Washington Monthly ranks NWC second

Northwestern College is ranked second in Washington Monthly’s 2010 rankings of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation, released today. The magazine says its rankings are based on how well the schools are fulfilling their obligations in the areas of social mobility, service and research.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts is ranked first. In addition to Northwestern College, other baccalaureate institutions in the top 10 include Taylor University, third; Messiah College, fifth; Augustana College of South Dakota; sixth; and Trinity Christian College, ninth.

An article at www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide says the magazine’s rankings were begun in 2005 to feature a different approach than that used by other ratings. “Instead of asking what a college could do for you, we asked, ‘What are colleges doing for the country?’ Colleges should be judged not just on who they enroll and how many graduate, but on what students do with their lives after they leave.”

Among the factors figuring into the Washington Monthly rankings are the number of bachelor’s degree recipients who go on to earn doctoral degrees or serve in the Peace Corps; the number of students who participate in community service and the staff support those efforts receive; the percentage of federal work-study funds that goes to community service; the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; and the predicted and actual graduation rates based on percentage of Pell recipients and incoming SATs. Northwestern is in the top 10 in the percentage of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps, percentage of alumni who complete doctorates, and support for community service.

“It is great to be affirmed externally for what I witness every day,” says Greg Christy, Northwestern College’s president. “Our students, faculty and staff have an incredible commitment to serving others and impacting the world for good. Society is in desperate need of leaders, especially Christian leaders, and Northwestern is in the business of educating Christian scholars and servant leaders who are actively engaged in research, scholarship and service.”

This is the first year Washington Monthly has ranked baccalaureate colleges, master’s universities and community colleges. Among the top-ranked institutions this year are the University of California, San Diego and the University of California-Berkeley, first and second in the national universities category; Morehouse College and Bryn Mawr College in the liberal arts colleges category; and St. Mary’s University of Texas and Creighton University in the master’s universities category.

“The nation is badly in need of cutting-edge research, wise and knowledgeable citizens and workers, and a renewed focus on service. Our top-ranked colleges are poised to deliver,” concludes the magazine article.