Alverno College was named the Midwest’s top university for its strong commitment to teaching and the most innovative school in Wisconsin, in rankings released Monday, Sept. 14, by U.S. News & World Report. The publication’s 2021 America’s Best Colleges guidebook also recognized Alverno for its value, ethnic diversity, economic diversity, social mobility and first-year student experience.
This is the third time Alverno was ranked No. 1 for its commitment to undergraduate teaching. It’s also the only college in the state included in this category for its entire 11-year history. The ranking highlights schools “where the faculty have an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.”
“It’s an honor for us to receive this recognition because our dedication to our students is paramount,” said Joseph Foy, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at Alverno. “I have seen how committed our staff and faculty are to our students’ success. Our mission is to prepare women at the undergraduate level, and women and men in our graduate programs, for personal and professional distinction, and I couldn’t be more proud of how we go about accomplishing that.”
As Wisconsin’s most innovative school, Alverno was tied for first place among Midwest regional universities with Butler University. Schools in this category are “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”
The “Economic Diversity” category is an indication of how many undergraduate students receive federal Pell grants. U.S. News & World Report “believes that Pell figures are the best available gauge of institutions’ relative commitment to access for all.”
For the third year in a row, Alverno made the list of “Best Value Schools” among regional universities. The college also ranked higher than any other Wisconsin school for “First Year Experience,” a category that highlights schools that skillfully bring together small groups of students with faculty or staff on a regular basis as part of curricular and academic programming. In a relatively new category, Alverno was recognized as a top performer for “Social Mobility,” which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Pell grants.
For the sixth consecutive year, Alverno was also recognized for “Ethnic Diversity” among Midwest regional universities, which means students are more likely to encounter undergraduates from a different ethnic group than their own. Of the undergraduate population for the 2019-20 school year, 25 percent of Alverno students identified as Hispanic or Latina, 14 percent as African American, 4 percent as Asian and 4 percent as two or more races. This makes Alverno, Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution, one of the state’s most diverse colleges.
With these rankings, Alverno College is noted among such prestigious schools as Brown University, Duke University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University and Yale University.
The rankings evaluate colleges and universities on 17 measures of academic quality, including graduation rates, first-year retention and faculty resources. Colleges and universities are grouped into 10 ranking categories based on their academic missions. Within each category, the sum of weighted, normalized values determine each school’s overall score. The full listing can be found at usnews.com.