Educational Quality accumulates many factors —
the effectiveness of the coursework, professors' effort levels, opportunities outside
the classroom, how will the information “sticks”, the organization of
the courses, how confident the students feel with the material
after the courses.
Academic Success is based upon 'understanding'
This is fundamentally important. In a world obsessed with
grades, it is imperative that any educational institution insure that
the grades it gives, the metrics, and evaluations are clear
and appropriate to the student's mastery.
Many schools stake
their reputation on grades, and their abilities to make qualified,
educated, and ambitious people either fail out, or do poorly
— because then it artificially seems as though the
education is difficult.
This does an enormous disservice
to students and their families, who invest and save their
entire lives to help increase the opportunities of their children,
where the institution then takes their money on that promise,
then diminishes those opportunities to build their own reputation.
To either the successful or naive observer, it may seem
that grades are a direct reflection of a student's own
performance, but they are not. Curving policies, “fairness” assertions,
and forced fail-out rates enforce something entirely different. The
sad part is that because of the number of years
this occurs over for the student, and peoples' abilities to
“self-blame”, that the failure on the part of the
institution to understand the purpose of its own education, and
to act in its students' interests is totally overlooked.
attend college for an education, and an increase in opportunities.
This measures how well those opportunities and success follow
from the student's own efforts and understanding.
Innovation is the conversion of educational knowledge into new opportunities,
and new ways of doing things. Pure education can
become outdated, but teaching a student how and encouraging their
creativity and innovation will provide them with returns for the
rest of their lives.
students to grow, to achieve potentials beyond what they originally
considered, the coursework must be CHALLENGING.
While a certain amount of competition is a good thing,
this metric measures the amount of “bad competition” — the
kind that results in cheating, hoarding knowledge, looking over
the shoulder, and the general kind that is counterproductive to
the working relationships at highly profitable companies, or in
effective management. Effective companies and employees — and “people”
in general are those that work together openly. Cut-throat
competition teaches a work ethic & mentality that is actually
counter to success.
access to a wealth of real-world or research experience, and
find opportunities, or just to understand some fundamental principle, the
faculty must be accessible.
Schoolwork is Useful & Instructive
Many schools give coursework for the purpose of delivering grades
rather than the purpose of educating students. Students
have evaluated to say what proportion of their coursework is
useful and instructive. In the context of a good
education, busywork does not assist (for the most part) understanding
and competency in the workforce, and provides a mechanism by
which grades do not match competency, harming students post-graduation opportunities.
The purpose of universities is to educate, not to
babysit, nor to leverage customers for reputation.
One would be surprised at the degree and
number of instructors who do not speak english at large
institutions. Besides providing questionable instruction, the number of
represents the respect and interest the institution has for their
undergraduates. If they do not take the time to
make certain their instructors are understandable, then they may have
interests other than their student body.
Would Return (Overall
All things stated, would the students choose to
return? This blanket captures things that all of our
ratings did not, or could not capture. Is there
some unknown factor affecting why students would not return?
University Funding Use
While many schools may argue this,
University Funding, from the prospective of the students is meant
to be used for 2 things: Improving immediate conditions on
campus for the CURRENT CUSTOMER BASE, and in increasing reputation
so that the VALUE of the physical degree is grows
over time. A growing reputation means that doors will
continue to open throughout your life due to the “Name”
on your degree.
We did not stratify
by research institutions because we felt that while research institutions
may present different opportunities than liberal arts, the education provided
to undergraduates is not necessarily better, worse, or even
that different, and many prospective students consider them all nearly
equally when choosing where to apply.
Note: There is
no separation by department/major to show relative strengths at this