COA jumps in national rankings

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic is growing in prestige and gaining increased national recognition, according to the 2016 “U.S. News and World Report” college rankings, released Sept. 9.

The coastal Maine school is ranked as the 82nd Best National Liberal Arts College in the country, a 17-point jump from its 2015 spot at 99. The rating is an indicator of many exciting things happening at COA, President Darron Collins ’92 said, including innovative energy work, a commitment to experiential education and an incredibly diverse and engaged student body.

COA came in 11th nationally among liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News “Best Value” category.

COA’s one major, human ecology, offers a unique educational path for every student. There are few degree requirements, and students have the freedom to build a curriculum that is right for them. With that freedom come great responsibility and even greater rewards, Collins said.

“We demand an exceptional level of maturity in our students, because our degree in human ecology is self-designed, and it puts them at the reins of their own education, working closely with an advisor,” he said.

Within one year of graduation, 22 percent of COA alumni have gone on to graduate school and 65 percent are working in their chosen fields. A total of 55 percent of graduates go on to study at the masters or doctoral level.

The U.S. News rankings focus on academic excellence, with schools ranked on up to 16 measures of academic quality.

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