CU-Boulder ranks No. 6 nationally
 for Peace Corps volunteers

The University of Colorado Boulder is ranked No. 6 in the nation for graduates serving as Peace Corps volunteers with 62 alumni currently serving around the world, the Peace Corps announced today.

In the annual Top Colleges list, CU-Boulder has held a position in the top eight nationally among large institutions for the past 13 years, ranking in the top three for nine of those years. CU-Boulder also has been the state leader among Colorado institutions of similar size each year since 2003.

“We’re excited to see this evidence of global awareness and action among CU-Boulder students,” said Ben Kirshner, faculty director of CU Engage: Center for Community-Based Learning and Research. “Peace Corps volunteers show that ethically oriented community engagement can cross national borders.”

CU-Boulder is the fifth-highest volunteer-producing university of all time with 2,411 undergraduate alumni having served in the program since it was established in 1961.

“University of Colorado Boulder always provides highly qualified and competitive applicants who are committed to service and to making a difference in their local communities and communities abroad,” said Mike McKay, Peace Corps Southwest regional manager. “We’re grateful for their partnership and continued commitment to the Peace Corps and to public service.”

This year’s rankings follow historic reforms implemented by Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who spoke at CU-Boulder in 2013 and 2014. The recent changes to simplify and personalize the application and selection processes resulted in a 22-year application high for the agency in 2014, according to Peace Corps officials.

Topping the large-schools category of the list, the University of Washington ranked No. 1 with 72 volunteers. The University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked No. 2 with 69 volunteers and the University of Florida ranked No. 3 with 66 volunteers. The Ohio State University ranked No. 4 with 64 volunteers and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities ranked No. 5 with 63 volunteers.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. Large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and small schools have fewer than 5,000 undergraduates.

Western Washington University ranked first among medium-sized schools with 47 undergraduate alumni currently serving and Gonzaga University in Washington ranked highest among small schools with 20 undergraduate alumni serving.

In 2010, CU-Boulder became part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program, which allows volunteers to combine Peace Corps service with a master’s degree program and receive credit for their Peace Corps service abroad.

For more information about the Peace Corps at CU-Boulder, call the campus recruiting office at 303-492-8454 or visit their website. More information about CU Engage here. For the Top Colleges 2015 list, go here.

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