University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM Again Among Peace Corps' Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

Sydney Groth volunteering in Panama
Sydney Groth '13 (center) served as an education volunteer in Panama. “I was always so impressed with the people, students and professors I came across at UVM. There was always such a hunger to learn and help others, which greatly impacted my decision to join Peace Corps."

The University of Vermont is ranked No. 8 among medium-sized schools in the Peace Corps’ 2017 ranking of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country. The ranking recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the U.S. for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. This is the ninth consecutive year that UVM has ranked among the top medium-size schools, with 29 UVM alumni currently volunteering worldwide.

In addition, Vermont ranked No. 1 among Peace Corps’ top volunteer-producing states in 2016, while the Burlington-South Burlington metro area ranked No. 2 for the highest number of volunteers per capita.

“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. “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.”

“Our high ranking year after year on the list of top Peace Corps schools is no surprise to anyone who knows UVM,” said Tom Sullivan, UVM president. “Our students are singularly active, service-minded, and devoted to making the world a better place. I’m proud that UVM is on this list once again and honor the service and many accomplishments of our Peace Corps volunteers over the years.”

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. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 895 alumni from UVM have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

UVM has actively partnered with the Peace Corps to further the agency’s recruitment efforts on campus, particularly in launching the undergraduate certificate program known as Peace Corps Prep. Undergraduate students enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep program at UVM combine targeted coursework with hands-on experience, building the competencies needed to become competitive Peace Corps applicants and international development professionals.

Sydney Groth graduated from UVM in 2013 and served as an education volunteer in Panama. “I was always so impressed with the people, students and professors I came across at UVM.There was always such a hunger to learn and help others, which greatly impacted my decision to join Peace Corps. I learned to love Latin America from my studies and I was eager to put into practice my cross-cultural studies and language skills,” said Groth, who majored in Human Development and Family Studies at UVM.  

This year’s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed brand platform that underscores the agency’s commitment to putting the user experience first and makes the Peace Corps more accessible to audiences through the platforms they already use. A simple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by assignment area, country and departure date by visiting the Peace Corps and connecting with a recruiter.