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Waynesburg University ranked in the top 100 nationwide in The Economist’s recently released, first-ever college rankings, which measured four-year, non-vocational American colleges based on alumni earnings above expectation.

“Consistently ranked as a top school within systems analyzing value, Waynesburg University has emerged as a national leader in this category,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee.

According to The Economist, Waynesburg University graduates earn an average of $5,214 more than expected, a figure which places the University in the 92nd percentile of colleges and universities nationwide. The University ranked No. 94 out of the 1,275 schools analyzed.

As described by The Economist, their rankings are based on the premise that “the economic value of a university is equal to the gap between how much money its students subsequently earn, and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere.”

To compile their ranking, The Economist analyzed information from the U.S. Department of Education’s college scorecard, including SAT scores, sex ratio, race breakdown, college size, whether a university was public or private and the mix of subjects that students chose to study. Other information ranged from the religious affiliation of a college to the wealth of the state and prevailing wages in the city where the school is located.

In recent weeks, Waynesburg has also been recognized by the Brookings Institution and CollegeNET.

Brookings scored institutions of higher education based on the value the colleges added to student outcomes, ranking Waynesburg University higher than 92 percent of 1,666 four-year colleges analyzed.

CollegeNET’s national Social Mobility Index rates schools based on how well they help students improve their economic status. Ranked at No. 66, Waynesburg University was the only school in Pennsylvania to break the top 100 on the national list.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.


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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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The Brookings Institution recently scored institutions of higher education based on the value the colleges added to student outcomes, ranking Waynesburg University higher than 92 percent of 1,666 four-year colleges analyzed nationwide.

The nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions measured the value colleges add to student outcomes, irrespective of student characteristics, based on the earnings of alumni. As Brookings describes on their website, value-added measures provide a more equal way to compare colleges and attempt to isolate the contribution of a college to student outcomes.

“We take pride in yet another national distinction that highlights the value of a Waynesburg University education,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Our students are being challenged on a daily basis, gaining skills that they are successfully employing in the workforce.”

The research builds upon the Obama administration’s new College Scorecard database that produced value-added rankings for 3,173 colleges (1,507 two-year colleges and 1,666 four-year colleges). According to Brookings, the College Scorecard database “represents a substantial improvement in data quality and transparency in higher education.”

Brookings analyzed criteria including curriculum value, STEM orientation and completion rates.

This recognition follows Waynesburg’s recent ranking in the top 100 of a national Social Mobility Index (SMI) by CollegeNET, which rates schools based on how well they help students improve their economic status. Ranked at No. 66, Waynesburg University was the only school in Pennsylvania to break the top 100 on the national list.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_chem-lab-for-academics-blog.jpgAt Waynesburg University, academic excellence extends far beyond the walls of a classroom. Top-notch instruction—that which also weaves the principles of faith, ethics and moral leadership into the course work—is bolstered by a robust array of hands-on learning opportunities, from Nursing Simulation and Marine Biology Labs to a remote TV production truck and Lasershot Firearms Simulator.

As a result of these facilities, co-curricular organizations possess the opportunity to grow and flourish, preparing students professionally. For example, the University’s American Chemical Society student chapter recently received the “Outstanding Chapter Award” for the fifth consecutive year. Additionally, the University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America achieved Star Chapter status for the second-straight year, and President Megan Bayles, a junior, became the first ever from Southwestern Pennsylvania to earn the prestigious Betsy Plank PRSSA Scholarship, given each year to only three students in the entire country.

The University now also has an agreement with the highly-rated West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, affording students the chance at expedited application review and an early admission interview, among other benefits.

These types of opportunities and experiences provide Waynesburg students a distinct advantage upon graduation. Utilizing the knowledge imparted by committed faculty members, graduates regularly achieve 100% pass rates on national exams in fields such as Nursing and Athletic Training. Furthermore, the Class of 2013 achieved a 97% placement rate, which means 97% of responding students were either working full-time, in graduate/professional school or in the military within one of year of graduation.

