Multicultural Student Services Graduation Celebration 2015
Multicultural Student Services Graduation Celebration 2015

The transformative power of WSU is sometimes tough to encapsulate, but it lies at the heart of WSU’s land grant mission.

Money Magazine captured some of WSU’s transformative value in its list of “Best Colleges” earlier this month. WSU ranked No. 4 on Money’s list of “The 50 Colleges that Add the Most Value,” and is the highest ranked public institution on the list.

Overall, WSU ranked No. 37 on Money’s “Best Colleges” list, among roughly 2,000 four-year U.S. colleges and universities. To compile its rankings, the magazine used 24 factors in the categories of educational quality, affordability and alumni success. For the “Colleges that Add the Most Value” list, consideration included graduation rates and feedback from alumni surveys.

“What’s impressive is when a college helps students do far better than would be expected from their academic and economic backgrounds (something we measure with what we call a comparative-value grade),” the introduction to the list reads. “For this list, we ranked colleges based on comparative value grades for graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment, eliminating schools with any negative grades or a graduate rate below 50%.”

The rankings reflect WSU’s Strategic Plan goals of providing a truly transformative experience for our students. Numerous departments, programs and groups lead the way to add value to the WSU experience through academic and co-curricular opportunities.

“We have a set of programs that engage students as partners, to serve other students,” says J. Manuel Acevedo, who heads our Office of Multicultural Student Services. “As we engage those students, we operate in a direction that is really professional training. We work with 120-140 students every year and those students are challenged to grow and really be professionals in training.”

The award-winning Team Mentoring Program is making a difference for students in STEM fields.

“Those that engage in the Team Mentoring Program are staying in school at much higher rates,” Acevedo says. “Many are doing undergraduate research. The mentors help mentees identify research projects, and get into labs. They’re providing a truly transformative experience.”

The North Puget Sound at Everett campus is growing at a rapid pace as students discover the vast opportunities available, both while they’re in school and post-graduation.

“WSU North Puget Sound at Everett is student and community-centered,” Dean Paul Pitre says. “Our programs are aligned to the economic demands of the state and region, meaning our graduates are well-positioned to find employment and excel in high-paying careers.”

WSU continues to climb in several national rankings reflecting the student experience. Diverse Magazine ranked WSU No. 26 for graduating minority students. U.S. News & World Report consistently names WSU’s Writing Program one of the Top 20 in the nation, and MSN considers Pullman a “Top 10 College Town.”

The scope of the categories and criteria for these rankings show that WSU’s dedication to the transformative student experience pays dividends for our students inside and outside the classroom. As faculty, staff and the University community align to set students up for rewarding careers after graduation, our alumni are reaping the value of the WSU experience.

“I am appreciative of the dedication and skill of our faculty and staff,” says Provost Dan Bernardo. “Like our students, our faculty and staff choose to be here at WSU, and they do so largely because they care about the whole package of research excellence and instructional excellence. In short, they are here for our students, and it shows.”