In the 2019 edition of Princeton Review’s “The Best 384 Colleges,” Hobart and William Smith Colleges are ranked seventh in the nation for best student-rated professors, climbing from 18th on last year’s list. Featuring the reflections of current students, the profile of HWS in this year’s guide depicts a faculty committed to their scholarly pursuits while creating a learning environment where academics “are a priority” and faculty “make an effort to form individual relationships with each student,” according to students quoted.
“The faculty at HWS has long nurtured a culture of engaging and supporting students in their academic development, and exposing them to the various areas of scholarship that define their disciplines,” says HWS Provost and Dean of Faculty DeWayne Lucas. “In addition to their expected teaching and scholarly obligations, our faculty regularly serves the education of our students through independent studies, individual majors, summer and academic year research projects, study abroad programs, regional and national conferences, and a variety of other projects that make the academic world accessible to students.”
HWS faculty members themselves, students note in the 2019 “Best Colleges” guide, “make the course material exciting and provide practical uses for this material,” while also being “accessible, kind, and motivating.” Bonds between faculty and their students are strengthened outside the classroom, between “dinners at professors’ homes, attending conferences together in other states, traveling to museums and theatrical performances as a class” and other co-curricular guidance and mentorship.
“As we continue to seek colleagues and support the current faculty, this recognition of our commitment to academic excellence and to students is an important testament to who we are as an institution and reflects the hard work of students and faculty alike,” says Lucas.
Hobart and William Smith employ more than 200 full-time faculty members committed to building rewarding personal and academic relationships with students. With a 10:1 student-faculty ratio and average class size of 17, students are assured individual attention from professors who are experts in their fields.
Meanwhile, as students note in “Best Colleges,” the interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum at HWS offers “niches for lots of different types of students” and “non-classroom experience and learning opportunities,” students said — from “courses taught in tech rooms where we bring material to life [to] courses taught outdoors [to] professors letting students teach course material.”
Other students highlight the “outstanding” career network and professional development programs and staff, who “are extremely supportive and provide everything a student could need to be successful in a job interview.”
The 2019 edition of “Best Colleges” also ranks the HWS study abroad program the best in the country for the second year in a row, and recognizes the campus for politically engaged students (at 10th in the nation) and intramural sports participation (19th).
Recent praise for the Colleges also includes being named among the nation’s top colleges and universities for outstanding outcomes in Princeton Review’s 2017 edition of “Colleges That Create Futures,” as one of the nation’s top colleges and universities with the most recipients of U.S. Fulbright Student Awards, and as a top school for outcomes in Forbes’ Grateful Grad Index, which ranks institutions by their ROI, taking into consideration metrics such as annual giving.