Carroll Best in the West - Tenth Year in a Row

For the 10th year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Carroll the #1 Regional College in the West, best out of 15 western states.

Monday, September 14, 2020

HELENA, MT – Carroll College has reached a record 10th year as U.S. News & World Report’s best “Regional College in the West.” Carroll is the only regional college in the nation to have earned this distinction for ten consecutive years having earned a perfect overall score of 100 with the 2021 rankings providing data on over 1,400 schools.

“At Carroll, we are proud to once again be recognized so prominently as one of the nation’s best colleges,” said Carroll College President Dr. John Cech. “Our longstanding tenure at the top of this ranking is a testament to our excellent faculty, the high caliber student Carroll has been able to attract and graduate, and our ability as a college to adapt and grow our programs to meet the changing needs of our workforce.”

In addition to the number one ranking for “Best Regional College in the West,” Carroll has also held the top spot in the newer category of “Undergraduate Teaching” for the past two out of three years.

“Although COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges this year, I am incredibly proud of how our faculty and staff have responded to the adversity,” said Cech. “We were one of very few institutions throughout the nation that did not lose a single instructional day in our transition to remote learning this past spring. Our response during this pandemic has underscored our faculty’s commitment to our students to provide a personalized, innovative and interdisciplinary learning environment that will best prepare them for the challenges ahead.”

Carroll also retained the top standing for “Best Regional College in the West for Veterans” for a sixth year in a row and has been ranked in the top three for the past five years for “Best Value College in the West.”

“Carroll continues to make strides to be at the forefront of affordability for private colleges in our region. An important part of our mission as a diocesan Catholic college is providing the means and access to higher education,” said Cech. “As we have done over the past several years, we have once again increased the level of our merit scholarships allowing us to provide the most competitive merit awards in the region. In addition, the full benefits provided through our Yellow Ribbon program makes a Carroll education more attainable for veterans and their dependents.”

Recognizing both the continuing and emerging needs of the healthcare industry, Carroll continues to build on its strong reputation in the health sciences. The new E. L. Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center, completed this spring, provides a state-of-the-art facility for Carroll’s nursing students to learn through high-impact practice in a safe and realistic healthcare setting. Carroll’s well-regarded nursing program has also added an Accelerated Nursing Option, which allows students who already have bachelor’s degrees in other fields to become registered nurses within 15 months. In addition, work continues on developing Carroll’s first two healthcare-related graduate programs – a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science in Social Work. Also, Carroll is in the exploration stage of a Master of Public Health degree.

Carroll’s nationally distinctive program and fastest-growing major at the college – Anthrozoology – is flourishing in the newly completed Perkins Call Canine Center providing the program with a 7,000 square foot building dedicated to the learning and training involved in this burgeoning field which examines the human-animal bond.

Always looking to innovate its academic programs, Carroll launched the first Catholic Studies major and minor in Montana and the Pacific Northwest, and it has expanded its humanities offerings through private-public partnerships with the University of Montana, including a 3+3 dual-degree program with UM’s Blewett School of Law and a 4+1 arrangement with their Master of Public Administration Program.

“With graduate programs, new state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative public-private collaborations all taking shape, Carroll is delivering on its promise to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students. It is this continual investment in our students which keeps Carroll as the best in its class year after year,” said Cech.

How are the Rankings Determined

The “Best Colleges” rankings, released annually by U.S. News & World Report, provide one of the most comprehensive and reputable assessments of over 1,400 regionally accredited institutions based on 17 metrics of academic excellence. Among the factors measured in the rankings are: outcomes including how well schools retain and graduate students (40 percent); assessment of excellence from academic peers (20 percent); faculty resources including the quality of and investment in faculty (20 percent); financial resources (10 percent); student excellence including admissions selectivity (7 percent); and alumni giving (3 percent). View the methodology here.

The 366 colleges in the regional colleges categories are ranked against their peer group in one of four regions: North, South, Midwest and West. The West region, in which Carroll resides, includes colleges in 15 western states. Higher education institutions included in the regional colleges ranking focus on undergraduate education but grant less than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines, such as languages and literature, biology and life sciences, philosophy, cultural studies and psychology.

See the full rankings on the US News and World Report website.


Best College in the West

Best College for Veterans (in the West)

Third Best for Best Value

Best in Undergraduate Teaching

Best in Social Mobility