ALMA — Alma College recently received nods from national higher education guides, who tout the college for its “extremely helpful professors,” “practical experiences,” and “well-rounded” student body, among other plaudits.
“We’re thrilled to see national publications recognize the college for its academic quality, as well as the student life experiences we value so highly — exemplified well by our personalized approach to instruction and customized education opportunities,” Alma College President Jeff Abernathy said.
Colleges of Distinction
The 2021-22 edition of Colleges of Distinction highlights Alma College for excellence in classroom teaching and its high-impact student-centered programs — including undergraduate research, study abroad programs, internships, diversity and global learning programs, community-based learning programs and more.
Alma was specifically cited as a “Top Business College,” “Top Nursing College,” “Top Education College” and “Michigan College of Distinction.” It is the 14th consecutive year that Alma College has been recognized by the national guide.
“Every student has their own unique set of abilities, their own goals, and their own ideal settings in which they would thrive,” said Wes Creel, founder of Colleges of Distinction. “That’s why we don’t rank our schools. It’s about finding the best opportunities for each individual’s needs and desires.” Alma College’s inclusion is informed by the extraordinary ways it commits to achieving success.”
Creel continued, “It’s inspiring to see Alma College commit to the learning styles and community involvement that will best allow their students to succeed in and beyond their college years.”
Selected schools are required to adhere to four distinctions — engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. The selection process also includes a review of each institution’s first-year experience, general education program, strategic plan, career development and satisfaction measures.
“Alma College is at its best when it’s working with students who don’t have all the answers, but love to ask the questions. A beautiful residential college located in the middle of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Alma College offers an individualized education through which each student is encouraged to identify personal and professional goals as they chart a path for the future,” Colleges of Distinction notes.
The Princeton Review
Alma College is one of the 158 best colleges in the Midwest, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company lists Alma in the Best in the Midwest section of its “2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website feature.
The Princeton Review website quotes Alma students, who say Alma College “strives to create a well-rounded student who ‘is an expert in one area but still has knowledge in many different subjects.’” The Alma College faculty are “extremely helpful” and “expect a lot of work out of their students,” while support systems “guide students toward graduation,” according to the Review.
In its 2022 rankings, the Princeton Review identifies 654 colleges in five zones — Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West and International — as academically outstanding institutions of higher learning. The “best” lists are calculated from student survey results and institutional data.
The “Best in the Midwest” category has featured Alma College annually since the introduction of the ranking in 2004.
Fiske Guide to Colleges
Alma College is one of more than 300 schools highlighted in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2021. The college guide offers an annual in-depth analysis of the “best and most interesting” schools in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.
The publication describes Alma College as a school with strong student life experiences, academic quality, opportunities for hands-on learning and town/gown relations.
“Most students are really friendly and willing to help other people out, even if they do not know them well,” Fiske quotes a senior student saying. Another says: ““I’ve been on five continents in the past four years thanks to (the Posey Global Leadership Initiative).”
Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske, the guide profiles the selected schools’ student body, academic quality, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities.
The Fiske Guide has highlighted Alma College annually since 1986.