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The New American Colleges and Universities is a national consortium of selective, small to mid-size independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement.
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Integrating Liberal Arts, Professional Studies, and Civic Responsibility

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New! Ohio Northern University Joins NAC&U

Photo of campusOhio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, recently joined The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), bringing the total number of members to 23. Ohio Northern University shares the NAC&U core mission to purposefully integrate liberal education, professional studies and civic engagement.

“While all NAC&U institutions are like-minded peers in terms of size and mission, our expanding membership brings diverse backgrounds and expertise to the table,” said Nancy Hensel, president of NAC&U. “Since collaboration is a major initiative for us, expanding our membership will mean more opportunities for students and faculty within the consortium.”

NAC&U members span 15 states. Ohio Northern is one of two current members from Ohio; John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, is also a member. This is the second new member that has joined NAC&U this year; the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif., joined in June. Read more

New! Hampton Receives $3.5 Million to Increase Minority STEM Majors

LogoThe Hampton University First in the World Partnership (HU-FITWP) has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  The project goal is to increase the access to and affordability of a university education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines (STEM) for underrepresented, and or low-income students. Read more

New! Westminster Computer Science Professor Receives Women in Tech Award

Photo of Dr. Helen HuWestminster computer science professor Dr. Helen Hu received the Education Excellence Award at the 2014 Women in Tech Awards. The Women Tech Council recognizes technology-focused women who are driving innovation, leading technology companies, and are key contributors to the community.

Dr. Helen Hu is passionate about broadening participation in computer science throughout Utah. Hu was awarded a three-year $800,000 National Science Foundation grant to improve computer science education in Utah high schools. Through the NSF grant, Hu introduced a new high school course “Exploring Computer Science” to over 50 Utah schools. The program already has better gender equity than any other Utah high school computer science course. Read more

Photo of MarathonNew! St. Edward’s University MBA Capstone Group Wins with Economic Impact Study for Austin Marathon

A group of St. Edward’s University students in The Bill Munday School of Business succeeded in helping Conley Sports Productions, the production company for the Austin Marathon, to develop an economic impact study for the Austin Marathon. The students also developed a tool for Conley Sports to use going forward to measure the impact of each marathon it organizes. Read more

Widener’s Civic Engagement Portal Facilitates Students’ Connection to the Community

Photo of Elizabeth HousholderWhen Elizabeth Housholder, assistant dean for civic engagement, began working at Widener University in November 2011, she became inundated with the volunteer opportunities available to students in the Chester, PA area where Widener is located. Housholder fielded inquiries via phone, voicemail, email, and in person, and then manually entered them into an internal website for students to view. The process was time-consuming and inefficient, and because the site had limited functionality – sorting and searching the list were not options – students hardly used it.

Seeking a way to “work smarter, not harder,” Housholder was inspired by the Cities of Service websites, an online tool which allows cities to link residents to volunteer opportunities.  She contacted the website’s host, interactive design studio Cloudred, to see if something similar existed for universities, as she had found that building a site from scratch was well beyond her budget. Cloudred CEO Allen Yee quickly replied to say that the product did not exist, but he believed that higher education could be a potential market for his company. Read more

College Rankings Round-up

New American Colleges and Universities were mentioned in several rankings and listings this month.

U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2015
Photo of Belmont bannerU.S. News & World Report released their annual Best Colleges issue online this week. Eighty percent of NAC&U members ranked as regional universities were in the top 20 in their respective regions. All but two NAC&U members are regarded as regional universities. See below for rankings by region as well as highlights of additional rankings data.

South
Samford University #3Belmont University #5Stetson University #6 • Hampton University #18

  • Stetson and Samford were listed as “Best Values” in the region.
  • Belmont, Samford, and Stetson were listed as “A+ Schools for B Students” and took three of the four spots on the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list.
  • Hampton was ranked #4 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities nationally and took the #2 spot on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
  • Hampton was also listed on a regional roundup of institutions in which students graduate with the least debt.
  • Belmont’s internship program was touted on the list of “Programs to Look For” which recognizes enriched offerings linked to student success.
  • Belmont was also recognized as an “Up and Coming” school.

Midwest
Valparaiso University #5John Carroll University #7Drury University #8 • University of Evansville #9 • Hamline University #12North Central College #14

  • Drury was listed as the “Best Value” in the region with Valpo listed as the second “Best Value” in the region.
  • U of Evansville, John Carroll, and Hamline were in the top 12 out of 15 “Best Values” in the region.
  • All of the NAC&U schools in this region were listed as “A+ Schools for B Students.”
  • Valpo was listed among the top 59 engineering programs (bachelor or master’s degree as highest offered) in the country.
  • The “Programs to Look For” listing recognized John Carroll’s service learning programs and U of Evansville’s study abroad programs.
  • Valpo and John Carroll were recognized on the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list.
  • Valpo was also recognized as an “Up and Coming” school.
  • Drury was #3 on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.

