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Spotlights

Otterbein University ranked in the top 20 in U.S. News & World Report

Otterbein University ranked in the top 20 in U.S. News & World Report


Otterbein University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its focus on affordability, integrative teaching and learning, student success outcomes, experiential learning and providing educational opportunities for veterans.

In the U.S. News & World Report 2018 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” Otterbein is ranked in the top 15 percent among 173 peers in the Regional Universities–Midwest category and once again earned a spot in the list of “A+ Schools for B Students.” Among the Ohio schools in its category, Otterbein boasts the third highest peer review score. Otterbein ranked 19th overall and 12th in its category on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list. Additionally, this year Otterbein is named a “Best Value School.”

“Otterbein’s curriculum intentionally blends liberal arts and professional studies with hands-on experiences for a well-rounded education. Otterbein students learn the soft skills that are critical for a student’s success after graduation,” said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. “Our focus on access and affordability means that a quality Otterbein education is attainable for students of all backgrounds, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, age and more.”

Recruitment efforts are yielding impressive results at increasing the diversity of the student body at Otterbein. This fall’s first-year class has 21 percent students of color, or 126 students from a freshman class of 607; it is the most diverse class in Otterbein’s history, for the fourth year in a row.

Initiatives like scholarships for students from under-served school districts and partnerships with organizations like I Know I Can – Columbus have brought more diverse students to Otterbein. Additionally, a new dual admission program with Columbus State Community College was announced earlier this year. Once they are here, they continue to receive the support they need. Under President Krendl’s leadership, Otterbein established the Center for Student Success to remove barriers to success for students at risk of leaving college. It has greatly increased the retention rate of the university and created countless success stories for previously at-risk students. Nationally, universities talk about how to close the achievement gap between students of color and white students; at Otterbein, we’ve not only closed the gap in retention rates, we’ve reversed them. Columbus City School graduates have a 94 percent retention thanks to these support mechanisms, the highest of any district on campus.

Otterbein’s unique curriculum integrating classroom and experiential learning, along with the high level of personal attention students receive, contribute to the University’s ranking. Otterbein’s Five Cardinal Experiences program encourages students to explore community engagement; research and creative work; internships and professional experiences; citizenship and leadership; and global and intercultural engagement. Otterbein’s new innovation center, The Point, is increasing opportunities for hands-on learning experiences on campus.

According to the guide, institutions in the Regional Universities category provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs with some offering select doctoral programs. Otterbein offers master’s degrees in allied health, business, education, educational mathematics and nursing, as well as a doctor of nursing practice degree.

This year Otterbein competed with schools from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri for this honor. The rankings are based on 16 measures of “academic excellence,” which fall into seven categories, with retention rates and assessment by peers and counselors being the most important.

Presidents and academic vice presidents are surveyed in the spring each year and are asked to rate their peer institutions (those schools in the same category and region). Other categories include faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate. The entire survey can be viewed at colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges.

See Otterbein's full rankings and profile on U.S. News & World Report's website.