Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rising Tide of Applications Lifts Fortunes of Christian Colleges

Rising Tide of Applications Lifts Fortunes of Christian Colleges:

Washington Post (free registration required)
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Religion News Service
Saturday, March 25, 2006; Page B09

"Evangelical Christian colleges are attracting record numbers of applications this year, a trend that bodes well for an educational niche that was struggling to survive a generation ago...."
This article describes an educational trend that has resulted in a 70% increase in enrollment since 1990 at the 102 member schools of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). During the same time period public colleges increased by 13% and private colleges increased by 28%.

By and large, the article was was positive, although it quoted Philip Altbach, a Boston College professor of higher education, as saying that parents' desire to keep their kids separate from the society at large drives the market for Christian higher education. I'm not sure where Altbach gets his information, but my experience with Christian colleges, and the students they turn out has been quite positive. And these students are not clueless when it comes to the "real world".

My education was public on through my M.S. in zoology, but I taught for two years at Sterling College, a member of the CCCU. I can vouch for the academic rigor of the program as well as the fact that many pre-medical students chose to attend a small college due in part to suggestions from medical schools. It seems that the smaller classes and greater personal attention provided at Christian colleges, coupled with academic quality, helps develop the characteristics that professional schools are looking for.

A high school senior could do a lot worse than look to Christian colleges as an option for their higher education.

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