North
USNewsSublogoThe University of Scranton #7Manhattan College #18Wagner College #28Nazareth College #31 • Arcadia University #41 • The Sage Colleges #87

  • Wagner College again prominently factored into the “Programs to Look For” list with its first year experience, internships and service learning.
  • Arcadia was recognized for its study abroad programs on the “Programs to Look For” list.
  • Scranton was listed as a Best Value in the region as well as an “Up and Coming” school.
  • Arcadia, Nazareth, Scranton and Wagner were listed as A+ Schools for B Students.”
  • Manhattan was listed among the top 59 engineering programs (bachelor or master’s degree as highest offered) in the country.
  • Nazareth was recognized among “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

West
University of Redlands #12 • St. Edward’s University #13 • Pacific Lutheran University #17 • Westminster College #20

  • Redlands was listed as a ”Best Value” in the region and #1 on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
  • St. Edward’s and Pacific Lutheran were #2 and #4, respectively, on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
  • All of the NAC&U schools in this region were listed as “A+ Schools for B Students.”

National
University of La Verne #166 • Widener University #189

  • Both La Verne and Widener were recognized as “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

Washington Monthly’s Contribution to the Public Good
Ten members were among the top 90 schools recognized for their contribution to the public good in three categories: Washington Monthly's SealSocial Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). Half of the members named were in the top 25. Members ranked as follows:

Money Magazine’s Best Colleges for Your Money
Money magazine listed Manhattan College as #40 and John Carroll University as #95 in the nation in its “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings. Valparaiso University also made the list at #214. Institutions were evaluated based on 17 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability, and career outcomes.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For
Westminster College campusAccording to a 2014 survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education, North Central College and Westminster College are two of the best colleges in the nation to work for. Results are based on a survey of more than 43,500 employees at 278 colleges and universities. In the survey, Westminster employees lauded the school in the following four recognition categories: collaborative governance; teaching environment; facilities, workspace and security; and job satisfaction.

Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges 2015
Eight NAC&U members are among the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 379 Colleges.” Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and only four colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book. Members included on the list were Hampton University, Wagner College, Nazareth College, The University of Scranton, Drury University, North Central College, Valparaiso University and Westminster College.

Wagner College was also listed as #1 in Best College Theater, and its student newspaper ranked among the country’s top 20 collegiate news publications. Wagner was also listed among the “Great Schools for Health Services Majors” for the second year in a row. Nazareth College was ranked #17 for Best College Theater, and The University of Scranton was among the 20 “Best Run Colleges” in the nation.

Forbes’ Americas Top Colleges
Photo of magazine coverFifteen NAC&U members were listed on Forbes 2014 Top Colleges list, produced in partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The rankings assessed five general categories, with several component factors within each category, including student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, four-year graduation rate and academic success. Members on the list were Belmont University, Hamline University, John Carroll University, Manhattan College, North Central College, Pacific Lutheran University, Samford University, Stetson University, The Sage Colleges, The University of Scranton, University of Evansville, University of La Verne, University of Redlands, Valparaiso University, and Wagner College.

Colleges of Distinction
Belmont University, North Central College, Samford University, and Westminster College were named among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction for providing innovative, teacher-centered undergraduate education and preparing graduates for real-world success.

Great Value Colleges’ Great Affordable Colleges
The University of Evansville and Valparaiso University were recognized among 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest by Great Value Colleges. UE was ranked 3rd in the Private School category.

U.S. Veterans Magazine Top Veteran-Friendly Schools
In the summer issue of the U.S. Veterans Magazine (USVM), the University of Evansville was recognized as a Top Veteran-Friendly School on the magazines 2014 Best of the Best Lists. UE was the only private university in Indiana, and one of only two colleges in the state, to receive this distinction.

 

Read archived New American Colleges and Universities Featured stories.

 
 

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List of our members:
Arcadia University
Belmont University
Drury University
Hamline University
Hampton University
John Carroll University
Manhattan College
Nazareth College
North Central College
Ohio Northern University
Pacific Lutheran University
St. Edward's University
Samford University
Stetson University
The Sage Colleges
The University of Scranton
University of Evansville
University of La Verne
University of Redlands
Valparaiso University
Wagner College
Westminster College
Widener University