SMC again in Princeton’s ‘Best 384’

August 7, 2018
Office of Marketing and Communication

Saint Michael’s College is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review.

The education services company features Saint Michael’s again in the new 2019 edition of its flagship college guide, The Best 384 Colleges, released August 7. The latest guide places the Colchester liberal arts college in “top 20” rankings for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” (No. 11), “Best College Radio Station (No. 16), and “Town-Gown Relations are Great (No. 18).

Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and two colleges outside the U.S. are profiled. Published annually since 1992, the popular guide has detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores in eight categories.

“We picked the 384 ‘best’ colleges for our book primarily for their outstanding academics; we highly recommend each one,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief and the book’s lead author, explaining that interviews with administrators and students drive the selections.

The new Saint Michael’s College President Lorraine Sterritt, who assumed her duties on July 1, said, “I am very pleased that The Princeton Review has again recognized Saint Michael’s College. We are blessed to have outstanding faculty and staff members who are devoted to providing our students with the best possible educational experience and with myriad opportunities for community service. Stemming from our Edmundite founding, we pride ourselves on education and on service to those in need. Our students graduate from the College very well prepared for the professions of their choice and very well prepared to address the challenges of the modern world.”

In its profile on Saint Michael’s, The Princeton Review praises it for its “small classes” [which] help ensure that ‘you are not just another number in a lecture hall … the college ‘really wants to help its students realize their full potential.”

Under a section titled “Students Say” on the topic of academics, the Guide states, “undergrads here speak effusively about their professors,” quoting several students:

– “Regardless of which class you’re in, you can tell that each professor’s #1 priority is that students succeed.”

– “Professors aren’t just professors. They’re lifelong teachers.”

– “If you’re genuine and true to who you are you’re bound to do well at St. Mike’s,” one student is quoted as saying about the College.

The guide also states that at Saint Michael’s, “Many tout the ‘strong academics’ and highlight the education, biology and religion departments in particular.”

All of the “Top 20” ranking lists are based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of students attending the colleges. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges from 1 to 384 in any category. Instead it uses students’ ratings of their schools to compile the 62 ranking lists of top 20 colleges in the book in various categories.

Other student comments about Saint Michael’s in the Guide, including from categories titled “Life” and “Student Body”:

– “My professors have … really helped me in beginning my career – setting up research studies in my field of interest, writing incredible letters of recommendation for grad school, or networking to get me internships.”

– “Life at St. Mike’s is pretty chill … St. Mike’s students have their heads on straight when it comes to making decisions.”

– “Although St. Mike’s is a Catholic school, students ‘are all different in regards to religions, races, sexual orientations and genders.’”

– “Students enjoy the outdoors that this great state provides for us.”

The guide also notes that “Giving back to the community is a main theme in terms of the typical student here at St. Mike’s, as exemplified by the statement that ‘nearly all students participate in at least one service project during their four years here. Most students are very concerned about the environment and social justice.’”

Franek, the guide’s Editor-in chief, said selections are primarily based on surveys of administrators at several hundred four-year colleges. “We also visit dozens of colleges each year and give considerable weight to opinions of our staff and our 24-member National College Counselor Advisory Board. Most importantly, we look at valuable feedback we get from each school’s customers – our surveys of students attending them. We also keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character,” he said.

The lists in this edition are entirely based on The Princeton Review’s survey of 138,000 students (359 per campus on average) attending the colleges. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their campus experiences at them. Topics range from their assessments of their professors as teachers to opinions about their school’s career services.

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