By Matthew Liedke
Washington Monthly Magazine has released a new list that ranks the top 50 community colleges, and North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton reached No. 3.
“It’s pleasant to see this here, seeing a third party assessing and comparing the college to others and seeing how high we are on the list,” said NDSCS President John Richman. “It reassures us that what we are doing is working.”
The list is based on research done through the Community College Survey of Student Engagement. This marks the second time NDSCS was recognized by a third party, in 2012, the college was ranked in the top percentile by the Aspen Institute. According to the listing, the criteria covered in the survey included the levels of active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student faculty interaction, support for learning, first-year retention rate, three-year graduation/transfer rate and credentials that were awarded per 100 full time equivalent students.
The results, Richman said, could be used for future reference for high school personnel, students and parents for additional information.
“I wouldn’t say it’s right to choose a college over this ranking, but in lieu of having the right academic programs and campus culture that fits you as an individual, if those things are in line, and then you see that ranking, then it can reassure those perspective students and decision makers,” Richman explained.
Being ranked at No. 3 in the report can also help show that the institution is a productive one to current and potential partners. It can be an assurance to them, they want to know that they are investing in a good quality college, this report is evidence that NDSCS is good at what they do, Richman said.
“I think the tax payers and the legislature can feel guaranteed that the money that is being put into the institution, which is significant, is a good investment,” Richman added. “It’s evidence that they are getting a good return on it.”
The driving force behind the high ranking, according to Richman, is the staff at NDSCS.
“We have a dedicated, highly skilled faculty and staff that really come to work each and every day with a smile on their face with the intent to helping people better themselves,” he said.
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