Princeton, Harvard … Williams, Amherst … It may seem like there are no surprises in the new U.S. News & World Report’s overall rankings of top colleges and universities, released this morning.
But those who looked just a little deeper into the various lists published in the new “Best Colleges 2015” guidebook found something else: Wagner College, a liberal arts college on Staten Island, was among a very select group of only 7 colleges or universities nationwide with 4 or more “enriched offerings … linked to student success.”
Wagner College tied for #28 in the U.S. News overall northern regional universities rankings. This is the 10th year in a row in which Wagner College has appeared among the Top 30 schools in its category.
More on ‘enriched offerings … linked to student success’
A total of 90 colleges or universities across the nation were recognized by the U.S. News survey this year for 1 or more of their “enriched offerings,” found in a section of the “Best Colleges 2015” guidebook titled “A Focus on Student Success.”
Wagner College was recognized on four U.S. News “Focus on Student Success” lists:
- First-Year Experience
- Learning Communities
- Service Learning
The only institutions with more such programs were Stanford and Butler universities (5) and Elon University (7). Like Wagner College, the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Northeastern University and Carleton College were also recognized for 4 enriched programs.
The editors of the U.S. News explained the “enriched offerings” schools lists:
“Some colleges and universities are much more determined than others to provide freshmen and all undergrads with the best possible experience, recognizing that certain enriched offerings, from service learning to learning communities to study abroad, are linked to student success. Here, U.S. News highlights schools with outstanding examples of eight programs that education experts, including staff members of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, agree are key.”
“These four program areas are fundamental components of our signature curriculum, the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts,” said Wagner College President Richard Guarasci. “Since 1998, the Wagner Plan has combined a very strong first-year program with multiple service-learning experiences and three learning communities placed at the beginning, middle and end of the Wagner student’s undergraduate career. And every student participates in an internship program as part of their Senior LC.”
“Wagner College’s four ‘enriched offerings’ are what the American Association of Colleges & Universities terms ‘high-impact practices’ — those academic components that significantly contribute to a high-quality education,” added Lily McNair, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College. “In essence, the Wagner Plan embodies such high-impact practices.”
“It’s also worth noting that the ‘enriched offerings’ lists are all based on nationwide evaluations — rather than regional rankings — submitted by college presidents, provosts and deans of admission,” said Angelo Araimo, Wagner’s vice president for advancement and enrollment.