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UC San Diego is No. 14 on the Peace Corps Top Colleges List

For the sixth year in a row, UC San Diego is in the top 15 among large schools for producing the most Peace Corps volunteers


  • Christine Clark

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  • Christine Clark

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Image: Two Peace Corps volunteers practicing the alphabet with children in Mozambique

Two Peace Corps volunteers practicing the alphabet with children in Mozambique.

The University of California, San Diego has been ranked 14th nationally among large schools on the 2016 Peace Corps list of colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps Volunteers, moving up one spot from last year. This marks the sixth consecutive year that UC San Diego has been named in the organization’s top 15 rankings and the 10th straight year that the campus has appeared in the top 25.

The annual Peace Corps rankings recognize the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. There are currently 36 undergraduate alumni from UC San Diego serving overseas in the Peace Corps. In total, UC San Diego has produced 807 Peace Corps volunteers during the last 55 years.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized by the Peace Corps as one of the nation’s top volunteer-producing schools,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our goal is to provide an educational experience that encourages commitments to service and civic engagement, so our students and graduates can positively transform our world and global society.”

Kevin Nguyen is a recent graduate of UC San Diego and is currently serving in Mozambique as a science teacher. He says that living near the International House at UC San Diego encouraged his decision to join the Peace Corps because of all of the stories he heard from international students who had served.

Nguyen says his Peace Corps service has given him an “enlightenment kind of experience.”

“I came into Peace Corps thinking I can change the world for the better,” Nguyen said. “It is such a large goal that a lot of us volunteers have. However, we quickly realized that it’s the little things we do that makes our service [impactful]. Whether it’s teaching a child how to read, helping pay for school for a student or lending a hand in the farms, it is the small things that keep us going.”

Alumni like Nguyen have helped UC San Diego earn many accolades for instilling a commitment to civic engagement among its students. Also for the sixth consecutive year, the campus was ranked the number one university in the nation by Washington Monthly. The rankings are based on three categories: social mobility, research and service; the service category includes the number of UC San Diego alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps.

This year’s Peace Corps rankings follow a 40-year high in applications for the Peace Corps in 2015.

Overall, alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961.

To view the Peace Corps’ 2016 Top Colleges ranking, click here.

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