Press Release |
Tue Aug 28 13:46:29 2001 Pacific Time
Wheaton College President Releases Data to Augment U.S. News & World
Report's 'Best Colleges' Ranking
NORTON, Mass., Aug. 28 (AScribe News) -- Wheaton College president Dale
Rogers Marshall today announced that the private liberal arts college
release data on its students' college experience to the public as part of
attempt to give high school students and their parents a more complete
picture of living and learning at the institution than offered by the
popular "America's Best Colleges" ranking published by U.S. News and World
"U.S. News gathers data that says more about institutional wealth than it
does about academic health," said President Marshall, urging other
institutions to follow suit. "Rather than relying on measures of wealth
reputation alone, U.S. News also should be asking. What do students learn
your school? Do they believe they are prepared for the workplace or
school? How did they achieve their goals?"
Like more than 750 other colleges nationwide, Wheaton gathers information
its students' college experience through the Higher Education Research
Institute, which is based at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Unlike most colleges, however, Wheaton is releasing data from the survey
that relate to student learning and satisfaction with the college
The information from the 2000 survey, the most recent the college has
available, can be accessed on line at http://www.wheatoncollege.edu.
President Marshall urged other colleges to follow Wheaton's lead. "It's
for all colleges to make public how well their students learn, to let high
school seniors and parents know what we actually do for our students. It
might even goad U.S. News into analyzing this data, too. And they should.
While large endowments say something about an institution's strength, the
truest measure of success are graduates who are grateful for the gift of
Wheaton's survey results show that the overwhelming majority of students
graduate with high levels of satisfaction with their experience. More than
85 percent of the Class of 2000 reported a satisfactory experience, 88
percent cited overall quality of instruction, and lauded the college for
high level of faculty-student interaction it offers. "Because we strive
continuously to improve, the college is not satisfied with what our
report," Marshall said. "But higher education depends on a society that
values access to information and so we need to honor that commitment
Former U.S. News research director Amy Graham criticized the magazine's
ranking methodology, challenging the newsweekly to gather data on
educational experience in an article co-written with Washington Monthly
editor Nicholas Thompson. The survey, which gathered the data being
by Wheaton, was cited by Graham and Thompson as proof that it is not
impossible or prohibitively expensive to gather such information.
Wheaton is a selective liberal arts
college that offers a challenging
academic program. Wheaton and Brown were the only two institutions in the
U.S. to have students and recent graduates win a Rhodes, a British
and Truman scholarships in a single year. Four Wheaton students also won
Fulbright scholarships while another won a Udall Scholarship.