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CASTINE, Maine – Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) has once again been listed in the rankings of the nation’s top regional colleges for the northern region in the 2013 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. The Academy was ranked in the top 10 in sections titled, “Best Regional College (North Region) and Best Public Regional College (North Region)”. MMA placed 8th overall in the listing of North region colleges and 3rd overall in the listing of North public region colleges. The North region encompasses the area spanning from Maine to Maryland.
The college was also ranked among the nation’s top 50 engineering colleges in the category of “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.” Based solely on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty conducted during the spring of 2012, Maine Maritime Academy was ranked 44th in the undergraduate engineering category. In the 2011 rankings, MMA was ranked 42nd in the rankings for “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.” Only engineering programs accredited by ABET are eligible to be considered for these rankings.
The Academy raised its ranking for best regional college (North region) from 10th in the 2012 rankings to 8th this year. This is the best rating for MMA in this category within the last six years. For best public regional colleges in the North region, MMA improved from 4th in the 2012 rankings to 3rd this year. Placing behind two federally run academies (U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy), Maine Maritime Academy was the first state-funded college to appear on that list in each of the last six editions.
The college was also listed in a number of sub-categories for the region: a 10th place ranking in the category “Economic Diversity Among Top-Ranked Schools: Regional Colleges (North)”, and a 10th place ranking in the category titled, “Average Freshmen Retention Rates: Regional Colleges (North)” based on an 80% first-year student retention rate.
MMA was founded in 1941 by an act of the 90th Maine Legislature and has no mandatory service obligations for any of its graduates. The college began the 2012-2013 academic year on Monday, September 3, with maximum enrollment.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the category in which Maine Maritime Academy was evaluated, was defined as institutions that “…focus almost entirely on the undergraduate education experience and offer a broad range of degree 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.” U.S. News & World Report reported that there were 370 colleges within the four regions that they considered nationwide, 73 of which were in the North Region.
Publishers noted that the new list, marking the 27th edition of the publication, measures up to 16 indicators of academic performance for each college and university. Each indicator is assigned a weight (expressed as a percentage) based on their judgments about which measures of quality matter most. The colleges are ranked based on their composite weighted score. The numeric rank of roughly the top three-fourths of schools in each of the 10 categories are published; the remaining lowest ranked schools in each category are placed into the Second Tier, listed alphabetically, based on their overall score in their category. To be included in the rankings, a college or university must be regionally accredited and have a total enrollment of at least 200 students.
Each year, the ranking methodology is reassessed to stay current with developments in higher education. For example, in 2011, U.S. News changed the category names to make the rankings more understandable and to reduce confusion, more schools have been ranked, and graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted. The results, along with a complete summary of the methodology used to rank each school, are online at http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges