NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Bethel College is in a top category of U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of colleges and universities for the eighth year in a row. The national news weekly publishes new rankings each fall. Bethel is one of only four Kansas colleges, and one of three Mennonite-affiliated colleges, to make the top half of the 2006 Best Comprehensive Colleges-Midwest list, appearing the highest in both cases at #29.
"We value this achievement, not only as a symbol of Bethel’s excellent academic reputation but also as a symbol of the strength of the entire Bethel community, working together to build a college that produces leaders," said president E. LaVerne Epp.
Institutions in the Comprehensive College category focus on undergraduate education and provide a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and in professional fields such as business, education and nursing.
Universities that emphasize research and offer several doctoral programs are ranked separately from liberal arts colleges. Comprehensive colleges are compared against other schools in the same group and region (North, South, Midwest or West).
U.S News staff gathers data from and about each school in areas related to academic excellence, with each indicator assigned a percentage. Assessment by top administrators at peer institutions carries the greatest weight (25%). Other indicators include student retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
The top half of the schools in each regional list of Comprehensive Colleges are ranked numerically, with the remainder placed in "third tier" or "fourth tier," based on overall scores.
The issue of U.S. News & World Report that contains the college rankings hits newsstands on Monday, Aug. 22. The information is also available at www.usnews.com.
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and its professional programs in education, social work and nursing. Fall classes begin Monday, August 29. For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.