Bethany College Ranked Nationally for Societal Contributions by Washington Monthly

LINDSBORG, KAN., October 24, 2011—Bethany College has been ranked in the top 75 of Washington Monthly’s 2011 list of national baccalaureate colleges with the most contributions to the public good.

Bethany placed 72nd overall in baccalaureate colleges, leading the five other Kansas schools that placed, including Tabor College, Ottawa University, Barclay College, Central Christian College, and Kansas Wesleyan University.

The overall ranking represents how much a school is benefiting the country. Washington Monthly states that rankings reflects priorities, but also sets them, and hopes to encourage colleges to pursue excellence as a member of local and the national community.

“This list is a valuable tool for students who want to be part of something bigger than themselves, so we are honored to be ranked by Washington Monthly,” said President Edward F. Leonard III. “Bethany’s core values and our Promise to Students guide us to contribute to our community, and this list will help get our name out to prospective students who seek those qualities in a college.”

The overall rank is comprised of three categories: social mobility, research, and service. Social Mobility describes recruiting and graduating low-income students. The rankings cited 36% of Bethany students as receiving Pell grants. “We seek to provide affordable, high-quality education, and with Pell grants and other aid, over 95% of our students receive financial assistance,” said Tricia Hawk, dean of recruitment and marketing. “That makes higher education possible for many families.”

Research describes the total dollars spent on research and the number of graduates with bachelor’s degrees who go on to earn PhDs. Hawk said, “We are proud of our record of students being accepted into graduate schools. For example, 98% of our students who apply for law school have been accepted.”

Service describes giving back to the country, as derived from service in Peace Corps and ROTC, community service hours and participation, courses that incorporate service, and scholarships offered for service. A host of Bethany’s student organizations, including Peer Ministers, the Green Team, and Advocacy Group, are focused on servant leadership. Service hours are part of the membership in other groups, such as sororities, fraternities, athletic programs. Bethany Seminar, the freshmen orientation course, also includes a service component.

Leonard said, “Service and contribution has always been important at Bethany College, and it will become even more integral as we begin shaping our curriculum into Bethany Pathway, our vision for focusing the student curricular and co-curricular experience on servant leadership, sustainable living, global citizenship, and discovery, reflection, and vocation.”

Washington Monthly magazine, published since 1969, reports on government work and politics. It’s College Guide and Rankings asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Read the complete guide at www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide.

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.