COLLEGE RANKINGS DON'T MEASURE THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers recently examined the U.S. News and World Report College Ranking edition in his New Yorker magazine article What College Rankings Really Tell Us.
Not much, is his conclusion. "A ranking can be heterogeneous as long as it doesn't try to be too comprehensive. But it's an act of real audacity when a ranking system tries to be comprehensive and heterogeneous ... There's no direct way to measure the quality of an institution, so the U.S. News algorithm relies instead on proxies for quality-and the proxies for educational quality turn out to be flimsy at best."
Reed College and St. John's College have refused to participate in the USNWR rankings on the same principle: rankings are not a measure of the quality of the educational experience, and they foster marketing practices which are harmful to the college admission profession. Read their statements by clicking on the college links above.
MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
In a different take on college rankings and to illustrate how the race for selectivity ratings can misfire, Ursinus College announced that it will no longer seek to inflate its applicant pool by encouraging easy applications through the use of marketing firm advice and techniques.
In what he described as Opting Out of The Application Arms Race in a recent NY Times article, Richard DeFeliciantonio, VP for Enrollment at Ursinus, states, "Those numbers aren't real. People count anything that moves as an application. Everyone is going up 10 percent every year for 20 years. It's absurd." "At some point," he adds, "the credibility of those numbers is questionable."
In order to restore confidence in the educational aspect of the college admission process, The Education Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students, colleges and high schools overcome commercial interference in college admissions, encourages the type of action that Ursinus College has taken.
17 CTCL COLLEGES WILL TRAVEL TO ASIA
A group of 17 of the CTCL colleges will travel together and offer information sessions about liberal arts education in the U.S. and each college's offerings, as they visit China, South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia in March. More information and the list of colleges attending can be found on the CTCL Events page.
CTCL 2011 PROGRAMS ANNOUNCED
The dates and locations for the 2011 CTCL national program series: "How to Choose a College That's Right For You" have been chosen and can be found on the Events link at ctcl.org.
In a shift from past years, the Midwest series will move from September to late August, starting in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, August 27 and will include a return to Kansas City, MO on August 31. The Mid-August/South Tour, starting on August 13 in Houston and Austin, TX, will include a return to Raleigh (Cary) NC on August 16. As always, all of the CTCL programs are free of charge and open to the public.
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