December 13, 2003 - Cleveland Plain Dealer: Peace Corps to begin recruiting graduates of two year community colleges

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: January 2004 Peace Corps Headlines: January 11, 2004 - Dayotn Daily News: Peace Corps opens up to younger volunteers : December 13, 2003 - Cleveland Plain Dealer: Peace Corps to begin recruiting graduates of two year community colleges

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 10:12 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps to begin recruiting graduates of two year community colleges

Read and comment on this story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Peace Corps will launch a new recruitment initiative in February targeting graduates of two year community colleges to join the ranks of Peace Corps Volunteers.

Over its forty year history, the Peace Corps has traditionally required that volunteers possess either a college degree or special skills based on real life job experience. The policy of recruiting graduates from two-year community college programs is a new and untested one and we have concerns about its potentially negative effects on the Peace Corps. We have three concerns: First that graduates of two year community college programs may lack the skills and maturity to serve effectively as Peace Corps Volunteers and that the overall quality of volunteers may fall if this policy is adopted. The second concern is that Countries of Service may not want to accept volunteers who do not possess a college degree. This was certainly an issue in the 1960's when the Peace Corps was first getting started. Third, "perception is reality" as they say in the PR world, and if the perception becomes widespread that volunteers do not possess the education or skills to serve effectively, then the overall image of the Peace Corps may be affected, and even the best qualified volunteers may suffer.

We understand that the Peace Corps wants to recruit from a larger pool of potential volunteers to meet President Bush's goal of doubling the Peace Corps by 2007. However this new policy, if adopted, may have the unintended result of diluting or damaging the Peace Corps' "brand name" that Director Vasquez talked about during his confirmation hearings. We urge the Peace Corps to consider this policy decision with care. It has taken forty years to build the positive image that the Peace Corps now enjoys - why take a chance on a policy that may damage that image? We'll be covering this issue in more detail in coming issues of PCOL. For now, read the story and leave your comments at:

Peace Corps to begin recruiting community college graduates*

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Peace Corps to begin recruiting community college graduates


For the first time in its history, the Peace Corps will start targeting community college graduates to join its ranks of volunteers. The 42-year-old organization, founded by President John F. Kennedy, will launch the new recruitment initiative in February.

Until now, the Peace Corps has primarily relied on graduates of four-year colleges. The volunteers are sent to developing countries around the world, where they work with local residents in such areas as public health, AIDS education, environmental preservation and business and agricultural development.

Barbara Daly, press secretary for the organization, said the initiative is part of a larger goal to increase diversity among its volunteers. She said recruiting at community colleges will bring in older adults, couples and graduates with world and job experience.

Openings for community college graduates will primarily be in the health care, agriculture and information technology fields. Daly said the recruitment initiative will be launched at colleges in Southern California, Minnesota, Denver and Washington, D.C.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Community Colleges



By carolburch ( - on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit Post

I have serious reservations about the effectiveness of Jr. Col. grads as Peace Corps Volunteers. During my tenure as a volunteer I became aware that although my efforts were welcome, with only 4 years of teaching experience in addition to my BS degree,I was not "senior" enough to provide serious instruction or leadership within the community. In my experience, the community is much more willing to follow the leadership of an individual with more years of experience.
The recent associate degree recipients would, themselves, learn a tremendous amount, as I did during service. Their effectiveness will best be revealed in the behaviors they model which are accepted and adhered to by the youth in their communities. Are we willing to assume they will be mature enough to make good choices?

By Jim Piper, RPCV Yemen 94, Seychelles 95 ( - on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 10:38 am: Edit Post

I also have serious reservations about recruiting Jr. Col. grads. Diversity and numbers are good goals, but quality and safety should not be sacraficed. Better to invest the money and time searching out and recruiting more mid-career and retired people. With the VAST number of unemployeed professionals today in America - it should be not hard to gear up a recruitment campaigned targeting them. They are experienced, they have degrees, they are unemployeed, many are contemplating major career changes - they can be excellent Peace Corps volunteers. We should get them.

By Albert N. Glosser ( - on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 4:27 pm: Edit Post

Skills are the important requirements for a sucessful volunteer! Maturity comes at any age and years of education! I served from 1966 to 1969 in Chile and returned for Earthquake relief in 1970(Peru). At the time I was chosen, I had an Associate Degree from the two year program of a good
Engineering University( R.I.T.).Half of my PC group
were Nurses, most had the RN, also equivalent to an Associate Degree!We did very well!! However, we were
Replacing a selected (4.0) group trained at MSU, who
didn't have a sucessful program ratio!
It's the individual that preforms the task, And neither a B.S.( B.A.) or Community Colleges Graduate will predetermine the outcome!!
Do the best selection possible and keep the groups mixed!PS: I have resently retired from 34 years teaching at the Community College Level, I've recruited all those years for the PC and enjoyed
all of it! Thankyou.

By Anita ( on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 10:13 am: Edit Post

This reservations about the Jr. College graduates seem to be more like predjudices. I am going to be a Jr. College graduate in six months, I am almost twenty-one years old, and I have voluteered in programs at the hospital and other places with success. I am extremely interested in volunteering for the Peace Corps and was very set back by the requirement of a four-year degree. The individual should be given the chance to do his/her best. Thank you.

By VNightingale ( on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 8:05 pm: Edit Post

I think this is a great idea and certainly more representative of the population of the United States since the number of college graduates is still well below 50%. This may change the demographics of the typical PCV and give more Americans the opportunity for cultural experiences. The more Americans exposed to other cultures the less ignorance we will have in America. I served in Ghana from 2000 to 2002 and my experience was and continues to be rewarding.

By bobbie ( - on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 12:48 am: Edit Post

I also think it is a great idea i have talked to people that say that nothing they learned in college prepared them for the peace corps and alot believe that you she be able to be recruted right out of high school, because they trian you while your there, and after all it is volunteer work

By PCHopeful ( - on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 3:09 pm: Edit Post

Ah, so that's where my recruiter is! (I'm a 42-year-old registered nurse with community health experience, teaching experience, a bachelor's and some graduate work, and I can't get a recruiter to answer my email. I knew there must be a reason.)

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