Washington Monthly rankings showcase Centre’s commitment to service
August 29, 2013 By Mariel Smith
parks and schools.
The Centre After School ESL Program provides much-needed
homework help to children from the local community.
Centre continues to climb the Washington Monthly's annual rankings of the nation's top 255 liberal arts colleges, ascending from #36 to #35 and marking its fourth year in a row holding a top-50 spot.
Unlike other ranking systems, which often focus on campus life or academic rigor, Washington Monthly magazine analyzes a college's "contribution to the public good" in three different categories; as its website states, overall rankings "reflect excellence across the full breadth of our measures" rather than excellence in one category alone.
The three categories Washington Monthly considers are social mobility, which measures a college's commitment to both admitting and graduating low-income students; research, which involves total spending on research as well as frequency of Ph.D. degrees among alumni; and service, analyzing number of alumni serving in the Peace Corps, number of students participating in service, total number of service hours and size of ROTC programs.
Centre's strongest category is service, where it ranks #18, thanks to top-50 ratings in number of alumni participating in the Peace Corps, number of students participating in service, total service hours and strength of ROTC program.
"Generations of Centre students have fostered the shared vision that service work is a valuable part of a comprehensive liberal arts experience," explains Matt Klooster, director of community service and the Bonner Program.
As soon as new students arrive on campus, they participate in a Service Plunge designed to immediately immerse them in the needs of the community, from picking up trash in local parks to cleaning schools or caring for dogs and cats at animal shelters.
Importantly, the Service Plunge establishes service as the norm for Centre students, who can then participate in Alpha Phi Omega, Centre's co-ed service fraternity, CARE (Community Action Reaches Everyone), St. Baldrick's Day and countless other service opportunities. Fraternities and sororities regularly participate in service projects, and the Bonner Program provides frequent opportunities for serving others, both at home and abroad.
"By working with our neighbors to enhance the quality of our shared community through good works, Centre students consistently demonstrate an active commitment to experiential learning through social outreach and to maintaining a legacy of considerate and transformative global citizenship," says Klooster.
Centre also held top-50 spots in social mobility and research, reflecting its generous Pell Grants and need-based aid, high graduation rate and large number of alumni who go on to receive Ph.Ds.
For the full list of colleges on Washington Monthly's list, click here.
To read more about Washington Monthly's ranking methodology, click here.
Centre College, founded in 1819, offers its students a world of opportunities, highlighted by the nation's premier study abroad program and a faculty ranked #5 in the nation for "Best Undergraduate Teaching" at a liberal arts college by U.S. News & World Report. Centre graduates enjoy extraordinary success, with entrance to top graduate and professional schools, prestigious fellowships for further study abroad (Rhodes, Rotary, Fulbright), and rewarding jobs (on average, 97 percent are employed or in advanced study within 10 months of graduation).