|Centre advances among U.S. News top-50 national liberal arts colleges
RELEASED: September 7, 2001
College has highest national ranking of any Kentucky institution
The top schools in Centre's category of "national liberal arts colleges" are Amherst College and Swarthmore College, tied for first. Tied with Centre at 42 is Skidmore College. Centre tied for 10th in the nation in the percentage of its students who study abroad and improved its academic reputation score to 3.4 from 3.2 in last year's rankings. This reputational score places Centre on par with such institutions as Bard, Dickinson, Furman, and New York's Union College.
"All of us at Centre College are pleased with our strong showing in the 2002 U.S. News national rankings," said John Roush, Centre College president. "While we believe that the U.S. News methods are but one part of fully assessing a college's effectiveness, our advancing position in this year's survey confirms the increasing distinctiveness of Centre's commitment to providing a rigorous liberal arts education in a close residential setting to students from many backgrounds."
Centre has the highest national ranking of any Kentucky college or university. Included in Centre's "national liberal arts colleges" category are Transylvania University (ranked in the second tier), Berea College (second tier), Georgetown College (third tier) and Lindsey Wilson College (fourth tier).
Last year a competing approach to measuring educational quality emerged with the publication of the National Survey of Student Engagement. In contrast to U.S. News, which focuses largely on resources and reputation in its methodology, the NSSE focuses on actual student on-campus experience, asking such questions as "how much time do you spend preparing for class," "how much writing do you do," and "how often do you discuss academic topics with faculty outside of class."
As recently reported in Washington Monthly and on National Public Radio, Centre is one of only four schools singled out in the NSSE as scoring in the top 20 percent in all five engagement categories. When the two reports are viewed in combination, Centre occupies a unique position, having the highest U.S. News national ranking of any of the four colleges cited in NSSE for overall effective educational practice.
"Of course, we are pleased with our ranking in the U.S. News report, but Centre College is even more proud of the fact that our students in responding to the National Survey of Student Engagement show how well we use the resources measured by U.S. News," said John Ward, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "Everything we do must further the intellectual and personal development of our students, or we are wasting our precious resources."
The America's Best Colleges listings and data from U.S. News were released online Thursday evening (www.usnews.com). The rankings for national liberal arts colleges show the top 50 colleges, with numerical scores and rankings for categories such as student retention and graduation rate, financial resources, and student selectivity. Additional information will appear in a special edition of the magazine due at newsstands Monday, Sept. 10. The newsstand book, America's Best Colleges, which contains all of the U.S. News college rankings, will also go on sale Monday.
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