Wall Street Journal Ranks Saint Mary’s Among Top 25 Percent of U.S. Higher Ed Institutions

Saint Mary’s College of California was listed among the top 25 percent of U.S. colleges and universities in the 2017 College Rankings by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education.

Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher EducationThe inaugural higher education guide is designed to place graduate achievement and student learning at its center and focuses on four key areas of performance—resources, engagement, outcomes, and environment. The WSJ highlighted Saint Mary’s for its success in student engagement and for the College’s diverse academic environment.

Saint Mary’s President James Donahue said the College’s strong showing in the new guide to the nation’s best colleges was high praise. “We are very pleased that these two highly regarded business news and education analysis organizations have recognized Saint Mary’s. It emphasizes the College’s academic excellence, the tremendous value of student interaction with our outstanding faculty, and our ongoing commitment to an inclusive environment.”

In determining student engagement, the WSJ rankings examined questions such as how does a university support critical thinking, how does the institution’s teaching support application of student learning to the real world, and how does the curriculum promote new ways of thinking?

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Bethami Dobkin said the WSJ evaluation of Saint Mary’s underscores the College’s efforts in fostering student success. “The ranking methodology explores important factors that are highly valued at the College, in particular access to highly accomplished faculty, undergraduate research, and experiential learning opportunities; all of which are vital parts of the Saint Mary’s student experience.”

Among the highlights in the WSJ’s engagement assessment of the College, Saint Mary’s scored high marks with 88.8 out of 100 for student interaction with faculty and collaborative learning and 83.5 for student engagement with a challenging curriculum. It also had distinction in the category of recommendations at 82.6, which noted if current students would refer the institution to potential students.

In the area of academic environment, which looked at the diversity of the student body and faculty, percentages of first-generation and international students, numbers of Pell Grant recipients and how institutions provide supportive and inclusive environments, the College also shown brightly. Saint Mary’s scored 92.7 in student diversity and 84 in faculty diversity.

The rankings methodology also explored factors such as how much an institution spends on instruction and support services, faculty publications, faculty student ratios, graduation rates, and the salaries of alumni.

This latest recognition follows other recent acknowledgements of Saint Mary’s as an outstanding institution, including its listing among the top 10 institutions of higher education in the West in the U.S. News 2017 edition of Best Colleges. Saint Mary’s ranked 265 out of 1,061 colleges and universities across the nation in the Wall Street Journal 2017 College Rankings.


Michael McAlpin, Director of Media Relations
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About SMC
The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For more than 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 4,200 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at stmarys-ca.edu and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.