Widener’s Civic Engagement Portal Facilitates Students’ Connection to the Community
When Elizabeth Housholder, assistant dean for civic engagement, began working at Widener University in November 2011, she became inundated with the volunteer opportunities available to students in the Chester, PA area where Widener is located. Housholder fielded inquiries via phone, voicemail, email, and in person, and then manually entered them into an internal website for students to view. The process was time-consuming and inefficient, and because the site had limited functionality – sorting and searching the list were not options – students hardly used it.
Seeking a way to “work smarter, not harder,” Housholder was inspired by the Cities of Service websites, an online tool which allows cities to link residents to volunteer opportunities. She contacted the website’s host, interactive design studio Cloudred, to see if something similar existed for universities, as she had found that building a site from scratch was well beyond her budget. Cloudred CEO Allen Yee quickly replied to say that the product did not exist, but he believed that higher education could be a potential market for his company. Read more
College Rankings Round-up
New American Colleges and Universities were mentioned in several rankings and listings this month.
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2015
U.S. News & World Report released their annual Best Colleges issue online this week. Eighty percent of NAC&U members ranked as regional universities were in the top 20 in their respective regions. All but two NAC&U members are regarded as regional universities. See below for rankings by region as well as highlights of additional rankings data.
Samford University #3 • Belmont University #5 • Stetson University #6 • Hampton University #18
- Stetson and Samford were listed as “Best Values” in the region.
- Belmont, Samford, and Stetson were listed as “A+ Schools for B Students” and took three of the four spots on the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list.
- Hampton was ranked #4 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities nationally and took the #2 spot on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
- Hampton was also listed on a regional roundup of institutions in which students graduate with the least debt.
- Belmont’s internship program was touted on the list of “Programs to Look For” which recognizes enriched offerings linked to student success.
- Belmont was also recognized as an “Up and Coming” school.
Valparaiso University #5 • John Carroll University #7 • Drury University #8 • University of Evansville #9 • Hamline University #12 • North Central College #14
- Drury was listed as the “Best Value” in the region with Valpo listed as the second “Best Value” in the region.
- U of Evansville, John Carroll, and Hamline were in the top 12 out of 15 “Best Values” in the region.
- All of the NAC&U schools in this region were listed as “A+ Schools for B Students.”
- Valpo was listed among the top 59 engineering programs (bachelor or master’s degree as highest offered) in the country.
- The “Programs to Look For” listing recognized John Carroll’s service learning programs and U of Evansville’s study abroad programs.
- Valpo and John Carroll were recognized on the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list.
- Valpo was also recognized as an “Up and Coming” school.
- Drury was #3 on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
The University of Scranton #7 • Manhattan College #18 • Wagner College #28 • Nazareth College #31 • Arcadia University #41 • The Sage Colleges #87
- Wagner College again prominently factored into the “Programs to Look For” list with its first year experience, internships and service learning.
- Arcadia was recognized for its study abroad programs on the “Programs to Look For” list.
- Scranton was listed as a Best Value in the region as well as an “Up and Coming” school.
- Arcadia, Nazareth, Scranton and Wagner were listed as A+ Schools for B Students.”
- Manhattan was listed among the top 59 engineering programs (bachelor or master’s degree as highest offered) in the country.
- Nazareth was recognized among “Best Colleges for Veterans.”
University of Redlands #12 • St. Edward’s University #13 • Pacific Lutheran University #17 • Westminster College #20
- Redlands was listed as a ”Best Value” in the region and #1 on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
- St. Edward’s and Pacific Lutheran were #2 and #4, respectively, on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
- All of the NAC&U schools in this region were listed as “A+ Schools for B Students.”
University of La Verne #166 • Widener University #189
- Both La Verne and Widener were recognized as “Best Colleges for Veterans.”
Washington Monthly’s Contribution to the Public Good
Ten members were among the top 90 schools recognized for their contribution to the public good in three categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). Half of the members named were in the top 25. Members ranked as follows:
Money Magazine’s Best Colleges for Your Money
Money magazine listed Manhattan College as #40 and John Carroll University as #95 in the nation in its “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings. Valparaiso University also made the list at #214. Institutions were evaluated based on 17 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability, and career outcomes.
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For
According to a 2014 survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education, North Central College and Westminster College are two of the best colleges in the nation to work for. Results are based on a survey of more than 43,500 employees at 278 colleges and universities. In the survey, Westminster employees lauded the school in the following four recognition categories: collaborative governance; teaching environment; facilities, workspace and security; and job satisfaction.
Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges 2015
Eight NAC&U members are among the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 379 Colleges.” Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and only four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book. Members included on the list were Hampton University, Wagner College, Nazareth College, The University of Scranton, Drury University, North Central College, Valparaiso University and Westminster College.
Wagner College was also listed as #1 in Best College Theater, and its student newspaper ranked among the country’s top 20 collegiate news publications. Wagner was also listed among the “Great Schools for Health Services Majors” for the second year in a row. Nazareth College was ranked #17 for Best College Theater, and The University of Scranton was among the 20 “Best Run Colleges” in the nation.
Forbes’ Americas Top Colleges
Fifteen NAC&U members were listed on Forbes 2014 Top Colleges list, produced in partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The rankings assessed five general categories, with several component factors within each category, including student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, four-year graduation rate and academic success. Members on the list were Belmont University, Hamline University, John Carroll University, Manhattan College, North Central College, Pacific Lutheran University, Samford University, Stetson University, The Sage Colleges, The University of Scranton, University of Evansville, University of La Verne, University of Redlands, Valparaiso University, and Wagner College.
Colleges of Distinction
Belmont University, North Central College, Samford University, and Westminster College were named among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction for providing innovative, teacher-centered undergraduate education and preparing graduates for real-world success.
Great Value Colleges’ Great Affordable Colleges
The University of Evansville and Valparaiso University were recognized among 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest by Great Value Colleges. UE was ranked 3rd in the Private School category.
U.S. Veterans Magazine Top Veteran-Friendly Schools
In the summer issue of the U.S. Veterans Magazine (USVM), the University of Evansville was recognized as a Top Veteran-Friendly School on the magazines 2014 Best of the Best Lists. UE was the only private university in Indiana, and one of only two colleges in the state, to receive this distinction.
Manhattan College Receives Grant to Study Higgs Boson
|The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile subterranean tunnel that enabled the discovery of the Higgs boson. (photo courtesy of Maximilien Brice, CERN)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Manhattan College a grant in the amount of $226,446 to conduct research during the next three years on Higgs boson, the subatomic particle that accounts for the creation of mass, essentially allowing human life to exist. Rostislav Konoplich, Ph.D., professor of physics and a member of ATLAS, one of the two international teams that collaborated to pinpoint the Higgs boson in 2012, will spearhead the research with undergraduate students at the College. Read more
Hampton University Awarded $1.5 Million to Prepare Students for Biomedical Research Careers
The Hampton University Department of Biological Sciences has been awarded a five year $1.5 million dollar grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program at Hampton University. This program addresses the need to reduce the disparity in the number of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research careers and therefore addresses the needs for the U.S. to remain optimally competitive and productive in the 21st century. Read more
Nazareth College Student Awarded Gilman International Scholarship
Nazareth College student Tanisha Gilbert is the recipient of a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Gilbert is a double major in Chinese language and literature and economics and will be attending Shandong Normal University in Jinan, China through Nazareth’s Exchange Program. Read more
NAC&U Ernest L. Boyer Award: Call for Nominations
The New American Colleges & Universities has established a national award to honor the legacy of Ernest L. Boyer by recognizing an individual whose achievements in higher education exemplify Boyer’s quest for connecting theory to practice and thought to action, in and out of the classroom.
|"To accomplish this essential mission, connections must be made. All parts of campus life—recruitment, orientation, curriculum, teaching, residence hall living, and the rest—must relate to one another and contribute to a sense of wholeness. We emphasize this commitment to community not out of a sentimental attachment to tradition, but because our democratic way of life and perhaps our survival as a people rest on whether we can move beyond self-interest and begin to understand better the realities of our dependence on each other."
|-Ernest Boyer, College,
The Undergraduate Experience in America, 1987
|Photo of Ernest Boyer courtesy of the Boyer Center at Messiah College.
Please submit a brief biography of the nominee and an abstract, not exceeding 1000 words, outlining an outstanding contribution the nominee has made in one or more of the following:
- Linking liberal education and professional studies with civic engagement
- Effectively preparing and sustaining faculty to design and teach courses that promote the integration of liberal and professional education with civic engagement
- Preparing administrators to lead institutions with a mission of integrating liberal and professional education with civic engagement
- Efforts that demonstrate the effectiveness of the “New American College” (integrative) model
The recipient will receive a monetary award and will be asked to present at the NAC&U Summer Institute at Hamline University in June 2015. Announcement of the recipient will be at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in January 2015.
Deadline for nominations is September 16, 2014.
Click here to submit a nomination.