Montclair State has received significant amounts of national recognition lately. The university has been awarded with honors and rankings for many of its characteristics, ranging from great academic programs and leadership to its dedication to diversity.
Willard Gingerich, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said rankings are an important marketing notice many readers and families pay attention to. “We have gone up considerably from last year. We went from number 50 to 34 for regional universities in the North,” he said about U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” list for 2016. “That’s a pretty significant jump in one year.”
Montclair State scores highly in many categories taken into account by U.S. News & World Report. In terms of class size, a large percentage have 20 students or less. The school has an extremely high one-year retention rate of approximately 83 percent. Gingerich also said Montclair State delivers a top quality education while staying below the middle for tuition and fees of public schools in New Jersey. Excellent faculty, classroom and research facilities and residential facilities are prominent traits as well.
“We are also an SAT-optional school,” said Gingerich. “That is another indicator U.S. News & World Report looks at, which will be key in making the institution more available and open to qualified students from every rank, category and class. Students have equal opportunity, which is something that will obviously make us stand out.”
Despite the positive characteristics which have helped Montclair State achieve its spot on America’s Best Colleges, Gingerich said, “A lot of universities do not consider [the list] to be very valid, actually.” He explained U.S. News & World Report bases a quarter of the weighing for the ranking on reputation, which is simply the impression viewers have of the school.
“Any school in the process of transforming itself and becoming academically competitive can be registered on this indicator. That’s why a lot of schools don’t give credit to this ranking, but many parents and students do pay attention to it, which is why it is important,” Gingerich said.
Montclair State’s programs continue to grow and the applicant pool is increasingly larger every year, according to Gingerich. This statement also holds true for Montclair State’s School of Business, which has seen significant growth in recent years and has been recognized by The Princeton Review in its 2016 list, “The Best 295 Business Schools.”
“We have a comprehensive business school in the second largest university in New Jersey,” said Gregory Cant, Dean of the School of Business. Currently, there are just under 3,000 students in the School of Business – a number Cant expects will be exceeded next year.
“Student numbers began expanding about five years ago and have nearly doubled. The attraction of our programs at the undergraduate level has exploded and graduate programs have also been at a steady increase,” he said.
The School of Business boasts a full range of undergraduate offerings, along with many graduate programs, including the MBA and several certificates, which are some of the reasons the school has received recognition. “We have everything you would expect from high quality programs,” said Cant. “We have expanded and are accredited. Less than a quarter of institutions globally receive accreditation. This is important because it is a third party endorsement, same as the rankings, and has more power than us just saying we are great.”
According to Cant, fantastic faculty, staff and student services are just some examples of what makes the Business School at Montclair State deserving of recognition. “They help students find internships, advise on how to keep on track for graduation and help them find their first job,” he said.
The School of Business is working towards offering a fully online MBA program by next fall, which will allow the school to compete at a national and international level for an online audience. The school also plans to offer a doctoral program in business within the next couple of years.
“This is just the beginning,” Cant said, explaining all of these plans revolve around entrepreneurial innovation. “Currently, we have 3D labs and printers, but are just scratching the surface of what this innovation is truly about. We want to get people to think like entrepreneurs, which will give us the capacity to affect the communities around us and across the state. We want to be a leader in this.”
“Ultimately, we care about students’ success and you want to be in a place where they care about the success of students,” Cant said, regarding why the programs offered at Montclair State are so special.