California State University, Fullerton

CSUF Ranks Nationally as Force for Public Good

Aug. 28, 2012

When it comes to contributing to the public good, Cal State Fullerton is ranked No. 14 in the nation by Washington Monthly among universities and colleges awarding primarily bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The rankings are reported in the magazine’s September/October 2012 issue, which is now available online

The focus of the rankings in the magazine's annual College Guide is to “rate colleges based on how well they perform with the students they have, regardless of the students’ backgrounds or SAT scores, on metrics that measure the widely shared national goals of increasing social mobility, producing research and inspiring public service,” noted Rachel Fishman and Robert Kelchen, authors of the magazine’s companion article “America's Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges.”

First introduced in 2005, the rankings are compiled by tabulating institutional showings in three categories: social mobility, defined as “recruiting and graduating low-income students”; research, defined as “producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs”; and service, defined as “encouraging students to give something back to their country.”

All three categories are weighted equally in compiling the rankings, which rely on publicly available data. This year, that includes data that universities and colleges report to the Corporation for National and Community Service in their applications for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

“Colleges that are both effective and inexpensive get the highest marks,” report the editors of the magazine’s College Guide.

This is Cal State Fullerton’s first year on the list, and 2010 was the first year institutions like CSUF, those awarding primarily bachelor’s and master’s degrees, were included.

First on the 2012 list is Trinity University in Texas. The highest-ranking CSU is Cal State Dominguez Hills at No. 5; Cal State Fresno and Cal State L.A. are next at No. 10 and 11, respectively.

Along with the overall rankings, are separate rankings for community service participation and hours served, as well as for service staff, courses and financial aid support; CSUF is No. 24 and No. 42 respectively.

The magazine reports that the overall community service score is measured by institutional performance in five areas — all relative to the same of the institution: the size of an institution’s Army and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps programs; the number of alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps; the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects; a combined score based on the number of students participating in community service and total service hours performed; and a combined score based on the number of full-time staff supporting community service, relative to the total number of staff, the number of academic courses that incorporate service, relative to institution’s size, and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service.

Washington Monthly bills its annual list as “a different kind of college ranking.”

By: Paula Selleck, 657-278-4856

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