Cal Poly Pomona is the third highest rated regional university in the West according to Project Connect 2003, a survey by the market research firm Carnegie Communications. The university was also eighth most popular among students.
Project Connect looked into the widely criticized process of college rankings, in particular U.S. News & World Report?s annual America?s Best Colleges issue, which heavily measures academic quality based on education experts. Project Connect differs in its approach by focusing on the opinions of the primary consumers of higher education ? students.
Nearly 4,000 college-bound students from across the nation were surveyed for the report, which covers private and public universities. Researchers found that students place weight on different variables when assessing quality. For example, in other rankings, the greatest weight is placed on an institution?s peer assessments. Students believe that the student-to-faculty ratio is the most accurate indicator of an institution?s quality, with peer assessments second.
After shifting the weight of variables of academic quality, Cal Poly Pomona experienced the largest jump in rankings in the Western Region and the second largest in the nation. It increased 29 places from 32 in U.S. News & World Report?s last survey.
Cal Poly Pomona shared the third slot with Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was ranked first with Gonzaga University in Washington at second. Neighboring university Azusa Pacific University tied for 16 with nearby University of Redlands.
Among national universities, Yale, Harvard and Stanford were the top three.
The Carnegie Communications college rankings are available online at www.carnegiecomm.com.