Monmouth College scored well in the inaugural edition of the U.S. News Most Connected Colleges index, ranking in the top 12 percent of all schools.
Computed entirely from school responses to U.S. News’s most recent Best Colleges statistical survey, the Most Connected Colleges index is a measure of schools’ effectiveness in providing online services related to how courses are received and delivered, the accessibility of academic support services and networking among students and faculty.
U.S. News has published ranks for the 278 schools (out of 1,471) that scored 50 or higher in their Connectivity Index to showcase the schools that are closest to achieving the highest level of connectivity possible. With an index of 54.4 out of 100, Monmouth College is ranked 170th, scoring higher than a number of larger schools, including Bates, Amherst, Williams and the U.S. Naval Academy.
The colleges included represent the top 19 percent of schools supplying connectivity data. The No. 1-ranked school is Bowdoin, with a connectivity index of 79.9.
The Connectivity Index is based on the following measures, each comprising one fourth of the Index: Internet speed, Internet access, applications and resources.
The Internet speed measure has three components: what schools reported as being the most prevalent wireless bandwidth on campus (40 percent of the category score), the most prevalent wired bandwidth on campus (40 percent) and the fastest bandwidth speed available to undergraduates anywhere on campus (20 percent).
“We are continually increasing our bandwidth to meet the needs of the campus community,” said MC’s chief information officer Daryl Carr. “Our latest increase was this summer in preparation for the fall semester.”
Within the Internet access measure, the heaviest weight was given to locations on campus in which Wi-Fi access is available, including classrooms, libraries, main auditoriums and the main dining hall. There were four other components, including the number of simultaneous users the campus Wi-Fi network can manage relative to total enrollment and the percentage of campus housing units with personal Wi-Fi access.
“Wi-Fi is ubiquitous – we have Wi-Fi everywhere,” said Carr. “That push really started with the renovation of Hewes Library more than a decade ago, and we’ve been improving our wireless connections one building at a time ever since.”
The applications measure included scores for learning management system features, additional online functions, online technical support available to students and school support for student websites.
The resources measure was divided into five equally-weighted components, including computers distributed to students and percentage of journal holdings made available to students online.