Alumni such as Dr. Autumn Lemley, D.O. ('09), Daniel Czajkowski ('14) and Ryan Devlin ('07) reach new heights in their educational and professional careers as a result of their Waynesburg education. Lemley went on to graduate from West Virginia's School of Osteopathic Medicine and now practices at Cornerstone Care and Monongalia General Hospital as a Family Medicine Resident. Czajkowski used his unique experiences in Waynesburg's Stover Program for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership to prepare him for a job on Capitol Hill as a Staff Assistant of Congressman Keith Rothfuss. Devlin was named the 2013 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and became the first person ever from the state to be one of the three finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

Stories like those of Autumn, Daniel and Ryan abound among Waynesburg graduates, and so many attribute their success in large part to their time at Waynesburg. To learn more about what alumni are doing and where students are interning, visit

For more numbers on academics at Waynesburg, see the bulleted list below:

  • 70+ major concentrations
  • 3 five-year integrated bachelor’s to master’s programs
  • 20 students in an average class
  • 14:1 student/faculty ratio
  • 100%of academic departments offering hands-on learning, research and/or internship opportunities


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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-05-12-at-4.27.16-PM.pngAt a time when higher education is under the microscope, studies abound concerning which schools place the highest percentage of students in graduate schools and jobs, which lead to the highest annual income, and the list could continue. Instead of focusing on the names of institutions, however, what about looking into what students actually do during their four years?

A recent Gallup Poll did just that, finding students who “forged meaningful connections with professors or mentors” are the same people “who feel happy and engaged in their jobs [and] are the most productive” as a result.

At Waynesburg University, 93 percent of first-year students and 91 percent of seniors rated their overall experience as “excellent” or “good,” according to the University’s 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results. Additionally, NSSE reported that Waynesburg students talked about career plans with a faculty member 28 percent more than students at other Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) schools.

What exactly does that look like? Mike Cipoletti, Director of the Forensic Science program, said he knows every student in the program, from the freshmen to the seniors—a direct result of the University’s 14:1 student/faculty ratio. Cipoletti said the seniors spend plenty of time in his office, especially close to graduation.

"That’s why most of us are here,” he said. “We come to a small institution like this, so we can have more face time and interaction with the students. It’s not even just on the academic side of things—it’s the personal interactions, too. It’s trying to help these students figure out how to become leaders, how to become service-oriented people, how to give back to their communities, and you know, that’s the best part about it.”

Provost Dr. Jacquelyn Core agrees, citing the University’s commitment to service as another way students and faculty forge close ties with one another.

“When a student is serving right alongside a faculty member, it adds more depth to the relationship, and it’s all about that ability to form relationships,” Core said. “I also think it goes both ways because it helps faculty members to feel more invested in the students, too.”

As the survey undertaken by Gallup—which polled 30,000 graduates of all ages in all 50 states—proved, Waynesburg’s mentor-like approach to teaching, academic advising and career counseling works. And the institution’s 96 percent career path rate (for those still wondering about those buzzwords) further illustrates that point.

Students are not only furthering their education in graduate schools and obtaining jobs in their respective fields, they are excelling in whatever path they choose.

Take Ryan Devlin, for example. A 2007 Waynesburg alumnus, Devlin received the honor of Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year” and also became a finalist for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. He, too, cites the holistic approach to a Waynesburg education as a major factor in his success.

“[Waynesburg is] just a great place where everyone is a mentor to you, and it’s not just about having a great college professor—it’s about everyone here,” Devlin said. “One of the things that’s really unique about Waynesburg University is that it really educates the entire student.”

Part of how the University “educates the entire student,” as Devlin put it, is through the school’s liberal arts philosophy. Core, in her role as Provost, is of the opinion that this approach to education is simply invaluable.

“I truly believe that you cannot put a price tag on the type of well-rounded person you can become through a liberal arts education,” Core said. “It’s really easy outside of a liberal arts background to get pigeon-holed in your field of study. You may become an expert in that field but not get the background needed to become a good citizen in all parts of society, whether that is servant leadership, environmental stewardship or whatever that might be. I think there’s a level of knowledge with a liberal arts education that makes you more conversant in a wider range of societal issues.”

For those still interested in a few of those buzzwords and rankings mentioned above, check out to learn more about Waynesburg’s recent distinctions.


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