National Awards and Distinctions
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Student Success in College
Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange
The Village receives national recognition
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
The Chronicle of Higher Education "Great Colleges to Work For"
Historic and Beautiful Campus
National College Guides
Of the more than 4,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, approximately 350 are selective in admission and attract a disproportionate share of the nation's best students. Information about these institutions, including Wofford College, is highlighted in a number of commercially published college guides, including:
U.S. News & World Report - America's Best Colleges
The Princeton Review College Guide
The Fiske Guide to Colleges
The (Yale) Insider's Guide
Peterson's Colleges for Top Students
ISI's Choosing the Right College
Wofford was recognized in these publications:
- U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” – 62nd (top quartile) among national liberal arts colleges; also a “best value” (August 2010)
- Forbes’ “America’s Best Colleges” – 73th overall, highest-rated South Carolina institution (August 2011)
- The Princeton Review’s “The Best 376 Colleges” – featured among best undergraduate institutions; also among "Best in Southeast" (August 2011)
- Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012 – featured among “best and most interesting colleges and universities" (August 2011)
- Washington Monthly – 23rd among 252 liberal arts colleges around the country (2010)
The guides provide useful statistical information and offer interesting and different perspectives from campus-based view books and websites.
Wofford is profiled in all of these guides, and the college has earned national distinctions in non-commercial publications, such as the book “Student Success in College” and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Information on NSSE is available at www.wofford.edu/nsse.
'Best Value' Guides
About 40 percent of Wofford graduates participate in loan programs, but their level of debt is among the lowest compared to peer institutions. The default rate for the past four years has remained below 1.0, and for 2007, it was 0.0.
Wofford College is ranked among the nation's best private college values in the October 2010 issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Wofford came in at number 31 in the category of "Best Values in Liberal Arts Colleges." Kiplinger’s ranked the top 50 private universities and top 50 liberal arts schools in separate categories, based on “strong academics, attractive prices and generous financial aid.” The 100 schools making the two lists were selected from more than 1,000 private institutions.
Wofford consistently lands on “best value” lists of various national college guides and publications. In U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” Wofford was included in “Great Schools, Great Prices,” a listing of 40 liberal arts colleges. “The formula used to determine which colleges and universities offer the best value relates a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its 2010 U.S. News ranking, to the 2008-2009 academic year net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” the magazine explains.
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Wofford consistently scores in the top 10 percent of all five indices of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). As a result of NSSE's Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices) study, Wofford was featured as one of 20 benchmark campuses for engaged learning in "Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter" (American Association of Higher Education, 2005). A second edition of the text is in progress, highlighting Wofford's continued excellence in outcomes assessment.
Student Success in College TM
As a result of its participation in Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices), Wofford is included in the resulting publication based on further research, recognized as one of 20 campuses that engage students.
"Most students, whether they were fourth-generation Wofford 'legacies' or the first in their family to go to college, told us that upon arriving they felt the college was a place where they would fit in and 'matter.'"
". . . students and faculty reported they develop meaningful relationships that extend well beyond the classroom, a 'tradition of putting the emphasis o the individual student (that) goes back 150 years.'"
". . . the faculty saw learning communities to be a vehicle to involve students more meaningfully in general education offerings."
"Building on successful interdisciplinary humanities courses and a well-received first-year learning community pilot, (Wofford) obtained a $200,000 Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant from the National Science Foundation . . . to take the innovative integrated learning community idea to scale."
"DEEP colleges and universities value international and study abroad experiences and infuse them throughout the curricula and the co-curriculum. Miami, Wofford, Gonzaga, and George Mason are among the ten universities with the highest proportions of students who study abroad."
Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices)
Project DEEP is a study conducted by the Center for Post Secondary Educational Research at Indiana University-Bloomington to determine why certain campuses score exceptionally well on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Wofford was among the 20 campuses chosen to participate in the first Project DEEP in 2002-2003. Other campuses include Evergreen State College, Macalester College, Sweet Briar College, the University of the South, and Wabash College.
In 2003, more than 185,000 first year and senior students on 649 campuses participated in NSSE. Data was collected to measure five standards: (1) the level of academic challenge; (2) active and collaborate learning; (3) student-faculty interaction; (4) enriching educational experiences; and (5) a supportive campus environment. Wofford scored in the top quartile of all the colleges and universities on these benchmarks, and was in the top 5 percent in "student faculty interaction" and "supportive campus environment" for first year students.
Wofford received a $250,000 grant from the Fullerton Foundation in the fall of 2005 to create an innovative, cross-disciplinary program of undergraduate student research. Combined with $100,000 provided by the college, the funds will be used to fund the Wofford College Community of Scholars over a three-year period. The undergraduate research fellows in the program will pursue their research during the summer, working under the supervision of faculty mentors engaged in parallel or related research. The projects will encompass all disciplines, including science, the humanities, the social sciences and the fine arts.
Four liberal arts colleges – Converse and Wofford in Spartanburg, the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Agnes Scott College in Georgia – jointly received a $25,000 planning grant from the Teagle Foundation in 2005 to explore methods for assessing institutional creativity and its impact on "learning outcomes." Wofford hosted representatives of the colleges in the fall of 2005 to hear from national consultants and to discuss further research.
Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange (2011)
Wofford College ranks 2nd in the country in the percentage of undergraduates receiving credit for studying abroad, according to Open Doors 2011, an annual report published by the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE). Wofford consistently ranks in the top 10 or higher in this national survey.
Find out more about Wofford's international programs.
