Wednesday, September 20, 2023

We Must Be Doing Something Right

The Chicago Tribune ran an editorial Monday that started

What’s the best four-year college in Illinois? Not the University of Chicago, Northwestern University or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

No, the best college in the state is the Illinois Institute of Technology, of course!

The editorial was referring to the Wall Street Journal that ranked Illinois Tech 23rd in the nation, tops in Illinois, up from 117 last year. Illinois Tech also cracked the top 100 in the latest US News rankings, up from 127. 

Did we just get that much better? Yes, yes we did! 

Or maybe it had to do with changes in methodology. The Wall Street Journal's rankings this year puts a heavy emphasis on "how much will it improve the salaries they earn after receiving their diplomas". As Illinois Tech caters to students who often are the first in their families to go to college, and focuses on technical degrees, we can really raise up students who might not have otherwise had such an education. It's one of the things that brought me to the university in the first place.

US News also "increased the emphasis on how often schools' students from all socioeconomic backgrounds earned degrees and took advantage of information on graduate outcomes that was not available until recently". 

All rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, and universities will always tout rankings where do they well while conveniently ignoring others. It's impossible to linearly order colleges--there are just too many different factors that make different schools better for different people. 

But as people start to question the value of college the rankings are starting to address their concerns. And if that bumps up my university, so be it.

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