Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Academic Reassurance...Tempered

It's nice to see that the school from which I will be receiving an MA in History has a good reputation, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Providence College’s rankings among 572 universities nationwide offering full range of undergraduate and master’s programs:

1st nationally in average graduation rate
2nd overall in North region
Among North region’s top 15 institutions recognized in “Great schools, great prices” category
Ranked among top 20 schools nationally in “peer assessment” survey

Providence, RI – The 2006 edition of U.S. News’ popular college guide, America’s Best Colleges, once again finds Providence College in familiar and prestigious company. Providence is ranked #2 in the north region’s “Best Universities – Master’s” category – the designation for 572 universities nationwide offering a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs.

In one “key criteria in judging schools” – graduation rate – Providence ranks highest among its peer institutions nationwide, with an average graduation rate of 85 percent. Villanova University of Pennsylvania also reported an 85 percent graduation rate.

This ranking in the popular annual college guide marks the tenth consecutive year Providence has been ranked as one of the top two universities in the north region. Providence shared the #1 position with Villanova University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and was ranked #2 in the eight other annual editions of the guide from 1997-2005.

This year’s “peer assessment” ranking places Providence College among the top 20 in the group of 572 “best universities – master’s” institutions nationwide. “We’re pleased to know that our peer institutions have consistently recognized Providence College ’s commitment to academic excellence,” notes Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. He adds, “We’ve always believed in the transforming nature of our Catholic, liberal arts education. We’re gratified when external sources trusted by students and their parents independently validate that mission.”

According to U.S. News, “the peer assessment survey allows the top academics we contact – presidents, provosts, and deans of admission – to account for intangibles such as faculty dedication to teaching.” Providence has consistently maintained a score of 3.7 on a 1.0 (marginal) – 5.0 (distinguished) scale.

Providence ’s #2 ranking among the 165 schools in the north region is a combination of several weighted factors that U.S. News uses to evaluate more than 1,400 colleges and universities and rank them among their peers. These include analysis of peer assessment scores, average freshman retention rate, average graduation rate, percentage of classes under 20, the student/faculty ratio, SAT/ACT scores, freshmen high school class standings, acceptance rate, and average alumni giving rate.

Providence also is listed among the top 15 schools in its category offering the “best value” which relates a school’s academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid. “The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” explain guide editors.
I can personally vouch for the quality of the education, the lack of overt politicization in the History Department and the cost/benefit ratio! Of course, for the younger student, there is also good news of a different variety as PC ranks #2 in another important college category that is inherently important in the social education of our young adults: Beer Consumption!

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