WASHINGTON, March 28, 2017 – Today, the Peace Corps announced its 2017 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Hampton University, Central State University and Prairie View A&M University all appeared on the agency’s annual ranking for the first time. Hampton debuted at No. 4 with four alumni currently serving abroad as Peace Corps volunteers. Central State and Prairie View both rank No. 5, earning a three-way tie with Morehouse College.
For the second year in a row, Howard University, Spelman College and Florida A&M University hold the top three spots on the list. This is the sixth-consecutive year that Howard University produced the most Peace Corps volunteers among HBCUs, with 18 undergraduate alumni currently serving overseas in 14 countries. Spelman College and Florida A&M University earned the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities cultivate a commitment to community-oriented education that inspires their graduates to pursue international service and make an impact abroad with the Peace Corps,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Each year, a growing number of HBCU alumni join the Peace Corps with important experiences and perspectives that give communities overseas a better understanding of the diversity of the United States.”
Both Howard and Spelman also appeared on Peace Corps’ national list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities this year, with Howard ranking No. 14 among medium-sized undergraduate schools and Spelman ranking No. 7 among small schools. Since 1961, 242 Howard alumni and 94 Spelman alumnae have served with the Peace Corps.
Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. College graduates with Peace Corps volunteer experience gain cross-cultural, language and community development skills that build upon their education and give them a competitive edge for career and advanced education opportunities.
Hampton University alumna Devon Howard is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean. She works at a primary school to improve students’ early literacy skills and show them that reading is fun. Howard also teaches an after-school arts club and works on enhancing the school’s library.
“I am a proud alumna of Hampton University,” Howard said. “HU taught me the value of an open mind and a curious spirit that has translated into easier integration in my host community and a deeper appreciation for their culture.”
The Peace Corps has recruiters across the country that visit HBCUs and work closely with prospective volunteers. By hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversity-focused recruitment events, the agency aims to build an inclusive volunteer force and ensure that all Americans know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps’ 2017 top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities are:
1. Howard University: 18 currently serving volunteers
2. Spelman College: 11 currently serving volunteers
3. Florida A&M University: 7 currently serving volunteers
4. Hampton University: 4 currently serving volunteers
5. Central State University: 3 currently serving volunteers
5. Morehouse College: 3 currently serving volunteers
5. Prairie View A&M University: 3 currently serving volunteers
A simple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.