CSB ranked No. 21 in 2014 Peace Corps volunteer rankings

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February 13, 2014

The College of Saint Benedict was ranked No. 21 in the Peace Corps Top Colleges 2014 rankings, which recognize the top 25 volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country.

CSB had 11 alumnae currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers. The Peace Corps defines the term "currently serving" as those who were serving on Sept. 30, 2013.

CSB moved up 23 spots from its 2013 ranking, when it was not listed in the top 25 among small colleges and universities (defined as less than 5,000 undergraduate students).

"Each year, 8 to 10 percent of College of Saint Benedict alumnae choose to volunteer after graduation," said Mary Harlander-Locke, associate director of Career Services at CSB and SJU who helps coordinate Peace Corps campus visits and information sessions.

"With the exceptionally large numbers of students that choose to participate in global experiences such as study abroad, alternative break trips and internships, it's wonderful to see the large number volunteering with the Peace Corps. It continues the strong Benedictine tradition of providing service that is definitely a part of their CSB and SJU experience," Harlander-Locke said.

Since the Peace Corps was established by President John Kennedy in 1961, 143 CSB graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Overall, more than 215,000 Americans have served in 139 countries worldwide.

Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., ranked first among small colleges and universities, with 22 graduates currently serving. Three other Minnesota schools made the listing - Macalester College and Carleton College, tied at No. 3 with 16 volunteers each, and St. Olaf College, tied for sixth with 15 volunteers.

Volunteers serve a 27-month term in the Peace Corps - three months of training, followed by 24 months in the field. They receive paid living expenses and full health and dental coverage while overseas. Upon completion of their term, they are eligible for graduate school programs and federal hiring benefits.

There will be a Peace Corps information session at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13 at Mary Hall, Saint John's University, for all students interested in exploring the Peace Corps as a post-graduation option. An information table will also be available from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that day at Sexton Commons, SJU.