Earlham College is starting Peace Corps Prep this fall. The new program through Earlham’s Center for Social Justice aims to help prepare students for service in the Peace Corps.

The program, which begins next fall, will be the latest opportunity as part of the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (EPIC). EPIC is a comprehensive program focusing on collaboration and project-based learning to allow students to look at problems in various ways and seek solutions to the challenges facing the world today.

At Earlham, the Peace Corps program will be one of almost 20 options available to students, focusing on topics such as art, nature, conservation, law and social justice and medical humanities.

“Students who participate in this program will have an edge in their application to the Peace Corps,” said Jennifer Seely, associate professor of politics and the director of Earlham’s Peace Corps Prep program. “Our students can also benefit by preparing for other international development opportunities if service in the Peace Corps isn’t right for them.”

Seely, who worked as a health and nutrition aid at the Ivory Coast from 1992 to 1994 while serving in the Peace Corps, is looking forward to directing the initiative.

“I'm so excited to help Earlham students embrace similar opportunities, because so many already have a passion for service, and this program helps prepare them to offer their best help no matter where they serve, “ said Seely. “My Peace Corps service offered me an invaluable perspective on day-to-day life in the developing world, and that experience has indelibly shaped my life and my career.”

Earlham is one of a select few liberal arts colleges approved to offer such a program through the Peace Corps. The organization was established in 1961 by former U.S. President John F. Kennedy with help from Clarence Pickett, a former Earlham professor.

Since then, nearly 235 Earlham graduates have served in the Peace Corps, making it one of the nation’s leaders for the percentage of its graduates who have joined the organization.