Rating America’s institutions of higher learning has
grown into its own cottage industry.
Some judge based upon which applicants get in and how many do not. Others analyze and evaluate the party
experience at the schools. But the
Center for College Affordability and Productivity ranks schools by what should
be the most important question. How well
do they teach?
Schools are rated by responses to the site
Ratemyprofessors.com, which tabulates millions of college students anonymously
judging their instructors. Each year,
the Center releases a list of the 25 best and worst colleges and universities
for teaching based on the results.
The winner for last year actually has topped the
survey for three years now. OklahomaWesleyan University placed highest. Its
stated mission is to promote the “primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of
Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth and the Practice of Wisdom.”
Another school of conservative note making the list
was College of the Ozarks. This
Presbyterian liberal arts school in Missouri charges most students no cash
tuition, but does require weekly work on campus.
College of the Ozarks, which has a strong record of "standing up for religious freedom," also scored well on Young America's Foundation's Top Ten Conservative Colleges list. It also made U.S. News and World Report's rankings of best value and best colleges in the Midwest
West Point and the United States Air Force Academy
also rated very high. These were the only two “elite” institutions to make the
cut. No Ivy League student bodies rated
their professors well as teachers.
Along with the best comes the ranking of the 25
This list includes Pace University in New York
(tuition alone over $36,000 for in state) and Seton Hall University (almost
$34,000 per year in tuition.) Two “flagship”
state universities also appear, the University of Maryland and the University
Poorly rated schools tended to be grouped in the
Northeast and Upper Midwest. More
engineering and technical schools appeared on the list as well. This could reflect higher coursework demands
or that science and technology is more difficult to teach.
No schools from the South made the “bad” list, but
the region did place four schools on the ranking of good teaching schools. Liberal arts colleges fared well, as did
schools with a specific religious educational identity. According to CBS Moneywatch, the teaching
prowess of liberal arts schools should not surprise “because (they) focus on
undergraduate education and routinely offer instruction in small classes that
allow students to get to know their professors and find mentors.”
Of the many lists that get generated each year, this
may be the most important for aspiring undergraduates to watch. Regardless of everything else a school might
offer, great teaching is the most important benefit to the students.