The “Barton Experience” Measures Up Regionally and Nationally

WILSON, N.C. — With the arrival of each fall season, students settle into a new year of classes with a youthful exuberance, leaves on the trees begin to turn crimson red and russet gold, and national college rankings are published. And, so it is again this fall. With the announcement of this year’s national college rankings, Barton College is pleased once again to be among those higher educational institutions named to the 2015 Best Regional Colleges in the Southeast by “The Princeton Review” and listed in the top tier of “U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Regional Colleges in the South.” Barton also recently earned Military Friendly® Schools status.

“It is always gratifying to receive national recognition for Barton’s focus on providing a value-added academic experience for our students,” said Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. “It affirms what we as an academic community already understand to be true—that Barton students receive a quality education that prepares them well for life and success in their chosen careers.”

The 139 colleges The Princeton Review chose for its “Best Regional Colleges in the Southeast” designations are located in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

According to the Princeton Review web site, “The colleges chosen each year have to meet two criteria. First, they must pass our reviews for academic excellence. We make those assessments based on data we collect in our administrator surveys and the opinions of our staff and of counselor advisors whose opinions we invite. Second, we have to be able to independently survey students attending the schools through our secure online survey. We greatly value what students report to us about their experiences at their colleges, just as you would take into account comments you learn from students on a campus visit. Only schools that permit us to survey their students are eligible for consideration for our regional “best” designations.

U.S. News & World Report rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest, and West. U.S. News & World Report further explained, “According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, these schools focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of all bachelor’s degrees granted) and in fields such as business, nursing and education. They grant few graduate degrees. Because most of the colleges in the category draw heavily from nearby states, they are ranked by region.”

Barton College is ranked #25 in the top tier of  “U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Regional Colleges in the South.”  Each year, Barton’s placement in this top tier continues to move higher, moving up five spots from #30 in 2014’s top tier and up 17 spots from #42 in 2011’s top tier.  Barton continues to build a solid national reputation on the shoulders of its distinguished regional reputation, recognized for over a century.

Barton’s academic programs continue to evolve to meet the educational needs of the 21st century student. The College now offers a wide range of professional and liberal arts programs in seven academic schools, including the School of Allied Health and Sport Studies, School of Business, School of Education, School of the Humanities, School of Nursing, School of Social Work, and School of the Sciences and two departments: Department of Art and Design and Department of Communication and Performing Arts.

The College offers 30 majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees. With the addition of two graduate programs this fall, Barton now offers three master degree programs leading to Master of Education in Elementary Education, Master of Education in School Administration, and Master of Science in Nursing degrees.

“The Princeton Review” reported that Barton students “boast that the ‘intimate class sizes’ and ‘close family-like relationships with professors’ are a staple of life here…Academically, students brag about the ‘great nursing’ program as well as stellar education and social work [programs]…Across the board, students happily describe their professors as ‘awesome’…Indeed, they ‘take the time to get to know each of their students and they make themselves very accessible’…they have a knack for ‘bringing real world experiences [into] the classroom’…Finally, as one highly content junior sums up, ‘My school is all about helping their students find their passion, achieve their goals, and making their dreams a reality.’”

Committed to providing a challenging academic environment, Barton also provides a strong focus on student service and leadership development. A member of the NCAA DII (Conference Carolinas), Barton supports 18 athletic teams. And, as the home of the 2007 NCAA DII National Basketball Champions, the College is regionally and nationally recognized for its commitment to student-athletes. Most recently, Barton was awarded the 2014 Allan Sharp Award, which is presented annually to the Conference Carolinas member institution having the highest Academic Success Rate among student-athletes.

The foundation of the Barton Experience is the College’s promise to provide students with the tools and support to maximize their potential, both in the classroom and beyond. With a focus on critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing in the classroom, professors introduce subjects with fresh perspectives, provide hands-on experiences for students that merge learning with doing, and engage classes through in-depth discussions that elevate students to a higher level of understanding. The Barton Experience offers international travel and study, student/faculty research and presentation through the annual Scholars Symposium, participation in Barton’s distinguished Honors Program, engaging internships and practicums in chosen academic disciplines, an impressive cultural events schedule, and diverse athletic competition. The result is an annual class of graduates who have developed a vision of competing successfully across the country and abroad because of their Barton Experience.