Nothing New Under the Sun

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: January 2004 Peace Corps Headlines: January 11, 2004 - Dayton Daily News: Peace Corps opens up to younger volunteers : Nothing New Under the Sun

By Michael S. Honegger (mhonegger) ( - on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 9:10 am: Edit Post

Not wishing to dampen the fires of Peace Corps Online, the policy of recruiting at two year community colleges is hardly new to the Peace Corps. For many years during the 1970's, recruitment campaigns were frequently conducted at community colleges in order to attract "scarce skill" candidates for positions such as agricultural mechanics, general mechanics, and other vocational education graduates who were simply not accessible in liberal arts colleges. Many of these recruits served their host countries with distinction and responded to host country needs that many a liberal arts graduate would have a hard time duplicating.

By Joel Fritzler ( - on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 10:08 am: Edit Post

The level of education and experience of a PCV's counterpart has increased since the 60s so it may be problematic to send PCVs with little education and even less work experience.

Joel Fritzler, PCV-Botswana 90-92, UNV-Malawi 93-94

By David Wright ( on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 11:31 am: Edit Post

I spent a most unsuccessful 2 years at a community college in the early 60´s but had 5 great years as a PCV in 2 countries and have been working successfully in International Developement ever since. I see no reason why PC should have to lower its standards just because they expand the area of recruitment. In fact, with a larger recruitment base, they should be able to raise standards as many older and very experienced people attend community colleges and they are the ones who still seek new experiences and adventures. They may also be the ones who most need an eye opener like the Peace Corps and will likely be a positive influence on their less-than-wordly friends when they return as RPCVs. dtw, Ecuador

By Joanne Marie Roll ( on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:24 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps service is a regressive tax - the poorer one is, the more the two year volunteering costs. This is the real reason why Peace Corps remains ethnically and economically Anglo and affluent. Recruiting community college students is Peace Corps way of addressing its lack of diversity. A much better way was suggested by Hugh Pickens, Publisher of peacecorpsonline. He recommended that if students would major in a skill/language area needed in Peace Corps and commit to then serve for two years; the government would cover college costs.
What we need are good ideas like this. We need good data bases and sound program evaluations and policy decisions based on good evidence. Instead, of course, we get one more recruiting campaign. Joanne Marie Roll Colombia 63-65

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