Western tops Peace Corps rankings
WWU University Communications and Marketing
Western Washington University is number one on the Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges rankings among medium schools with 73 undergraduate alumni currently serving. This is the first time WWU has ranked No. 1 on the list.
“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”
Historically, 885 WWU alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers since the agency was founded in 1961.
“This Peace Corps ranking is a tremendous honor and a demonstration of the strong commitment by our alumni in service to others,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.
“One of the things I hear most often about our students is that they come to Western wanting to lead a purposed life," Shepard said. "With so many Western alumni serving in the Peace Corps and other forms of public service, it is obvious that they are committed to doing just that. Western looks forward to sending the Peace Corps many more of our students’ active minds to change lives around the world.”
University of Washington and Gonzaga University also rank number one on the Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges rankings in the large and small school categories with 107 and 24 undergraduate alumni serving, respectively.
This is the fifth time UW has been number one and the first time Gonzaga has been number one. Also, it’s the first time all the number-one schools in the three categories hail from the same state.
Five other universities in Washington also made the Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges rankings, all in the small school category: Seattle University (No. 5, 19 alumni currently serving), University of Puget Sound (No. 8, 18 alumni), Evergreen State College (No. 8, 16 alumni), Whitman College (No. 8, 16 alumni), Pacific Lutheran University (No. 18, 15 alumni).
Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.
During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date. The next application deadline is February 28, 2013.
The Peace Corps ranks Top Colleges annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of September 30, 2012 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.