All three of the major educational organizations who rank America's colleges and universities recently selected Westminster College for recognition for the 2009-2010 academic year.
"We are grateful that all these prestigious national education authorities are recognizing what prospective students who discover Westminster find out right away," says Dr. George B. Forsythe, President of Westminster. "This is a unique college community where we prepare students to go out into the world and make a difference."
Forbes magazine selected Westminster to honor in the publication's second year of nationally ranking colleges and universities. Forbes picked Westminster as the Top Value College in Missouri and 26th among all American liberal arts colleges for best value.
In its evaluation categories of alumni success, student evaluations of professors and low average accumulated student debt upon graduation, Forbes placed Westminster among the top 100 of all institutions.
Forbes also honored Westminster as one of only two Missouri public or private colleges and universities to make its Top 150 Schools in the Nation list. The only other Missouri school to make this list was Washington University.
The Princeton Review profiled Westminster as one of the Best Colleges and Universities in the Midwest, lauding the school for its excellent academic programs. This is the eighth year in a row Westminster has been named to this distinguished list.
Westminster is one of 158 institutions selected for recognition based on institutional data collected from several hundred schools in the region, evaluations from school visits and assessments from independent and high school-based advisors as well as students.
On the heels of this endorsement, U.S.News & World Report named Westminster as one of the best liberal arts colleges in America.
Westminster was cited for its outstanding academic programs in eight areas that enhance learning: first-year experience, learning communities, writing in the disciplines, senior capstone, study abroad, internships or cooperative education, service learning and undergraduate research and creative projects.
In addition, U.S.News asked guidance counselors from America's Best High Schools in 2008 to pick liberal arts colleges that offer the best education for their students. They selected Westminster as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country.
"While we are honored by all these national recognitions, our number one concern is student satisfaction and success," says President Forsythe. "Therefore, outcome-based assessments are extremely important to us."
Since 2002, Westminster has been using the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to evaluate the extent to which freshmen and seniors are engaged in effective learning practices.
In the five areas evaluated by NSSE-academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and a supporting environment-Westminster senior scores were equal to or higher than the top 10% of all colleges and universities evaluated.
The data also shows that the level of engagement of Westminster students grows the longer they are on campus and that today's Westminster freshmen are more satisfied with their college education than freshmen three years ago.
In their evaluations, Westminster students had this to say about the school:
- "Westminster College is a great institution that offers quality academics and leadership opportunities. My college experience at Westminster was individualized and somehow evolved around me."
- "My experience has been a positive change in my life that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else."
- "The teachers at Westminster do an exceptional job of supporting and assisting their students. I need to be able to ask questions and talk to my teachers, and I can do that here, so thank you."