Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been named one of the nation’s 50 best colleges and universities for providing students with outstanding outcomes. Princeton Review‘s newly released book, “Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom,” cited HWS for excellence in academics and faculty engagement as well as outstanding career services, study abroad, service programming and alum support. The highly selective recognition lists HWS with schools such as Stanford University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Franklin & Marshall College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College, and Swarthmore College.
The seven-page review praises Hobart and William Smith for strength in academics, student-faculty connections as well as campus community and distinctive offerings. Citing the 11:1 student to faculty ratio, the interdisciplinary curriculum, and research opportunities, the profile highlights insights from Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Jack Harris, Professor of Economics and Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies Tom Drennen, and Associate Professor of Geoscience Nan Arens.
“Faculty work with students on honors projects and independent studies. Each sports team has a faculty mentor who communicates to faculty about the team and encourages us to come out and cheer. Students work with faculty on community projects, in the school system and community theater,” said Harris.
Drennen reflected on the benefit of HWS Learning Communities being an immersive experience and helping with the transition to college life. “The students in this program are going to know 45 other students and four faculty members, and they’re going to know them well. They are going to feel connected from day one,” said Drennen.
With 60 percent of HWS students studying abroad and a nationally ranked Global Education program, Arens noted the value of faculty-led study abroad experiences. “The opportunity to teach whole semesters abroad as a faculty member was a major factor influencing my decision to come to HWS. I’ve led three of our semester-long off campus programs and it is wonderful to participate in the transformation that happens during these experiences.”
Throughout its survey, the Princeton Review also included a range of positive feedback from students across majors, who anonymously shared their insights.
“‘HWS is a strong academic institution that truly promotes educational growth and real learning. The interdisciplinary nature of the liberal arts is highlighted and I know that my education here is worth something,'” one student commented. Another expressed “gratitude for the interdisciplinary education for a world which requires being able to think from many different perspectives.”
Several HWS students highlighted the faculty and praised the benefits of small class sizes. “The professors are the people who make this place come alive. … I have been fortunate enough to dine with them, meet their families, become friends with them and get to know them on a very human level,” said one student. “The small class sizes have motivated me to do better work and take more initiative with my education [to make] my future become a reality,” said another student. “HWS gives every student a personal experience, and no one is left out of the important conversations that happen on our campus,” noted one student.
President of the Hobart Alumni Association Dr. Jeremy Cushman ’96 and William Smith Alumnae Association President Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk ’98 shared remarks about their continued engagement and the impact their HWS experiences has had on their lives.
“The leadership experience I gained while at Hobart and William Smith no doubt built my skills and confidence to take leadership roles in Medical School, and certainly now in my career in Emergency Medicine,” said Cushman, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he practices as a board certified emergency physician.
“‘I was very involved in student government and held a work study post in the William Smith Deans Office, both of which … helped prepare me for post-college life,'” said Jarmoszuk, who serves as chief of staff for University Development and Alumni Relations at New York University.
For the ability to prepare students for the workforce, The Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education at HWS is cited as one of the school’s biggest strengths by students, noting the Pathways Program, Guaranteed Internship Program and Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend. One architectural studies major interviewed “gives HWS credit for ‘providing academic and career services that the students are interested in.'” A Spanish and Hispanic studies major agreed, listing among the Colleges’ strengths: “‘community service opportunities, career services resources for jobs and internships, and research opportunities with professors.'”
Regarding student leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities, Centennial Center for Leadership’s The Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest and the idea accelerator program HWS IdeaLab were noted. The Colleges longstanding commitment to community engagement and service learning, locally and beyond was also praised with mentions the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, Community Based Research, multiple Days of Service, and the Geneva Partnership, including Geneva 2020 that assists Geneva’s children in the areas of graduation rates, career and college readiness, and literacy. “A well-rounded citizen must contribute to his or her local community AND the global community, and in doing so will find that the two aren’t so different,” said one student.
In selecting the top institutions, Princeton Review used data from surveys of administrators and students at hundreds of schools between 2013 and 2015. Among all colleges and universities, feedback from more than 18,000 current students and 200 interviews with current faculty, administrators and alums were conducted.
In addition to being listed as one of the 50 “Colleges That Create Futures,” Hobart and William Smith were recently ranked #16 in Money magazine’s list of the nation’s best liberal arts colleges, measured by graduation rates, student loan defaults and post-grad earnings. HWS also was named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the 100 Best College Values for 2015. The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.
The Colleges were named to Forbes magazine’s list of “The 50 Top ROI Colleges 2014: The Grateful Grads Index.” The index uses the dollar amount of private donations to an institution per student over a 10-year period to measure a school’s value. Earlier this year, the Colleges were named by Princeton Review as one of only 200 colleges in the nation profiled in the new book, “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get in – 2015 Edition.” The Colleges were again named to Sierra magazine’s annual list of the greenest colleges and universities, moving ahead 64 spots since first appearing on the list in 2009. During the 2014-2015 academic year, HWS was recognized nationally as one of only four institutions named as finalists for the President’s Award for Education Community Service in a recent Honor Roll of nearly 800 colleges and universities. Over the past 14 years, the Colleges also have advanced 15 spots in U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best “National Liberal Arts Colleges.”