Dordt Ranked Number One for Third Year in a Row

Wall Street Journal Ranks Dordt as Number One in Student Engagement

For the third consecutive year, Dordt College has been named the number one college in the nation for student engagement, according to The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education’s 2019 college rankings.

“It’s always heartening to have someone notice the work you do—and to have the Wall Street Journal recognize Dordt for the third year in a row is certainly very gratifying,” says Dr. Erik Hoekstra, president of Dordt. “It’s so rare for college rankings to have a category like this—which I believe is at the very heart of what education should be.”

The engagement category considers:

  • Students’ engagement in learning and critical thinking
  • The likelihood that students will recommend the college to others
  • The number of subjects and accredited programs available
  • The level of interaction that students have with faculty and other students while on campus.

“Our faculty, staff, and administration view their work as a calling—an opportunity to serve our students,” says Dr. David Mulder, education professor at Dordt. “And our students are amazing! Most students who come to Dordt are looking to be stretched, and that’s a big part of what we are about as faculty: not giving students pat answers to challenging questions, but wrestling through thorny issues along with our students and examining them through the lens of a Reformed worldview.”

The rankings are based on four pillars that emphasize key areas in teaching excellence: resources, environment, outputs, and engagement.

“Year after year I continue to be impressed with the passion and expertise that our faculty and staff bring to Dordt,” says Dr. Leah Zuidema, associate provost of Dordt. “They want to be part of a transformative experience for students. They care deeply about our students, pay attention to what interests them, and challenge them to keep growing.”

“Dordt is a place where students feel like they really matter to their professors,” says Kaysha Steiger, a business major. “Dordt also does a great job of getting students involved in on-campus activities throughout the year. I’ve found that Dordt is a place that puts community first.”

Due to the profound success Dordt has had over the past three years with student engagement, President Hoekstra was invited by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education to be a featured speaker at the U.S. Student Success Forum in New York City on September 5-6. He will speak on the topic of institutional strategies for successful student engagement alongside of administration from New York University, University of Washington in St. Louis, and the University of South Florida.

The rankings examined data from a variety of sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the U.S. government, the College Scorecard, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). They also considered more than 200,000 student survey responses from surveys such as the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey.