Wall Street Journal Ranks Denison in Top 30 of Nat'l Liberal Arts

Posted: October 4, 2017
Chapel walk in the fall

The Wall Street Journal, in conjunction with Times Higher Ed, has ranked Denison University in the top 30 of national liberal arts colleges. The recently released rankings place an emphasis on financial outcomes, campus engagement among students and professors, and the campus environment, including racial, ethnic and financial diversity. In all, 15 measures go into calculating the overall ranking.

“The Wall Street Journal rankings confirm what we believe — that Denison is a great liberal arts college,” said Denison University President Adam Weinberg. “Our students develop close mentoring relationships with their faculty, who challenge them to achieve. Our career exploration strategies were just recognized for their innovation and thought-leadership. Global learning is infused across the curriculum. More than 80 percent of our students engage in study abroad, internships, and seminars that include off-campus experiences. And in 2018, we are opening the Eisner Center for the Performing Arts, building on our strong foundation in the arts. Denison does an outstanding job of unlocking the potential of our students. I am proud to be a Denisonian.”

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Ed Ranking measures the performance of all national colleges and universities, including public universities and those with graduate programs. Within the complete list, Denison rose seven places this year, from #91 to #84. When categorizing the list by peers, Denison ranks #29 in the nation among its peers in private, liberal arts baccalaureate colleges with an arts and sciences curriculum.

Denison’s Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration combines a forward-thinking approach with robust resources to implement innovations. The college has raised $20 million toward a $50 million goal to create and staff a visionary program that already is being recognized by peers in the industry. The Knowlton Center has doubled its staff and space, and it is building capacities in funded internship programs, on-line modules for profession-specific skills, and career mentorship through a successful, engaged alumni network. Ninety-six percent of alumni report being in their desired field or position or on their way to achieving what they hope to accomplish professionally within five years of graduation.

Global learning through the liberal arts gives students an understanding and critical analysis of complex, interdependent global systems and legacies. Denison students gain knowledge about culture, economics and languages through the curriculum and global opportunities both on campus and abroad.

Carter Loesch, a global commerce major at Denison, just finished an internship with an international export firm and is studying in Berlin this semester. He notes, “We learned a lot about cultural differences and how to focus on the competitive advantages of your company and adapt to the ways other countries do business,” he said. “In my internship, I was able to find the most efficient and best places to find where taxes and added fees would be cheapest. I’m a people-centric person. Business is ultimately about people connecting their interests.”

Relationships are foundational at Denison. Gallup research has shown that when students have mentors, they thrive during college, and perhaps even more importantly, after graduation. At Denison, approximately 93 percent of our recent alumni report have connected in a meaningful way with a faculty or staff member. Students test and refine their knowledge, goals and skills in an environment where professors, coaches, staff and peers provide a foundation of learning, support, and mentorship.

The arts build community and bridge differences. Talented performing arts students and faculty will soon collaborate in a stunning new space, the Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts, which opens in late fall of 2018. Denison is the place for students who are passionate about the arts and want a liberal arts education. More than 80 performances each year span the arts of music, theatre and dance, and reach thousands of students, faculty, staff and members of the community. In addition, dozens of student-run productions in theatre, a cappella music, improvisational comedy and dance are held annually.

“Students, faculty and alumni have so many reasons to be excited about where Denison is today, and how we are building academic, global, career, arts and relational capacities for the future,” said Weinberg. “We are in a great place and getting even better. This national ranking recognizes the incredible work that Denison is doing to create the best possible liberal arts education for our students.”

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