Description: Alma College, founded in 1886 by Presbyterians, is a selective, residential, private liberal arts college devoted to the teaching and education of undergraduate students.
Type: Coed, 4-year liberal arts and sciences.
Location: Alma, Michigan, one hour north of the state capital of Lansing, in the center of the Lower Peninsula.
Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission, (800) 621-7440; Member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Academic Year: Alma students follow a 4-4-1 calendar. All students take courses during two 15-week semesters followed by a one-month intensive Spring Term. The Spring Term allows students the opportunity to cross geographic, cultural or disciplinary boundaries to pursue individual academic interests. This is also an ideal time for students to consider a variety of opportunities to study off campus, in the U.S. or abroad.
Degrees Awarded: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music.
Students: Alma College enrolls 1,464 undergraduate students from 27 states and 14 foreign countries.
Student/Faculty Ratio: The student/faculty ratio at Alma is 12 students for every one faculty member. There are no teaching assistants. The combination of Alma College’s low student/faculty ratio and overall enrollment means students are guaranteed an educational experience that is challenging and extremely personal.
Average Class Size: 17 students.
Average ACT composite: 24
High school GPA: 3.5
Honor Societies: Alma College’s membership in Phi Beta Kappa is an indication of excellence within the liberal arts. Only 10 percent of colleges and universities in the United States share this distinction. The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization.
Students may pursue membership in 20 additional departmental honors programs or national honor societies.
Athletics: More than one-third of Alma students participate in intercollegiate athletics, joining the winning NCAA Division III tradition of the Alma College Scots. Alma added competitive cheer as an intercollegiate sport in 2012–2013.
Campus Size: 128 acres plus 200-acre ecological tract.
Placement Rates: Nearly 95 percent of all Alma College graduates report working in full-time positions or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.
A Distinctive Scottish Heritage: In the more than 125 years since its founding, Alma College has stayed true to its roots by keeping its Scottish heritage alive. Today, Alma features a marching band clad in kilts, a Scottish dance troupe, a competitive pipe band and its own tartan. Each year, the College hosts the Alma Highland Festival and Games, which feature traditional Scottish games and revelry.
Other Distinctions: Alma encourages its students to look beyond Michigan’s boundaries. The Posey Global Leadership Scholarship provides opportunities for Alma students to travel anywhere in the world and complete a self-designed project. Alma students have completed projects in topics ranging from teaching to public policy, in places from the Philippines to South Africa.
The Alma College Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team has won 11 consecutive regional championships. The competition awards the SIFE teams that are most effective in teaching the principles of market economics through outreach programs in their communities. Last year’s team presented 12 community-outreach projects, including teaching ethics and entrepreneurship skills to students at a juvenile detention center and launching an entrepreneurship competition for students with business ideas.
Spring Term at Alma is a one-month immersion into a single academic topic that offers learning experiences not typically available during the more traditional 15-week fall and winter terms. During Spring Term 2012, students observed lizards in Bermuda, researched medicinal plants in the Amazon rainforest, performed dance in Taiwan and examined renewable energy in Europe.
Alma College’s teacher preparation program is rated “exemplary” by the Michigan Department of Education. The annual review analyzes student pass rates on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, surveys of student teachers and their supervisors, program completion rates, diversity in enrollment, and whether schools are preparing teachers in high-need subject areas.