CSU, Chico News

University Ranks No. 10 Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Date: 06-04-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Jennifer Gruber, coordinator
Study Abroad and International Exchange

California State University, Chico has been ranked No. 10 on the Peace Corps’ national 2015 list of top volunteer-producing Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI). HSIs are schools where Hispanics make up at least 25 percent of total enrollment, as defined by the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU).

The University currently has 15 alumni serving in the Peace Corps. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 625 alumni from CSU, Chico have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

“Many alumni of Chico State’s study abroad program are eager to get back overseas post-graduation,” said CSU, Chico Study Abroad and International Exchange Coordinator Jennifer Gruber. “Our office works closely with the Peace Corps to promote this wonderful opportunity to students.”

CSU, Chico joins eight other California institutions on the list, including four CSU campuses (San Diego, Humboldt, Long Beach and Fullerton). The state produces more Peace Corps volunteers than any other state nationwide. More than 29,400 California residents have served overseas as Peace Corps volunteers and 926 residents are currently serving.

“Peace Corps’ hallmark is its wonderful diversity of dedicated volunteers who serve thousands of communities overseas,” said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Erin Carlson. “We are proud of our West Coast colleges and universities that are ranked as the top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions for 2015. These schools continue to promote the importance of service and produce outstanding volunteers who personify the best this country has to offer.”

The University is among 263 colleges and universities nationwide designated a Hispanic-serving institution by HACU for its high Hispanic enrollment. The distinction indicates membership in HACU, which advocates for funding and legislation on behalf of its members at the federal level.

Peace Corps’ 2015 top volunteer-producing Hispanic-serving institutions are:

1. University of California, Santa Cruz (42 currently serving volunteers)

2. University of California, Santa Barbara (38 currently serving volunteers)

3. University of New Mexico (29 currently serving volunteers)

4. California State University, Long Beach (26 currently serving volunteers)

5. Humboldt State University (25 currently serving volunteers)

5. San Diego State University (25 currently serving volunteers)

7. University of California, Riverside (23 currently serving volunteers)

8. Florida International University (16 currently serving volunteers)

8. California State University, Fullerton (16 currently serving volunteers)

10. California State University, Chico (15 currently serving volunteers)

The rankings were calculated based on fiscal year 2014 data as of Sept. 30, 2014, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

College graduates who volunteer with the Peace Corps make a lasting difference in the lives of others while receiving intensive intercultural, leadership, language and technical training that gives them a competitive edge in today’s global economy. They develop vital life skills and hands-on project management experience that employers are looking for now more than ever. Peace Corps volunteers may also be eligible for various forms of student loan relief, including deferment; partial cancellation of the federal Perkins Loan; and the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. For more information please visit www.peacecorps.gov.

CSU, Chico’s study abroad and international exchange programs are among the best in the country. In 2014, the national Institute of International Education ranked the University’s study-abroad program third in the nation among master’s-granting institutions for number of long-term (yearlong) participants. In addition, CSU, Chico was ranked second by the University Studies Abroad Consortium for the number of students it sent abroad in the 2013-14 academic year, the last available ranking. In 2014–15, the University sent more than 400 students abroad to study at partner universities in 26 countries. For more information, please visit www.csuchico.edu/studyabroad.