ASU jumps 9 spots in Peace Corps ranking, landing in top 15

Service organization says 43 Sun Devils are currently volunteering around the world

Farming field in Costa Rica


Arizona State University jumped nine spots this year from its 2016 ranking on the Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, securing a spot in the top 15.

ASU moved up to No. 13 — tying with UCLA and ranking ahead of schools including the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia and Indiana University — with 43 Sun Devils currently volunteering worldwide. Their majors span a breadth of fields, from business to sustainability to global health. 

Peace Corps campus recruiter Breanne Lott said it shows the strength of the partnership between ASU and the Peace Corps.

“Over the past couple years, the partnership has really grown,” she said. “There’s a Peace Corps class, a Peace Corps ambassador internship, a Peace Corps club and more. There are tons of ways to get involved and explore what the Peace Corps has to offer.”

Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 1,052 ASU alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year the university has been recognized on the Top Colleges list, which is compiled annually according to the size of the student body.

“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 in a press release. “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.”

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.

ASU psychology senior Katharine Greer was recently accepted into the Peace Corps and will be heading to Costa Rica in July to teach English. A member of the ASU Peace Corps club, she has been preparing by giving English lessons to refugees in the Phoenix area.

“It’s worthwhile to experience a different culture and way of life,” Greer said. “Especially now, in order to be a global citizen. … Also, I have a desire to help people, and this felt like the perfect way to help now — not after grad school or after I get my PhD, but right now.”

Lott, who served in Ethiopia from 2012 to 2014, said that ASU’s core values line up perfectly with the Peace Corps.

“ASU is a really unique school,” she said. “Its model of a New American University that strives to be socially embedded and part of the global community fits really well with the goals and mission of the Peace Corps.”

This year’s rankings follow the launch of the Peace Corps’ refreshed brand platform that underscores its commitment to putting the user experience first, making the agency more accessible to audiences through the platforms they already use. Interested parties can learn more about service opportunities by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

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.

Top photo: A road winds through a farming area outside Cartago, Costa Rica. ASU psychology senior Katharine Greer will be heading to that nation in July to teach English with the Peace Corps; she has been preparing by giving English lessons to refugees in the Phoenix area as part of the ASU Peace Corps Club. Photo by Jose Conejo Saenz

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