U.S. Peace Corps Announces 2016 Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

By Julia Dunn on February 26, 2016

This past week, the U.S. Peace Corps announced their top volunteer-producing schools list for 2016 in a recent press release, reflecting Washington as the state with the most first-placing colleges in several categories. Three Washington schools occupied the top ranks in their respective groups. 

The University of Washington is top-ranked among large volunteer-producing colleges and universities. Additionally, the university is also listed on the Peace Corps’ top volunteer-producing graduate schools list. Among small colleges, Gonzaga University and the University of Puget Sound are tied for first place, which rounds out three of seven total schools represented on the list.

According to the press release, more than 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961.

“The Peace Corps is a unique opportunity for college graduates to put their education into practice and become agents of change in communities around the world,” said Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet in the press release. “Today’s graduates understand the importance of intercultural understanding and are raising their hands in record numbers to take on the challenge of international service.”

The organization itself works to serve people globally by sending Americans abroad for social justice work in various communities in need. Peace Corps volunteers engage in grassroots activism for justice and sustainability. Those who volunteer with the Peace Corps cultivate worldly perspective and an expanded sense of community.

Below are the top five colleges and universities in each of the five categories plus the number of alumni who are currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers (indicated in parentheses):

Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 undergraduates

1. University of Washington (72)

2. University of Wisconsin–Madison (68)

3. University of Florida (59)

3. University of Minnesota (59)

5. University of Colorado Boulder (53)

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. The George Washington University (43)

2. American University (42)

3. Western Washington University (41)

4. Cornell University (38)

5. University of Virginia (36)

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Less than 5,000 undergraduates

1. Gonzaga University (18)

1. University of Puget Sound (18)

3. Macalester College (17)

4. The Evergreen State College (13)

4. Carleton College (13)

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1. Tulane University (18)

2. University of Denver (17)

2. University of Michigan (17)

4. University of Washington (16)

5. American University (15)

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley (3,615)

2. University of Wisconsin–Madison (3,184)

3. University of Washington (2,937)

4. University of Michigan (2,640)

5. University of Colorado Boulder (2,435)

The Peace Corps welcomes participation of students and young people to effect tangible social change.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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