The Village receives national accolades
The Village, Wofford College’s apartment-style housing for its senior students, has been received a number of national recognitions.
Phase V of The Village, which includes 80 new beds on the top two levels with four-bedroom loft-style apartments, will open in the fall 2011. The $11 million project is a multi-purpose building that continues to reflect The Village’s “new urban” architectural concepts. The building provides 52,000 square feet of space. The first level has 21-foot ceilings, allowing for a mezzanine arrangement that creates student study and activity spaces. The main level includes specially equipped classrooms designed for group activities, The Mungo Center for Professional Excellence, general purpose classrooms, a food bar/deli and atrium dining space, a market and a patio area. The architect for Phase V is Summerour and Associates Architects Inc. of Atlanta, Ga.
In July 2008, The Village was named as the top “Dorm of Distinction” in its category by University Business Magazine, a national publication.
This was the second national honor for The Village, designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architects , PLLC, of Spartanburg. In October 2007, the complex was recognized nationally in the 27th Annual Builder’s Choice Design & Planning Awards presented by Builder magazine.
Wofford was chosen for University Business’ “Dorms of Distinction” honor for its ability to meet the needs of today’s student including:
• Making students feel at home
• Fostering a sense of community through interior and/or exterior spaces
• Helping keep students and their belongings safe
• Incorporating green elements in an aesthetically pleasing way
McMillan Pazdan Smith Architects "worked closely with Wofford toward a mutual goal – the creation of a stimulating and highly anticipated senior year experience for students,” says Ron Smith, managing principal with the firm. “The urban village environment creates a sense of community that engages immediately, creates a positive experience, and reinforces the student-to-college relationship.”
The Village is designed to provide a sense of community built around interesting residential architecture, front porches, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets, shops, outdoor recreation, and “hang out places.” It’s the “new urban” kind of place that Richard Florida has described in his series of books, most recently “Cities and the Creative Class,” where the three Ts (technology, talent and tolerance) take root and flourish.
The new urban concept developed in The Village complements Wofford’s historic district at the center of campus.
Phase III of The Village was completed for the opening of the fall 2008 academic year, allowing all of the college’s seniors to be housed in the complex on Evins Street. The 1,200-square-foot apartments each feature four private bedrooms, two full baths, a full-size kitchen, dining area with dinette set and four chairs furnished, four kitchen bar stools, large front porch or balcony with one rocking chair per student furnished, and more.
The Village also was featured in the Winter 2008-09 edition of Sandlapper magazine titled “It Takes A Village," which highlights the reaction of students living in The Village.
“The Village provides a residential setting that is the best kind of neighborhood for a college senior. There’s a sense of community built around interesting residential architecture, front porches, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets, outdoor recreation and ‘hang-out places,’” the magazine writes.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (2010)
Wofford College has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (May 2011), the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Wofford’s recognition is based on its strong service learning programs, including components in foreign languages, psychology, English, biology and computer science and various Interim projects. Wofford’s ONE organization, whose efforts toward awareness of global poverty and disease led to the college being named the top ONE campus in the country last year, also contributed to the recognition.
Wofford College was among the list of two-year and four-year colleges and universities around the country to be named to the first Honor Roll for 2006.
Through Wofford’s Center for Global and Community Service in 2010, students participated in about 80,000 hours of service learning activities in the community, including working with the Spartanburg Alzheimer’s Association on a creative writing program to improve cognition functions; offering English for (Adult) Speakers of Other Languages; and working with a Wofford healthy eating initiative in Spartanburg elementary schools. In the Bonner Scholars Program, 60 students provide 18,000 hours over the year in community service.
The Chronicle of Higher Education "Great Colleges to Work For" (2011)
Wofford College is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The results, released July 2011, in The Chronicle’s fourth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of nearly 44,000 employees at 310 colleges and universities.
In all, only 111 of the 310 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium and large institutions, with Wofford included among the small institutions with 3,000 or fewer students.
Wofford won honors in four categories:
• Teaching environment
• Facilities, workspaces and security
• Job satisfaction
• Tenure clarity and process
Historic and Beautiful Campus
Founded in 1854, Wofford is one of fewer than 200 existing American colleges founded before the Civil War, and one of an even smaller number of those institutions still operating on its original campus.
Wofford's 150-acre campus is home to Main Building and four original faculty homes that comprise the Wofford College Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The entire campus was designated the "Wofford College Arboretum" in November 2002 and Wofford is a member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. More than 5,000 trees have been planted on the Wofford campus since 1992 and 2,700 of those have been identified, cataloged and mapped for three self-guided tours.
The arboretum was named the Roger Milliken Arboretum at Wofford College in 2008, in honor of longtime trustee and Wofford benefactor Roger Milliken, a Spartanburg businessman who died in 2010. Each year in October, the campus celebrates "Roger Milliken Day" in honor of Mr. Milliken's birthday by planting a tree on campus.
Wofford’s restoration and renovation of Main Building’s Leonard Auditorium received a “Project of Distinction” Award in College Planning & Management magazine’s 2007 Education Design Showcase, and the magazine recognized the project’s designers, McMillan Smith & Partners Architects PLLC in Spartanburg, for “Outstanding Architecture and Design in Education.” The project was included in the June 2007 issue of College Planning & Management’s Education Design Showcase.
The Leonard Auditorium renovation was part of an $8 million restoration/renovation of Main Building. The complete interior upgrade, completed in early 2006, restored Leonard’s 19th century appearance in tandem with improving fire protection and other considerations in the building. The project fully honored the college’s primary objective to recreate the original character of the auditorium.