Monmouth / About the College / News / Full Story

Monmouth Rises to 135 in 'U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges' Rankings; College Has Jumped 32 Spots in Just Three Years

Duane Bonifer
09/10/2018
Students head to an early morning class on the Monmouth College campus. Less than 5 percent of schools in the “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category of 'U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges' have accomplished what Monmouth has -- rising more than 30 places in the last three years.
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Strong leadership and a major investment in academic quality have helped Monmouth College continue its ascent in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges. The guide’s 2019 rankings, released Sept. 10, placed Monmouth No. 135 nationally among the publication’s “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category.

That’s 12 spots higher than last year’s position and 32 places higher than where the College was on the list three years ago. Less than 5 percent of schools in the “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category have moved more than 30 places in the last three years.

“All of us at Monmouth College are gratified by the College’s continued strong improvement in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges,” said Monmouth President Clarence R. Wyatt. “No ranking system can fully capture the quality of a college, but Monmouth’s 32-position rise over the past three years clearly shows that this college is charting a path of growing strength and momentum, even in the face of very challenging times for American higher education.”

Wyatt credited the College’s rise in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges to “the imagination and energy of our faculty and staff, the visionary leadership of our Board of Trustees, the generosity of thousands of Monmouth College alumni and friends, and the confidence placed in us by our students and their families.”

Monmouth’s very solid financial position has allowed the College’s leadership to invest in faculty- and staff-driven programs that will provide students even more challenging academic and cocurricular experiences, said Monmouth College Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Kopinski.

“The Board of Trustees is an enthusiastic supporter of faculty and staff initiatives that will play a strategic role in shaping the future of the College” said Kopinski. “Prudent budgeting by the administration, combined with a strong overall financial position, have allowed for key investments in moving the College forward, which are being recognized by improving college rankings.”

Earlier this year, Monmouth launched a major academic innovation that will further position its students to be competitive in careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Beginning in fall 2019, Monmouth will add STEM programs in data science, engineering and neuroscience. Engineering will be a “renaissance program” that offers an area of concentration in chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering. The College is also finishing a major renovation of one of its historic residence halls, the first phase of an overhaul of the College’s oldest residence halls.

The new STEM majors follow the introduction of the Triad Program, which brings three disciplines together around an issue of social importance. The first two Triads focus on Global Food Security and Global Public Health.

“It’s gratifying to know that others have recognized the positive things that have been happening at Monmouth College,” said psychology professor Joan Wertz, who is also chair of the Faculty Senate. “We’ve been focused on interdisciplinary teaching and learning for a number of years, and now it is very exciting to be adding interdisciplinary programs in neuroscience, engineering and data science. These programs will strengthen our science program and the college as a whole, and we expect that they will be attractive to high-achieving students.”
Wertz noted that as a residential liberal arts college, Monmouth has “a long tradition of both challenging students to be successful, and also supporting them in those efforts.”

“We care deeply about our students and their success as people, and I believe the recent rise we’ve seen in the rankings reflects the positive impact we’ve had on our students and alumni,” she said.