t have that experience," says Duncan.
The Peace Corps is a government-run volunteer service organization. According to their Facebook page, approximately 220-thousand volunteers have served in more than 140 countries since its founding 55 years ago.