LOS ANGELES, February 28, 2017 – Today, the Peace Corps announced that the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), ranked No. 18 among large schools on the agency’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 40 Gauchos currently volunteering worldwide.
“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”
Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 1,681 alumni from UCSB have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. This is the seventh consecutive year the school has ranked among the top universities.
In total, three large schools from the University of California system were recognized and UCSB is one of five California state universities making this year’s list. In 2016, Califoria ranked No. 1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, with 916 volunteers serving worldwide.
Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
Amanda Larson, a 2013 UCSB graduate, served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2014–2016 in Malawi. She believes the time spent at her alma mater prepared her for service abroad.
“I balanced a lot during my time at UCSB: a great, professional job and my studies, on top of a social life,” Larson said. “It helped me become a well-rounded and successful student and person. This translated into my Peace Corps service as well.”
This year’s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed brand platform that underscores the agency’s commitment to putting the user experience first and makes the Peace Corps more accessible to audiences through the platforms they already use. A simple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by assignment area, country and departure date by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.
The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2017 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.
Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
More than 15,000 undergraduates
1. University of Wisconsin–Madison 87
2. University of Washington 73
3. University of Minnesota 70
4. University of Michigan 60
5. University of Florida 58
Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates
1. American University 54
2. Western Washington University 48
3. The George Washington University 45
4. The College of William & Mary 36
5. Humboldt State University 33
Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Less than 5,000 undergraduates
1. Denison University 16
2. University of Mary Washington 13
2. University of Puget Sound 13
4. St. Mary’s College of Maryland 12
4. Whitworth University 12
4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges 12
Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:
1. American University 20
1. Tulane University 20
3. University of South Florida 18
4. University of Michigan 15
4. Boston University 15
Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:
1. University of California, Berkeley 3,640
2. University of Wisconsin–Madison 3,239
3. University of Washington 2,981
4. University of Michigan 2,684
5. University of Colorado Boulder 2,468
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.