SRU ranked nationally by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education

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Sept. 28, 2016

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SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University has earned a national spot among the best colleges and universities according to the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings. The WSJ/THE rankings include a total of 1,061 institutions nationwide.

Developed in partnership with university leaders and associations, the U.S. Department of Education and leading industry figures, the rankings use a balanced scorecard approach. Fifteen individual performance metrics were used, grouped into four pillars representing:

• Resources (30 percent)

Does the college have the capacity to effectively deliver teaching?

Within this pillar is:
   o Finance per student
   o Faculty per student
   o Research papers per faculty

• Engagement (20 percent)

Does the college effectively engage with its students? Most of the data in this area is gathered through THE's student survey of 100,000 students from 1,111 institutions.

Within this pillar is:
   o Student engagement
   o Student recommendation
   o Interaction with teachers and students
   o Number of accredited programs

• Outcomes (40 percent)

Does the college generate good and appropriate outputs? Does it add value to the students who attend?

Within this pillar is:
   o Graduation rate
   o Value added to graduate salary
   o Value added to the loan repayment rate
   o Academic reputation

• Environment (10 percent)

Is the college providing a learning environment for all students? Does it make efforts to attract a diverse student body and faculty?

Within this pillar is:
   o Proportion of international students
   o Student diversity
   o Student inclusion
   o Staff diversity

THE's student survey captured key thoughts regarding motivation, engagement with learning, career impact and satisfaction and value of their corresponding institution. Nine demographic and screening questions covered student status on campus, subject focus of studies, learning delivery method, academic level and year of entry, gender, nationality, origin status (in-state, out-of-state, international) and year of birth.

"I think students and their families, and institutions themselves, are badly served by rankings that look simply at how rich a college is," said Phil Baty, editor of THE's portfolio of university and college rankings. "Our rankings focus on the quality of degree programs with a particular emphasis on students' experiences of teaching and learning, resources available, educational outcomes and the diversity of campus communities.

"We have been able to ask tens of thousands of current students how much they are supported, engaged, and intellectually challenged by their college. At a time when student debt in the U.S. has hit $1.3 trillion and college affordability and the value for money of a college degree are at the top of many families' lists of concerns, we are going to focus on the things that matter most to students, including: 'Are they likely to get a job after graduation?' and 'Will they pay off their student debt?'"


MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robert.king@sru.edu