Landmark nabs pair of US News rankings

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PUTNEY — U.S. News & World Report's 2020 college rankings have named Landmark College to the top spot in two categories — Best Undergraduate Teaching and Most Innovative Colleges and, for the first time, the college has been ranked among the best colleges in the Northeast.

"Landmark College has always been one of the most inventive and daring institutions of higher education since it was founded in 1985," said Dr. Peter Eden, president of Landmark. "The U.S. News rankings are gratifying because they are proof of the excellent reputation the college has deservedly gained in the last 35 years. The rankings are also evidence that Landmark College's evolution from a largely transitional college for students with learning differences to a more comprehensive baccalaureate degree-granting institution for neurodivergent students has been noticed and highly regarded on a national scale."

Landmark was ranked in the top 25 Regional Colleges - North category; as the No. 1 Regional College - North, for undergraduate teaching; and tying for No. 1 (with Cooper Union and Paul Smith's College) as Most Innovative Regional College - North.

In the 2019 rankings, Landmark placed at No. 4 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, moving ahead this year to the top spot. "The individual student is at the center of everything we do at Landmark College," said Dr. Gail Gibson Sheffield, vice president for academic affairs. "I am very proud of the dedicated faculty and staff who are intrinsically motivated to uphold our mission to provide highly accessible approaches to learning that empower individuals who learn differently to exceed their aspirations and to achieve their greatest potential."

Landmark is placed in the U.S. News category Regional Colleges - North because the college is "focused on undergraduate higher education but grant(s) fewer than 50 percent of its degrees in liberal arts disciplines." Colleges in this category often award predominantly two-year degrees. Landmark instituted its first bachelor's program in 2012 and awarded its first bachelor's degrees in 2016. The college currently offers five bachelor's programs (liberal studies, computer science, studio art, psychology, and communication and entrepreneurial leadership), with a sixth under development (B.S. in life sciences).

U.S. News uses several weighted factors to determine college rankings: outcomes (including graduation and retention rates); faculty resources; expert opinion (academic reputation); financial resources; student excellence; and alumni giving.

In the category of Best Undergraduate Teaching, U.S. News asks top academics — including college presidents, provosts, and admissions officials — to nominate colleges and universities with a particular strength in undergraduate teaching — "a very important part of the undergraduate academic experience that is not always measured in a college's regular peer assessment survey results," according to U.S. News.

The methodology for ranking Most Innovative Colleges also relies on surveys of top college officials (presidents, provosts, admissions deans) to nominate the colleges and universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities. These are institutions "that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes the colleges are making on their campuses," according to U.S. News.



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