They both made the short list of great colleges that are doing an exceptionally good jobs. The list was complied by Andrew Hacker, a professor at Queens College and Claudia Dreifus, a New York Times writer, who are the authors of How Colleges are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids – And What We Can Do About It, which will be released in early August.
The list is filled with colleges and universities that you’d normally never hear about, which is why it appealed to me. I’m so tired of hearing about the same old tired list of schools.
Here are the schools on the authors’ eclectic list:
- University of Mississippi
- Raritan Valley Community College (NJ)
- University of Notre Dame (IN)
- Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (NY)
- Berea College (KY)
- Evergreen State University (WA)
- Arizona State University
- University of Maryland-Baltimore County
- University of Colorado
- Western Oregon State University
- MIT (MA)
Here’s what the authors said about their picks:
The institutions that we’ve cited are exceptions to our premise that higher education has lost track of its original and enduring purpose. They reinforce our view that college should be a cultural journey, an intellectual expedition, a voyage confronting new ideas and information. Many colleges with national names and universities with imperial plans could learn a lot from them.
Most of the schools made the list because of their commitment to undergraduate education.
But don’t all universities, you may be wondering, focus on undergraduate education? Actually, no. The focus of too many institutions and professors is on conducting research and educating graduate students. The lowly undergrads, who are too often taught by teaching assistants or poorly paid (and exploited) part-time professors, pay the tab and are shortchanged in the process.
Take a look at the authors’ commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which also includes the author’s thoughtful suggestions on how to make colleges and universities more consumer friendly.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and an eBook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Price of a Bachelor’s Degree.