Aug. 29, 2012 – Washington Monthly’s “2012 College Rankings: What Can Colleges Do for the Country?” ranks Allegheny College No. 41 – 13 spots ahead of last year’s rankings – among liberal arts colleges in the nation based on contribution to the public good.
Washington Monthly rates schools based on three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).
This year the rankings also factor in an analysis of which schools combine higher than expected graduation rates with affordable prices.
In a recent survey conducted by the National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement, Allegheny scored higher than the national average in all nine service areas that the survey reviewed: areas related to youth, health, civic participation, the environment, homelessness, hunger, elder care, and religious and economic concerns.
Eighty-one percent of the Allegheny College students surveyed reported participating in some type of service while in college. Allegheny also earned one of the highest institutional scores in results that combined service with frequency and depth of service.
“It is not about the number of students involved or the number of hours of service they accomplish each semester that really matters in our work with community service,” said Dave Roncolato, director of community service at the college. “What matters is that our students are learning that they can have a positive impact if they put themselves aside and invest in making a real difference. We are about developing an ethic of service that will benefit our students and be of service to our nation long after they have graduated from Allegheny College.”
Allegheny has created numerous opportunities to encourage engaged, responsible citizenship – on campus and off – through its interdisciplinary academic minor in Values, Ethics and Social Action.
In addition, innovative institutional programs including the Center for Political Participation, the Allegheny College Center for Experiential Learning and the Center for Economic and Environmental Development provide students with opportunities to perform community service while gaining practical experience for future careers.
Dozens of student-led service organizations are also committed to making a difference in the community and beyond. In just one year, 2010-2011, Allegheny students recorded a total of 59,387 hours of service.
In addition to the Washington Monthly rankings, Allegheny has gained attention recently in other well-known guides. Allegheny is among the 40 schools profiled in the newly updated edition of Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is also showcased in Princeton Review’s “The Best 377 Colleges,” “Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That Is Best for You” and Peterson’s “440 Great Colleges for Top Students.”
The 32nd oldest college in the nation, Allegheny College will celebrate its bicentennial in 2015.