|Centre students among most "educationally engaged" in the country
College in 95th percentile in student-experience survey
RELEASED: Jan. 6, 2005
DANVILLE, KYAny way you measure it, Centre College ranks among the nation's finest liberal arts colleges.
High school seniors, their parents and counselors are just weeks away from making their final college application decisions. During this critical period, it is instructive to note that both U.S. News & World Report and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)two respected organizations that assess colleges by widely dissimilar criteriagive Centre top marks.
The latest NSSE report shows Centre in the 95th percentile, on average, across five benchmarks designed to measure what students gain from their college experience. Centre ranks 42nd among national liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News (the highest national ranking of any Kentucky institution).
NSSE (popularly pronounced "Nessie"), administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, recently surveyed seniors and first-year students at 473 four-year colleges and universities. The five areas of NSSE "engagement" criteria measure:
The widely followed annual U.S. News ranking considers such factors as a college's reputation, endowment, average SAT scores, and selectivity in the application process. In contrast, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) focuses on what students actually experience when they come to college.
Research shows that the best predictor of learning and personal development among college students is the amount of time students spend "engaged" in their education. NSSE is designed to measure the extent to which colleges effectively engage students in their education.
The NSSE report, released in late 2004, showed Centre in the 95th percentile on average across all categories. As they have done since the study's inception, the scores reveal the College to be one of the most successful institutions in the country in educationally enriching the lives of its students.
Participation in NSSE, and the release of results to the public, is voluntary, although certain states, including Kentucky, require that their state institutions of higher learning take part and publish their results. In the most recent survey, 473 schools took part, up from 276 in 2000. More than 850 colleges and universities have participated in NSSE.
"We're exceeding the goals that NSSE has set for us as a college," said John C. Ward, dean of Centre College. "High school students and their families should use NSSE measures to see which colleges do the best job in helping students learn. Centre's results in the survey are one more clear indication that Centre students are intensely and personally challenged to achieve their educational goals."
Centre's data can be viewed online at http://www.centre.edu/web/nsse/
NSSE 2004 Percentile Ranking for Centre College Compared to National Average
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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