Fiske Guide to Colleges Praises Alma for Experiential Learning, Personalized Approach
ALMA — Alma College is once again featured in a college guide trusted by students, families and guidance counselors across the globe for nearly 40 years, the Fiske Guide to Colleges.
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.
Alma is one of 300 schools highlighted in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2023. The college guide offers an annual analysis of the “best and most interesting” schools in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.
The publication describes Alma College as a “gem” that celebrates its Scottish heritage and “combines the liberal arts with distinctive [academic] offerings” with faculty who are committed to helping students succeed. It states, “Alma challenges students to take their learning beyond the classroom and around the globe, and with caring faculty — and ample funding for off-campus experiences — students feel supported every step of the way.”
Fiske praises key values of the Alma College experience, including:
Learning by doing: During the one-month spring term, students enroll in a single intensive course, with a third of the courses involving off-campus study. In recent courses, students have studied social change in China, rainforest ecology in Costa Rica, and backpack filmmaking in Italy. The guide quotes a student: “I’ve been on five continents in the past four years thanks to this program, and each time I was able to give back to the community I went to.”
Personalized approach to education: Fifty-one percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, and many of them incorporate service-learning opportunities. Undergraduate research is big at Alma, too, with 39 percent of students pursuing an independent project under a professor’s guidance or joining faculty projects. “Your professors double as your advisors, which allows you to build great relationships with them,” one student is quoted as saying.
“Alma challenges students to take their learning beyond the classroom and around the globe, and with caring faculty — and ample funding for off-campus experiences — students feel supported every step of the way,” Fiske writes. “While students enjoy their school’s warm, inviting atmosphere, they’re also eager to venture out, explore, and pursue their goals. But no matter where their futures take them, for Alma alumni, bagpipes will always sound like home.”