WWU Ranked Among Top Peace Corps’ Volunteer-Producing Schools

The Peace Corps today released the 2018 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country, and Western Washington University ranked No. 18 among large schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 46 Western alumni currently volunteering worldwide.

WWU has consistently ranked among top schools for over 15 years. A total of 1,012 Western alumni have served in the Peace Corps since the agency was founded in 1961.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. This is the first year Western was ranked among large schools (more than 15,000 students). Previously Western was categorized as a medium-sized school (5,000 to 15,000 students), and last year ranked 2nd among medium-sized schools in the nation.

The top 25 schools in each category were ranked; there are 345 schools in the large category. Western has more alumni serving in the Peace Corps than many much larger schools, including the University of Arizona, University of California-Berkeley and the University of Missouri.

 “I am proud that Western continues to remain one of the top-ranked universities, now that we are ranked among other large universities. This academic year, I’m excited to see a 50 percent increase in applicants thus far, which expresses our students’ desire and commitment to make the world a better place through service,” said Jill MacIntyre Witt, Peace Corps campus representative at Western.

Local returned Peace Corps volunteers will be showcasing their service at the Peace Corps Fair at Western next Thursday, March 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Miller Hall Collaborative Space, followed by a Peace Corps Panel Discussion at 5:30 p.m. in Miller Hall 112. The first week of March is Peace Corps Week where returned volunteers share the culture they learned about in communities across the U.S.

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding. In 2017, Washington ranked No. 7 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, and a total of 9,683 Washingtonians have served since 1961.

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.

“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “As Peace Corps volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”

View the complete 2018 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.