Feb 17, 2012

Local Colleges Remain Top Volunteer Producers for the Peace Corps

Once again, George Washington University and the University of Mary Washington headed up lists of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in two of three major undergraduate categories announced by the Peace Corps in its 2012 Annual College Rankings.

“Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams (Dominican Republic, 1967-1970). “These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship and improve the lives of people around the world.”

With 29 undergraduate alumni currently serving around the world, UMW came in first among "small" schools, retaining a place among top volunteer producers for the ninth consecutive year. Well over 200 Mary Washington alumni have served the 27-month Peace Corps commitment since the program’s inception in 1961.

Joining the list of high achieving small schools, Johns Hopkins University came in 5th place with 22 volunteers and St. Mary’s College of Maryland came in 14th with 18 former students serving around the world.

For the fourth year in a row, GW ranked number one in the medium college and university category with 78 undergraduate alums currently serving in the Corps, closely followed by American University (63). The College of William & Mary (37), and Georgetown (35) also earned spots among the top ten medium sized colleges.

And both the University of Virginia (69) and the University of Maryland (58) appeared on the list of top volunteer-producing “large” universities enrolling 15,000 or more students (UVa moved up this year from the list of medium-sized schools).

Celebrating over 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 countries.

Although a college degree is not mandatory for service, relevant experience in areas such as education, health, business, environment or agriculture is required.

The Peace Corps’ nine regional offices located across the US recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective volunteers including current undergrads. Potential applicants can connect with local recruiters by visiting the Peace Corps website.

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