Darron Collins, president of College of the Atlantic. Of the college being ranked No. 20 nationally, Collins said, "Educating our students to give back to their countries and communities is a central part of [our] mission." ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

COA ranked No. 20 in country

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic is the nation’s No. 20 top liberal arts college, according to “Washington Monthly’s 2017 College Rankings,” jumping 26 spots from No. 46 last year.

The 13th annual guide, comprising “a different kind of college ranking,” measures how colleges improve the nation. The rankings focus on three criteria, including social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), service (encouraging students to give something back to their country) and research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and doctorates).

“Educating our students to give back to their countries and communities is a central part of College of the Atlantic’s mission,” said COA President Darron Collins ’92. “It is an honor to be recognized for this work by ‘Washington Monthly’.”

COA is among the top 50 colleges for how well students do after graduation, for graduating low-income students and how well students repay their loans. The college is No. 2 on the list for the number of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps, relative to college size.

“Unlike the prestige- and wealth-driven metrics put out by the likes of ‘U.S. News & World Report,’ our rankings measure what colleges do for their country,” the magazine wrote. “Our rankings are meant to be more than just a guide for potential students. An educated, enlightened society is a better society, for everyone. We all have a stake in how well our colleges succeed.”

“Washington Monthly’s 2017 College Rankings” top 20 comprises schools from across the country, including institutions such as Amherst, Pomona, Swarthmore and Bowdoin colleges. The full list may be viewed at washingtonmonthly.com.

“Our students lead the way in envisioning a world where people value creativity, intellectual achievement and the diversity of nature and human cultures,” Collins said. “It’s our responsibility as an institution to honor this drive and help our students, through service, interdisciplinary education and experiential research, gain appreciation for the relationships among all forms of life and safeguard the heritage of future generations.”


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