Carrie launches all out campaign to increase applications by almost three fold!

Peace Corps is suddenly being promoted everywhere. A glamorous Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet appeared on RPCV Chris Matthews “Hardball” TV show. President Obama announces in a new TV commercial “Peace Corps Wants You.”The focus of the attention is the rollout of the new, streamlined application process. Numerous articles are describing and analyzing this new “quick” application process.

To begin at the beginning, The Peace Corps Blog, Passport, has the announcement of the new process.

Here is the text of the Passport Post:

“The notion of going to another country to teach skills and learn about a different culture doesn’t seem out of the ordinary today, but for much of the Peace Corps’ history, we were the only volunteer program that let Americans make a difference and see the world. Over the course of 52 years, Peace Corps has sent 215,000 trained and skilled Americans to work beside people in host countries, learn new languages, embrace new cultures, and open hearts and minds – including their own.

We recognize that the Peace Corps has to modernize our processes to keep up with a rapidly changing world. That’s why today we’re announcing a brand new Peace Corps application and online user experience for people who want to make Peace Corps a part of their lives. Here are four new things that make it easier than ever to apply for Peace Corps service:

1. Applicants can apply to specific countries and programs. Our website now lists all open programs by country, work area and departure date, so applicants can browse service opportunities. Applicants can apply to between one and three specific programs at a time, or they can choose to apply for service wherever they are needed most. Giving applicants these options allows them to select the path that best fits their personal and professional goals.

2.Our application is MUCH shorter. Our new application takes one hour to complete. What used to be more than 60 printed pages taking more than eight hours to complete is now a short online application that focuses solely but rigorously on the most relevant information to help the agency select the most qualified best candidates.

3.Know the application deadline and departure date for the programs you want. Each open Peace Corps position now has Apply By and Know By dates, so applicants know when they can expect to receive an invitation to serve. If they apply on time, they’ll know if they were selected on time – just like applying to college or a job. These deadlines help applicants plan for the future.

4.We’re reaching out to YOU. Did you start an application during the last 18 months but never finish? Have you attended a Peace Corps event but never went further than that? Expect to hear from us. We are calling and emailing the many thousands of you who haven’t yet completed an application to learn more about what you want to do and how we can match you with a life-changing experience.

If you’re ready to serve, we’re ready to help you figure where and how you’ll be making a difference, and we are just a phone call or email away. Learn about our new and improved application process, or if you’re ready to take the next step, browse our program openings. It’s easier to complete your Peace Corps application than ever before.”

Helen Lowman is Peace Corps’ Associate Director of the Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection.

To read the article with pictures (!) here is the link:

The Washington Post also has an article describing the new process. Here is that link:

Adam Chandler in The Wire has an article. Here is that link:

The National Peace Corps Association also describes the new process on its Facebook Page.

These welcome changes do come under the category of “Why didn’t they think of this before?” RPCV Lawrence F.Lihosit had made the suggestion of posting open positions online, by country, long ago and right here on the web pages of Peace Corps Worldwide. Perhaps Peace Corps should assign someone to review  the comments and suggestions posted here!

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