Washington Monthly: Centre is No. 25 liberal arts college
September 23, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
of liberal arts schools recognized for their “contribution to the
One of the three categories of the Washington Monthly rankings
was service, something to which Centre students devote much
time. Last year, several students from the College completed
community-based learning projects in local schools.
Washington Monthly recently unveiled its 2010 liberal arts rankings, which rated colleges around the nation for their “contribution to the public good.” Centre College was ranked No. 25 on the list of 252 schools around the country.
The magazine rated the schools in three broad categories: “social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).”
For the social mobility category, the magazine subtracted each school’s predicted rate of graduation (78 percent predicted at Centre) from the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants (13 percent of Centre students).
The actual graduation rate at Centre, which the magazine listed as 82 percent, is one of the highest in the region, reflecting that graduation in four years is guaranteed as part of the Centre Commitment. (This promise also guarantees every student a study abroad experience and internship opportunity.) Nearly 87 percent of the Class of 2010 graduated in four years.
To evaluate schools for the research category, the magazine looked at the number of dollars each school devotes to research expenditures (Centre was ranked 95), then studied the number of bachelor’s recipients who later earn Ph.D.s (relative to school size; Centre ranked 38). Centre alumni often earn graduate degrees; in fact, about 40 percent earn advanced degrees within 10 years of graduation.
In the final category, service, Washington Monthly ranked the schools by the number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps (Centre rank: 58) and in ROTC (Centre rank: 20); the percentage of funds in federal work-study money that goes to community service (Centre rank: 78); a combined measure of the number of students participating in community service and a total number of service hours performed (Centre rank: 30); a combined measure of the number of staff supporting community service; the number of academic courses that incorporate service; and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service (Centre rank: 22). Washington Monthly ranked Centre No. 7 in the nation for community service.
Service is a way of life at Centre, from the Bonner Scholars Program, which offers scholarships to 10 students each year who demonstrate outstanding commitment to community service, to the community-based learning initiative, which enables professors to integrate community service into their curriculum.
To see the complete Washington Monthly story, click here.