Stetson 13th in nation in Washington Monthly guide

September 10, 2012

Bonner Scholar Jarian Martinez works on a Habitat for Humanity house during the Doug Lee Day of Service.

Stetson University has been ranked No. 13 nationally in Washington Monthly’s 2012 College Guide, which rates colleges and universities based on service (encouraging students to give something back to their country), social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students) and research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs).

Stetson was compared to 681 schools nationwide that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees, in the category named Master’s Universities. Stetson scored highest in areas of service including student involvement with the Peace Corps, ROTC and community service hours. “The students in our best colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back,” the magazine said.

Washington Monthly uses a unique type of ranking system that asks the question, “What are colleges doing for the country? After all, higher education matters to more than just the people who attend.” Due to the continuously rising cost of higher education, the magazine recognizes the enrollment and graduation of low-income students to promote social mobility and better-than-expected graduation rates. Effective and inexpensive colleges were given the highest scores.

Stetson has a strong focus on academic rigor and undergraduate research. Students in the College of Arts & Sciences at Stetson are required to do an intensive research project, and students in the School of Music perform recitals. Many students in the School of Business Administration also conduct research in their fields. The projects give Stetson students an advantage for graduate school admission and can be cited on students’ resumes.

Stetson is committed to personal and social responsibility in and out of the classroom.

“Because of our commitment to social responsibility, our students, faculty and staff have the ability to directly engage in activities that foster all of our values and improve the campus, community and world,” said Kevin Winchell, assistant director of Community Engagement.

“Our students at Stetson have completed more than 100,000 hours of service in the past year,” Winchell said. “We integrate service learning into our academic programs through our Community Based Research program, our Certificate for Community Engagement program and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Day Institute.”

As one of only 75 institutions in the country that are Bonner Scholars schools, Stetson’s Bonner program engages students in long-term, relationship-based partnerships with local non-profit organizations that strive for community transformation, Winchell said. Stetson also promotes social mobility by recruiting students who have demonstrated financial need.

For the second consecutive year, Stetson hosted the national IMPACT Conference, March 29-April 1, for 600 students, faculty and staff from all over the United States. The four-day conference focused on service, civic engagement and advocacy through 80 workshops in which participants discussed social issues and how to impact their own, respective communities.

A complete list of rankings can be found at: http://washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2012/masters_universities_rank.php.


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