Bethel has vaulted to the top of a national ranking, sitting at No. 4 in the Washington Monthly list of Best Baccalaureate Colleges 2012-13.
Washington Monthly groups institutions into four areas as defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, including baccalaureate colleges, which according to Carnegie comprise
schools that focus on undergraduate education but offer fewer than half of their degrees in the liberal arts.
Washington Monthly rankings are based on
contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students); research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs); and service (encouraging students to give something back to their community and country).
Washington Monthly contrasts its annual rankings with the longer-running U.S. News & World Report rankings, whose key measures include, among others, peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving -- what Washington Monthly calls
fame, exclusivity and money.
Bethel appeared in the publication’s rankings for the first time last year, in the Best Liberal Arts Colleges category at No. 110 out of 249. This year Bethel was fourth out of 352, behind Elizabeth City (N.C.) State University, Wheeling (W.Va.) Jesuit University and Tuskegee (Ala.) University.
In addition, for the fifth year in a row, Bethel is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas and one of only four institutions of higher learning in the state to be ranked in Forbes.com’s analysis of top U.S. colleges and universities.
Bethel made the Forbes.com annual ranking of the nation’s 650 best colleges, released Aug. 15, along with the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University.