Seventeen of Northwestern College’s academic programs are listed in the 2009 edition of Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges, a national guidebook that recommends specific college departments to prospective students. The selected programs are actuarial science, athletic training, biology, business, chemistry, ecological science, education, English, history, music, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, social work, Spanish and theatre.
The biology department was one of 49 chosen from moderate-sized selective colleges; the business department was among 128. The chemistry department was among only 38 recommended from Northwestern’s category. The education department was one of 128 chosen from schools like Northwestern; the English department was among 74 selected from Northwestern’s category.
The history department was among only 11 recommended from colleges Northwestern’s size. There were 70 other moderate-sized selective colleges recommended in music, 66 others in philosophy, 10 others in physics, 70 others in psychology, 18 others in religion, four others in Spanish and 25 others in theatre.
Four of Northwestern’s programs were listed in a special category, miscellaneous majors, which included recommendations from colleges and universities of all sizes and selectiveness. The actuarial science program was among 52 recommended, while the athletic training program was one of 104, the ecological science program was among 183, and the social work program was one of 178.
Written by Frederick Rugg, a Brown University graduate who served 20 years as a secondary school college counselor and now gives college seminars around the country, the book includes programs at 1,110 four-year colleges that he has identified as providing a high-quality education. Rugg’s publication relies heavily on random polls of students at those colleges, asking them what departments at their school they would recommend most to high school seniors. Input also is received from high school counselors, college personnel and parents.