College education is often seen as a crucial stage in a person’s life. It requires a lot of decision-making and therefore, every year, parents and students mull over various websites and brochures to pick out the college that will most probably determine the course of the student’s life.
The Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education College Ranking promises to be the helping hand in this whole ordeal and is touted to be one of the best U.S. institute ranking systems which keeps in mind several things that are not only about the technical information of the institutes but also bring forth the grading of the life on the campus itself.
It attempts to rate the whole college experience – from the institute’s infrastructure, faculty and student interaction to the success rate of the students along with an idea of the prospective salary that studying in that institute would help one get. The best part of this ranking is said to be its outlook which is that of a parent or the student.
The rankings are based on 15 individual performance indicators which are distributed between four major parameters or pillars- Resources (30%), Engagement (20%), Outcome (40%) and Environment (10%).
Under Resources, institutes are graded on the amount they spend on each student which reflects the facilities that the institute can offer. Other than that the number of faculty members and that of published research papers helps determine the effectiveness of the teaching exercise and also measures the productivity of the institute as well as its faculty.
In Engagement, the institute’s ability to develop collaborative learning and critical thinking in its students is analyzed along with the support the students get from their teachers. It also attempts to measure whether enough subjects are offered to choose from.
The category of Outcome measures the success rate of the institute in terms of its graduation rate, use of the education provided by it in terms of the salary acquired by its students and their ability to pay their student loan.
The Environment category assesses whether the environment on campus is inclusive in terms of ethnicity, race, financial backgrounds and the number of international students in the institute. The diversity is also checked as to be present in the faculty as well or not.
It is a very detailed system and attempts to consider all the factors and issues bobbing in a prospective student’s mind so that he/she can make a well-informed decision. As per the ranking, Stanford University has come on top with a total score of 92/100.
Also check QS World University rankings 2016