2017 Washington Monthly offers the only such comprehensive ranking assessment of institutions serving the adult learner population
La Jolla, Calif. – The private, nonprofit National University is among the top colleges and universities in the United States for adult learners, according to an exhaustive new report by Washington Monthly, a nonprofit magazine that is known for its annual rankings of higher education systems in the country. The rankings use a range of attributes to assess the impact of institutions to the public good in categories of social mobility, research and service.
Already among the largest nonprofit, private universities in California, National University ranked #1 in Southern California and #18 in the nation in the category of Best Colleges Serving Adult Learners, which are generally defined as students who are at least 25 years old. While other college rankings tend to be based on statistics and data points relevant to universities serving a more traditional population, the Washington Monthly assessment, which appears in the September/October 2017 edition, uses metrics more applicable to the adult learning population and is billed by the magazine as the “first-ever ranking of its kind.”
“We are very pleased to see National University recognized as a leader in serving the adult learner population through this independent assessment,” said National University President Dr. David Andrews. “We applaud the achievements of our dedicated adult students, who are juggling many responsibilities while pursuing their educational goals, and we will continue to explore innovative and relevant ways to support them through their educational journeys.”
Through the recent launch of Precision Institute at National University, the University is leading a four-year $20 million initiative to research and pilot new approaches aimed at creating a higher education experience that can more precisely identify and be responsive to the needs of individual learners from a range of backgrounds and experience levels. With the application of advanced technologies, open education resources, and predictive analytics, the initiative aims to apply these data-driven approaches to create an even more powerful and personalized student experience that guides students to successful completion of their academic and career goals.
The Washington Monthly rankings were based on federal government sources, such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), as well as the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges. Colleges were measured on seven factors: ease of transfer/enrollment; flexibility of programs; services available for adult students; the percentage of students 25 and older at the college; mean earnings of adult students 10 years after entering college; loan repayment rates of adult students five years after entering repayment; and tuition and fees for in-district students. Colleges were only ranked if data was available for all seven measurements, and National University earned its highest score – 8 out of a possible 9 points – for the flexibility of programs.
Washington Monthly noted how too many rankings of colleges and universities ignore adult learners, who constitute approximately 40 percent of all college students. “Policymakers and journalists have a blind spot when it comes to adult learners because of their own traditional college experiences: most went to college (probably selective ones) right after high school and didn’t stop until they had a diploma or two,” according to the October, 2017, edition of Washington Monthly.
In the case of National University, the institution was founded in 1971 on principles of providing a quality education with a mission to make education more accessible to students who might not otherwise be served by traditional higher education institutions. The University, the flagship institution of the National University System, offers a unique one-class-per-month format, evening courses, and options for students to learn on campus, online, or through hybrid programs. The average age of National University students is 32, and the student population is diverse, serving both a significant military population as well those who are juggling careers and families to achieve their academic goals.
About National University
Founded in 1971, National University among the largest private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in California. With more than 180,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. http://www.nu.edu/