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Students rate Marist professors top-notch to jump in national ranking

By Kathleen O'Brien
On September 11, 2012

  • When making a New Year’s resolution, try to make a goal, or create a new positive habit to improve your overall lifestyle. Okchomeseller/Flickr is a website commonly used by students both to evaluate their former professors and learn about their new ones. In addition to ranking teachers, the website also offers students the opportunity to rank their colleges. This year, Marist College improved in the rankings, jumping from 13th to seventh  place.

Each year, releases a list of the top 25 colleges in the United States based on student responses in nine categories. These categories include reputation, opportunities, campus, food, social activities, location, library, Internet speed and clubs and events. Students rate each category on a scale of zero to five. The scores are then compiled and averaged, producing the college's overall score. Marist received an overall score of 4.2 this past year.

In addition, releases overall professor and student happiness scores. Marist had a professor rating of 3.62, a figure that represents the average of the scores for all Marist professors. In overall student happiness, Marist received a 4.8, helping to propel it into the top ten.

Senior Assistant Director of Admission Brian Loew is not surprised by Marist's improvement in the rankings based on the quality of professors and the opportunities Marist offers.

"We have faculty who love to teach, which has translated into national rankings," Loew said. "It supports the information that we have been giving students: that we have connected professors, small classes and an engaging environment."

Junior and Resident Assistant in Leo Hall Deborah Akinwunmi agrees with Loew. In her three years at Marist, she has found her professors to be amazing and helpful, and she believes the quality of the college has improved over the years, helping account for Marist's recent jump in the ranks.

"From my experience, [the jump] definitely reflects Marist," Akinwunmi said. "When it comes to professors, students lucked out. The professors have good relationships with students and are constantly trying to be better."

Loew hopes that the recent jump will encourage students who are dedicated to both academics and the community to apply to Marist. The Admissions office also hopes to see an increase in applicants in the years to come. Greg Cannon, the Chief Public Affairs Officer, agrees with Loew. Since is a website that high school students and their parents use as a tool for finding colleges, the recent jump will be appeal to and encourage prospective students.

"Lots of students and parents consult []... to see what the college has, and it gives a good sense of where our faculty stands and gives them more options to consider," Cannon said. "Students are motivated to give their opinions on the website, and in our case it's because they had a good experience, which speaks for the college."

Akinwunmi cites Marist's improvements and activities as a reason for its jump in rankings. The various renovations that have been taking place over the past few years have allowed for expansion of classrooms and workspaces, thereby creating a better learning and working environment for both faculty and students.

"The Hancock Center and the renovations to Lowell Thomas have provided greater opportunities for Marist," Akinwunmi said. "The schools are more spread out, so professors and classrooms have more space."

Loew also cites the activity and expansion as a reason for the improvement in ranking.

"There are new and exciting things happening every year at Marist, which helps attract strong students," Loew said. "Students of all grades will benefit from this."

For freshman Katelyn Gillick, the Marist experience has been exactly what she thought it would be, and she believes that the jump in rankings clearly depicts the college's move into the future. In her opinion, Marist will only continue to improve, enticing more prospective students.

"The high energy was contagious," Gillick said. "Students as well as faculty are helpful, friendly and inviting. I was one of the many who caught the Marist bug and the only cure was to come be a part of it."

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