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Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
1. We're the first college or university in the country to host the contemporary Peace Corps Preparatory Program. Our program aligns with the goals of the Peace Corps under its charter: 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. The Peace Corps recently ranked Knox #14 on their list of the nation's top volunteer-producing colleges.
2. Our program produces applicants who stand out. Peace Corps applications are at a 22-year high. To give students the skills they need in the field, our students take courses to develop their intercultural competence and we offer coursework and experiences to fulfill Peace Corps requirements in all six sectors (a rarity for schools our size): education, health, environment, agriculture, youth in development, and community economic development. To give students a full four years to prepare for their experience, first-year students can now join the preparatory program. The result: nearly 100% of those who have gone through the Knox Peace Corps Prep Program have been accepted by the Peace Corps.
3. We have a history of alumni who have served successfully. A year after John F. Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps, Knox alumni were in the field (Darlene Daer Larson ‘58 was among the first group of Peace Corps volunteers in Cameroon). Since then, more than 180 Knox alumni have served (or are currently serving). The high percentage of Knox alumni serving in the Peace Corps was among the criteria used by Washington Monthly when it recognized Knox as one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges.
4. We learn from those who have gone before us. Alumni who have served in the Peace Corps return to Knox frequently to meet with interested students. And every year, Knox sponsors a conference on public service called "Work That Matters: Engaging the World After Knox," which includes panel discussions with alumni and students serving in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and KnoxCorps. This event honors these volunteers and alumni, as well as connects students, faculty, staff, and community members with the insights they have from peacebuilding service all over the world.
Follow the experiences of current Peace Corps volunteers with blogs: