For the second year in a row, WSJ ranks Dordt as no. 1 in student engagement

For the second year in a row, Dordt College has been named the number one school in the nation for student engagement according to The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education’s 2018 college rankings.

Examining over 1,000 colleges and universities, the WSJ/THE rankings are “designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families when making one of the most important decisions of their lives—who to trust with their education. These questions include, ‘will I be engaged and challenged by my teacher and classmates?’”

“This external affirmation of our work is truly encouraging,” says Dordt President Dr. Erik Hoekstra. “The commitment to the mission of the college is what makes it all come together—at Dordt, we’re all pulling in the same direction, namely to equip our students’ hearts, heads, and hands to serve Christ and to effectively build His Kingdom until He comes again.

“Yet, mission statements are mere words until activated—I want to thank our professors and staff members who make our mission come alive every day in all the thousands of interactions with our students. That’s really the secret sauce behind the student engagement ranking.”

The WSJ/THE rankings stem from four pillars that highlight key areas in teaching excellence: resources, engagement, outputs, and environment. Within the category of engagement, the rankings consider students’ engagement in learning and critical thinking, the likelihood that students will recommend the college to others, the level of interaction that students have with faculty and other students while on campus, and the number of subjects and accredited programs available.

“At Dordt, we relish learning as a community in service to Christ,” says Dr. Leah Zuidema, associate provost at Dordt. “There is that deeper passion to serve, and it motivates a willingness to be vulnerable together and explore the unknown. In writing courses, students and professors share drafts in progress. In agronomy, they are together analyzing clods in overworked soil, determining what went wrong. In campus ministries, they seek out how to be faithful in praying together. These kinds of challenges don’t have easy answers in the back of a textbook. They are real and thorny problems, and they call for wisdom, humility, and passion. It is inspiring to be surrounded by students and colleagues who have a heart for faithful service to Christ and his kingdom.”

The WSJ/THE rankings examined data from a variety of sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the U.S. government, the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) center, the College Scorecard and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). They also listened to over 200,000 student voices through surveys such as the THE U.S. Student Survey and the THE Academic Reputation Survey.

Dordt was recently named the top-ranked Iowa college on this year’s U.S. News & World Report list; the college was also the only Iowa college to make U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Engineering Program” list. Dordt has been ranked highly according to and Princeton Review and was featured on Money Magazine’s list of Best Colleges for Your Money.

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, the mission of Dordt College is to equip students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. 


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