William Woods University ranked in the top 107 of Midwestern universities providing a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, according to the 2006 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” published by U.S. News & World Report.
The university’s high ranking was attributable primarily to student selectivity and faculty resources.
Thirty-five percent of the 2004 entering freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, which is one measure of student selectivity. According to the publication, this is important because, “A school’s academic atmosphere is determined in part by the abilities and ambitions of the student body.”
In the faculty resources area, William Woods reported a student-faculty ratio of 13-1. Nearly three-fourths of the classes have fewer than 20 students and only .3 percent of the classes have 50 or more students.
This, too, is important, according to “America’s Best Colleges,” because, “Research shows that the more satisfied students are about their contact with professors, the more they will learn and the more likely it is they will graduate.”
Sherry McCarthy, vice president and academic dean at WWU, commenting on the university’s ranking, said, “William Woods University is raising the bar on its admissions criteria and the quality of its incoming classes. In addition, we are ensuring continuous quality improvement in our programs of study and our departments.”
Altogether, 1,400 institutions were surveyed and ranked according to 15 indicators of academic excellence. In addition to student selectivity and faculty resources, those indicators include peer assessment among academics, graduation and retention (average six-year graduation and freshman retention rates), financial resources and average alumni giving rate.