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2012 Fall Issue 1 (September 21, 2012)

US News Gives Carleton Top Marks

September 21, 2012
By Nami Sumida

U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Carleton College as one of the top ten US liberal arts schools in its annual college rankings. In its most recent report, Carleton was #8 in overall performance, which was similar to its previous standings.
This year, U.S. News also awarded Carleton College the silver medal in the category of Best Undergraduate Teaching among US liberal arts colleges. Carleton was just shy of topping the list, coming in behind Davidson College, yet it outscored many well-known schools such as the deadly trio: Swarthmore, Williams, and Amherst – schools that have continuously scored higher in overall rankings.

According to the methodology employed, “top academics,” such as college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans, were asked to name schools that they believe contain faculty with “an unusuallystrong commitment to undergraduate teaching.”

Despite the subjectivity of this method, it focuses on an important aspect of the undergraduate academic experience that is oftentimes overlooked in regular assessments of schools. It acknowledges and highlights the high-quality manner and devotion that is apparent in top-ranked schools.

“Carleton’s faculty is intensely committed to excellence in teaching, and [professors] continuously hone their classes and innovate in ways that make the best learning and teaching approaches even better,” said Dean Beverly Nagel ’75.

Students also positively received the rankings, responding to the news with much enthusiasm.

“Knowing this makes me so much happier to be a Carleton student and affirmed in the quality of my education,” said Dania Lerman ‘13. “If I had known that when I was applying to Carleton, it would have made my decision so much easier.”

Added Mikkey Tokuhira ‘14, “Carleton professors are so friendly and helpful!”

This is only the fourth year that U.S. News has published the ranking, but last year, Carleton came in first. When asked about the change, Nagel replied, “I don’t see… this as a concern – and it doesn’t reflect any change in teaching excellence at Carleton or our commitment in providing the absolutely best undergraduate education anywhere.”

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