• New WSJ rankings highlight Baylor’s caring community

    Baylor professors Elizabeth Vardaman and Kirsten Escobar with students at Common Grounds

    The Wall Street Journal recently released its annual ranking of American colleges and universities, which they say is “designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families.” Among those questions: “Will I be engaged and challenged by my teachers and classmates?”

    Their findings say that at Baylor, the answer is absolutely “yes.” Baylor tied for No. 6 nationally (out of 1,000+ colleges and universities) in the WSJ’s survey when it comes to student engagement.

    “Decades of research has found that the best way to truly understand teaching quality at an institution — how well it manages to inform, inspire and challenge its students — is through capturing what is known as ‘student engagement’,” the surveys’ authors write.

    Surveying thousands of students nationwide, the researchers asked questions to identify how involved students are in the intellectual and social life of their college, and the quality of students’ contacts with faculty. Students were asked how well their schools apply classroom learning to the real world, how much they feel challenged by their professors, what opportunities they have to meet with professors, and if they would recommend their school to other students.

    Baylor passed with flying colors, ranking sixth in what we’d call “caring community” among all schools (and No. 3 among schools of more than 15,000 students) — not surprising for a university that has so many staff efforts in place to support students (from Line Camp and Orientation to academic support programs to career development) and has long had such amazing teachers as Robert ReidAnn Miller, Rachel MooreTom Hanks… The list of support programs and beloved professors could go on for days, but you get the idea.

    Sic ’em, Bears!

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