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Tulane ranks on Peace Corps top graduate colleges list

Peace CorpsThis year Tulane University ranks No. 4 on the 2013 top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the graduate school category, and No. 18 in the undergraduate medium school category. The annual list recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions.

“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”

There are currently 16 graduate students and 23 undergraduate alumni serving overseas in 19 host countries. Since 1961, 469 Tulane alumni have served in the Peace Corps.

Many of the graduate students currently serving abroad are with the Master’s International program. This program allows students the opportunity to integrate a master's degree with overseas service. Tulane MI students earn their Master in Public Health or Master of Science in Public Health while simultaneously serving in the Peace Corps. The program is designed for students to apply skills learned in an academic setting toward solving important health problems in developing countries during their service overseas.

“The unique partnership between the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Master’s International program helps us promote the Peace Corps mission and reaffirms our collaboration and commitment to providing highly qualified volunteers who are committed to serving and making a difference in communities overseas,” said Mike McKay, Southwest Regional Manager.

Carlie Congdon earned a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience from Tulane and stayed to join the Masters International program for a degree in Environmental Health Sciences. She’s currently serving in Vanuatu as a community health facilitator. She credits her time at Tulane for motivating her to join Peace Corps.

“Tulane really inspired me to join Peace Corps because following Katrina there was such a spirit of volunteerism in coming together to rebuild that was really motivating,” said Congdon. “The diversity of professors and student body helped me realize how much work there really was waiting to be done in developing countries. In joining the MI program I also got to hear stories from RPCVs that helped to prepare me for life here and find ways to apply all the knowledge I had learned in classes to my service.”

Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.

During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date. The next application deadline is February 28, 2013.

The Peace Corps ranks Top Colleges annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of September 30, 2012 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

You can view the entire top 25 rankings for each school size category, as well as all-time and graduate school rankings here.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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