Eighteen of Northwestern College’s academic programs are listed in the 2011 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, computer science, ecological science, education, English, history, music, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, social work, Spanish and theatre.
The biology department was one of 54 chosen from moderate-sized selective colleges; the business department was among 130. The chemistry department was among only 41 recommended from Northwestern’s category; the computer science department was among 58. The education department was one of 138 chosen from schools like Northwestern; the English department was among 84 selected from Northwestern’s category.
The history department was among only 12 recommended from colleges Northwestern’s size. There were 72 other moderate-sized selective colleges recommended in music, 71 others in philosophy, 13 others in physics, 72 others in psychology, 25 others in religion, four others in Spanish and 27 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 57 recommended, while the athletic training program was one of 110, the ecological science program was among 202, and the social work program was one of 205.
Written by Frederick Rugg, a Brown University graduate who directed secondary college counseling programs for 20 years and conducted college seminars around the country for 23 years, the book includes programs at 1,120 four-year colleges 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.