by Pamela Wong (Former Writer, Baldrige Program)
It’s that time of year—parents (including me!) are dropping off their children to begin the college adventure. They and their student are excited and nervous, hoping they have selected the right college or university for them. To help in the selection process, perhaps they consulted an intriguing book—Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope, former education editor for The New York Times.
Pope was one of the first to encourage students to select a college that best fits them—instead of relying on college rankings that seemed to suggest that “one size fits all.” In his book and through the foundation he established, Pope highlights 40 lesser-known colleges and universities that have, in his words, “life-changing success with students.”
These schools range in enrollment from 350 to 4,000 and share some common characteristics, such as a focus on student and stakeholder engagement that includes low student-to-faculty ratios, a commitment to undergraduate liberal arts and sciences education, a primarily residential environment, and an active alumni network that supports graduates.
In such a small, close-knit community, it’s easy to see how they could build a student- and stakeholder-focused culture. But what about other schools, such as large public universities, business schools, and community colleges? How do they achieve "life-changing success" with their students?
Many higher education institutions that are looking for a comprehensive approach to achieve success are using the Baldrige Excellence Framework (Education) to support their students. A broad range of education organizations have successfully used the Criteria. Just take a look at those that have received the Baldrige Award:
Do you have any results to share on the Baldrige Criteria’s impact at an institution of higher education?