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Anna Mullin '20 was an intern at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2018.

Earlhamites have better access to internships, off-campus study than most undergraduates

November 29, 2018

Earlhamites are more likely to engage in high-impact learning practices than their peers at other colleges and universities, according to a survey of undergraduates in the United States and Canada.

Data from the 2018 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), an initiative of Indiana University, shows that 69 percent of Earlham graduates studied off campus before graduation. That's 55 percentage points higher than the national norm. Earlhamites also outpace their peers for engagement in undergraduate research and internships by an average of 33 and 23 percentage points, respectively. Overall, 96 percent of Earlham seniors participate in two or more of these types of “high-impact practices” compared to only 60 percent of students nationally.

“Earlham offers an extraordinary academic experience led by professors who make important connections for our students that go far beyond the four walls of a classroom,” Interim President Avis Stewart says. “We also make an attractive offer to our students: funding for at least one transformational learning experience before graduation, affording them the kind of flexibility they need to chart their futures wherever in the world their interests take them.”

Earlham delivers on an exceptional liberal arts experience by committing to high quality teaching, by encouraging students to take part in collaborative learning, and by offering the EPIC initiative. EPIC is a four-year journey integrates the academic major with transformative learning experiences to prepare students exceptionally well for life beyond Earlham. The EPIC Advantage — an average of $5,000 in funding to all students in support of an internship, project or research experience — is a signature component of the initiative.

High-impact practices increase rates of student retention and student engagement and benefit students from all backgrounds, according to the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Conversely, the NSSE is an indirect measure of student learning. The survey asks questions like, “What did you do and how often?” In general, students are asked about exposure to effective educational practices, use of their time and the quality of their interactions.

Survey responses from Earlham’s first-year students also stand out in NSSE’s annual survey. Earlham performed significantly higher than the national average for a series of “Engagement Indicators” that include collaborative learning, discussion with students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, student-faculty interaction, and supportive environment.

Earlham is consistently ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and is part of a select group of 40 institutions featured in the popular book Colleges That Changes Lives. In Princeton Review’s 2019 Best 384 Colleges guide, Earlham faculty rank 7th in the nation for Best Classroom Experience. In the 2019 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” guidebook, Earlham ranks 14th for value and 22nd for having a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, a recognition reserved for just 33 liberal arts colleges.

For more information about the NSSE, visit nsse.indiana.edu.

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. We rank 7th nationally by Princeton Review for Best Classroom Experience and 22nd by U.S. News and World Report for commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.


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