Lipscomb University has been ranked 78th in the nation, by Washington Monthly in its master’s universities category, Tennessee’s only master’s category university to make the top 100.
Washington Monthly is a magazine that established its own ranking system seven years ago as an alternative to the well-known U.S. News and World Reports rankings. The Washington Monthly rankings were designed specifically to measure how a university gives back to its community through providing social mobility to low-income students, providing volunteer service and research advancements.
The 2011 rankings were reported in the September/October issue of Washington Monthly, now on newsstands, and Lipscomb’s rank can be found here.
More than 550 universities across the nation were included in the master’s-level listing. The Washington Monthly rankings consider the percentage of students receiving Pell grants; research expenditures; the number of students who go on to earn Ph.D.s, apply to the Peace Corps or participate in ROTC; and the number of community service hours carried out by students and full-time staff to develop a ranking that shows “what our colleges are doing for our country.”
Washington Monthly’s master’s category also includes local institutions Tennessee Technological University (ranked 110), Belmont University (ranked 226) and Middle Tennessee State University (ranked 288). Lipscomb’s ranking of 78 was higher than other well-respected institutions across the nation such as Elon University, The Citadel, Marshall University and California State University-Fullerton.
Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell stories about the ideas and characters of America’s government from a political outsider’s point of view. In 2005 the magazine established its annual college rankings to bring attention to the many American colleges spending energy and resources to encourage students to “give back to their communities and nation.”
In the Washington Monthly criteria, Lipscomb also ranked 44th in the nation in the number of bachelor’s students who go on to earn Ph.D.s and 22nd in the nation in a category that considered full-time staff support of community service, the number of academic courses incorporating service and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service.
“Selfless service is ingrained in Lipscomb students from the first week they are on campus. Before classes even begin, students are asked to participate in a service day during freshman orientation,” said Christin Shatzer, director of the university’s SALT (Serving and Learning Together) Program, which coordinates the university’s service-learning graduation requirement.
The SALT program is designed to integrate students’ areas of study and professional goals into community engagement, setting a direction for their future integration of life, work and community.
Last year the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teachingselected Lipscomb University as one of only 115 colleges and universities nationwide to receive its 2010Community Engagement Classification. Lipscomb joined 196 institutions identified in the 2006 and 2008 selection process.
In order to be selected by Carnegie, institutions provided descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.
This classification places Lipscomb among the top universities in the nation along with institutions such as the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University, both approved for 2010, and previously classified institutions such as Duke, Georgetown, Pennsylvania State and Syracuse universities.
The foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education continues to be used for a range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.