History and Archives
Integrative Studies Program Honors
U.S. News & World Report
September 12, 2012
Small classes, faculty to student ratio rank
high for Otterbein among Ohio schools
Westerville, OH—Otterbein University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly for its focus on academics, service and student success.
Among the Ohio schools in the Regional Universities–Midwest category of the 2013 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, Otterbein boasts the third highest peer review score and third highest percentage of classes with less than 20 students. It also has the second lowest student to faculty ratio and second highest percentage of full-time faculty among its Ohio peers. Otterbein is ranked 16th overall among 149 peers in the Regional Universities–Midwest category.
“We are gratified to be rated so highly by our peers and to have performed so well on so many measures relative to our peers, but we are most excited by the fact that most of our already strong measures showed improvement over previous years,” said Otterbein Provost Victoria McGillin. “Our most important competition is with ourselves and our most important outcomes are the learning outcomes of our students.”
According to the guide, institutions in the Regional Universities category provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs while offering few, if any, doctoral programs. Otterbein offers master’s degrees in allied health, business, education, educational mathematics and nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice degree.
This year Otterbein competed with schools from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri for this honor. Peer institutions include Butler, Drake and Xavier universities. The rankings are based on 16 measures of “academic excellence,” which fall into six categories, peer assessment and graduation and retention rates being the most important. Presidents and academic vice presidents are surveyed in the spring each year and are asked to rate their peer institutions (those schools in the same category and region).
Otterbein also was recently recognized by Washington Monthly as a top school for contributions to the public good as measured by social mobility, research and service. Otterbein was ranked 10th in service and 52nd overall among 682 schools across the nation. Within the service category, Otterbein ranked seventh in community service participation by students.
American Association of Colleges and Universities
Chosen twice from more than 100 applicant institutions to receive grants for participation in American Association of Colleges and Universities multi-year programs.
- 2004-07 Shared Futures: General Education for Global Learning (led to organization of six faculty learning communities, infusion of global learning into targeted IS courses, global learning as one of Five Cardinal Experiences)
- 1990-93 Engaging Cultural Legacies (led to development and implementation of the Senior Year Experience Program)
National Science Foundation (2006)
Received $113,522 National Science Foundation grant, "Increasing Scientific Literacy for Non-Science Majors through Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Lab-Based Courses" (supported development and implementation of sophomore science options).
Plymouth State University (2004)
Chosen as a benchmark program by Plymouth State University (NH) as it redesigned its general education program. Included an onsite visit to Otterbein by Plymouth State faculty team.
Ohio Board of Regents (1989)
"Independent University Challenge Program for Liberal Arts Excellence," $106,000. One of six programs honored by the Regents in a statewide competition.
New IS Curriculum Passed in Senate
A bill to pass the new IS curriculum was presented to the Senate on November, 4, 2009 . After some debate, the bill was voted on and passed overwhelmingly.
Otterbein Featured in the International Educator
“Shared Futures: Global Learning and Liberal Education” was a 3-year initiative sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Otterbein University was 1 of 16 institutions selected to participate in the program which challenged institutions to transform their core curricula so that students become more global-minded, ethical, and engaged.
In the latest issue of the International Educator (published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators), Otterbein’s role in the Shared Futures project as well as the new Integrative Studies curriculum are highlighted.
The article can be read here : Globalizing General Education
In 2010, one INST 360 course developed “traveling cart” presentations to present energy-related issues at COSI. The students in INST 360 researched, organized, and wrote the content of the presentations on their own, along with feedback from COSI staff.
The following topics were presented on March 6, 2010 by Otterbein students:
- Energy and Transportation
- Energy in the Food We Eat
- Saving Energy on Home Heating and Cooling
- Using Energy-Efficient Home Appliances
- Landscaping for Energy Savings
The following quotes are from students reflecting on their experience afterward:
“I think that doing this project helped shine a light on a small part of what Otterbein is all about and lined up with our value of service to the community."
“It’s good to see younger kids taking an interest in science, since our future depends on them solving some of our problems.”
“Through the hands-on COSI project I learned a lot that I could have never learned from a textbook.”
“It’s not just a course you can take once and forget, it’s something you can keep using.”
COSI staff were also positive about the sessions, saying that the students “were a delight to work with” and plan on using the student’s scripts to develop future energy activities at COSI.