Cazenovia College earns top marks for ‘Academic Stewardship’

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CAZENOVIA — Cazenovia College has been ranked among the top colleges nationwide and in New York State that provide the best educational outcomes, according to a ranking performed by Academicinfluence.com, uses a newly developed measurement for student excellence, “Academic Stewardship.”

The term reflects a new methodology used by the data firm to gauge how effectively a college uses its available resources, without waste, to provide the best possible educational outcome for its students, while also assuring that its other stakeholders (such as faculty, staff, and administration) flourish.

Cazenovia was ranked at #45 of the top 50 colleges nationally and #3 out of 50 rated in New York State, according to Academicinfluence.com. Hamilton College, in Clinton, ranked #37 and Colgate University, in Hamilton, ranked #38 among the list of 50 rated NY schools.

The company notes that the Academic Stewardship metric “takes away both the size and the wealth advantage of schools and focuses instead on how well schools use the resources available to them to advance the education of their students.”

There are a few notable benefits to attending a school with strong Academic Stewardship. The company lists some of these as:

-Valuing character over prestige and self-indulgence;

-Avoiding “spoiled-student syndrome,” which is defined as “causing people to take their advantages for granted and in the end achieving less than they might otherwise;”

-Emphasizing development over talent and achievement;

The data firm also says that schools who rank highly in Academic Stewardship are “financially efficient and academically rigorous.”

“This new metric is an important indicator of high quality and optimal results in a college education,” said Cazenovia president Dr. David Bergh. “It puts a new set of eyes and different standards of value on how small private schools like Cazenovia, located in rural areas and typically with smaller financial resources than larger colleges, can still manage to be ‘difference makers,’ providing exceptional outcomes for students. This is precisely the kind of education and environment Cazenovia College has long been offering, and it’s why we have always been so proud of what we do here.”

Officials at the college say it has a tradition of serving a high percentage of first-generation college students (46% of entering students) and students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds. According to Cazenovia College, 55% of students receive federal Pell grants to help them afford college, 6% of first-year students come through the federal Higher Education Opportunity Program, and 99% of students receive financial aid. Financial aid funding is reported to cover more than 60% of tuition, on average.

Academicinfluence.com developed the new metric in response to influencer Malcolm Gladwell, who for years has criticized conventional college rankings, like those from U.S. News & World Report, for “misrepresenting what’s good and valuable in education,” the company says.

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