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Value of St. Andrews education emphasized by Class of 2011

Laurinburg, N.C. – The 120 students in the St. Andrews class of 2011 highly ranked their academic experience at St. Andrews compared to students at other colleges and universities according to the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

“NSSE results, linked as they are to important outcomes and benchmarked against other institutions’ data, provide college and university faculty and leaders with invaluable guidance on where to invest time, effort and resources to improve student learning and other critical outcomes the nation expects from its higher education institutions,” said Daniel F. Sullivan, president emeritus of St. Lawrence University.

The results, officially released today, show that for the fifth consecutive year, St. Andrews seniors ranked their educational experience well above the national averages in the NSSE benchmark categories. The categories are level of academic challenge; active and collaborative learning; student-faculty interaction; enriching educational experiences; and supportive campus environment. Members of the class of 2011 ranked St. Andrews higher than the NSSE national average in all categories, as well as in comparison groups including other private schools in the southeast.

This prestigious annual survey presents data from more than half a million students in 673 U.S. colleges and universities who filled out an extensive questionnaire asking them to rate their educational experiences.

"These high rankings by our graduating seniors clearly show why St. Andrews is consistently in the top tier among regional colleges and universities in the U.S. News & World Report rankings,” said University President Paul Baldasare. “Our students feel that they are challenged academically to do their best work. They appreciate the willingness of faculty members to work with them outside the classroom. They see themselves as active learners collaborating with both other students and their professors, not just passive listeners in mega-size classes so common at other schools.”

Joanna Hipp, a 2011 graduate now studying at Louisville Theological Seminary, agrees with the active learning assessment.

“The liberal arts education I received at St. Andrews has prepared me for the future,” said Hipp. “In seminary, we have to make connections to different areas of life. In Honors, I remember complaining about the science portion of our class. A few weeks ago, the discussion of the double-slit physics experiment came up. I was one of the few people who knew what it was and how it works. Making connections is what life after college is all about.”

Fellow graduate Fiona Lindsay Delfino agrees about the education she received at St. Andrews prepared her to face challenges in the business world as a therapeutic horsemanship major with a business minor.

“I am so grateful to the business professors for using real life examples in the classroom,” said Lindsay Delfino. “I have had so many opportunities to show my business related skills as the program director for Horses Helping People, Inc. (HOPE).”

The official NSSE report, Fostering Student Engagement Campuswide – Annual Results 2011, focused on the value of connecting student engagement results to specific campus programs and units to encourage greater collaboration.

“The central message is that providing opportunities, activities and environments supportive of learning and student success is a concern that should permeate the campus,” said Alexander C. McCormick, NSSE director.

That effort is something St. Andrews has made successfully throughout its history.

“We have made a concerted effort to meet the academic needs of our students through our innovative general education curriculum while also creating programs outside the classroom to develop the whole person,” said Baldasare. “Our greatest satisfaction comes from watching our students move from incoming freshmen to successful alumni in leadership roles in their chosen professions serving the larger communities in which they live and work.”

Hipp agrees, “I do not know many other colleges where you get to know your president, where you can just walk into his office, or any professor’s office for that matter. Professors are always willing to talk to you, even if it isn’t about class assignments. I think that is what makes St. Andrews special.

“St. Andrews is the beginning, the foundation for life-long learning,” Hipp continued. “I will always enjoying learning; it’s a passion of mine that will never end. What St. Andrews has taught me is that I will never stop learning or growing, if I allow myself to be open to the challenge.”

St. Andrews was also recently recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best Regional Colleges in the South and by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly Schools.

About St. Andrews University

St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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A branch of Webber International University
1700 Dogwood Mile
Laurinburg, NC 28352
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