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Eckerd College Again Among the 40 "Colleges That Change Lives"

posted on 08/28/2012

Colleges That Change Lives (2012) Penguin Books released today the fourth edition of Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives, which again features Eckerd College among the 40 colleges "that will change the way you think about colleges."

Eckerd has been included in the book since its first publishing in 1996, and also is a founding member of the nonprofit organization, Colleges That Change Lives, Inc., which hosts information sessions nationwide and coordinates outreach efforts with high school counselors and counseling agencies.

"Eckerd College is honored, once again, to be included in a small group of liberal arts colleges that—according to Loren Pope, a respected authority on higher education, and now Hilary Masell Oswald—promotes a student-centered college search process," said Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College. "In addition to providing the highest quality undergraduate education, Eckerd continuously seeks ways to provide students with opportunities to expand their world view, especially through service at home and abroad, and to reflect on how they are helping to shape the world."

Oswald, who took over for Pope after his death in 2008 and edited the fourth edition of the book, conducted all new school tours and interviews. Each college profile includes information about admission standards, the curriculum, extracurricular activities and education philosophies. Oswald also addresses the look and feel of campus; quality of the dining hall food; percentage of students who study abroad; percentage of students who go to graduate school; average SAT/ACT scores; and what professors have to say about their schools. Four colleges from the 2006 edition are not profiled in the new book: Antioch (OH), Evergreen (WA), Hampshire (MA) and Hiram (OH). The following colleges were added to the 2012 edition: Hillsdale College (MI), St. Mary's College (CA), University of Puget Sound (WA) and Willamette University (OR).

Eckerd College's profile in the book reads, "On a sunny, lush plot of land on Florida's Gulf Coast, Eckerd College might seem like the perfect spot for an easy college career, four years marked by sun, surf, and sand. But if you're looking for a vacation, you should enroll elsewhere." On the topic of mentoring at Eckerd, the profile reads, "At the vast majority of American universities, tenure review committees care about research first; teaching comes in a distant second. But at Eckerd, the commitment to student growth is so significant, faculty invest not just in students' academic learning but also in the development of them as whole people. The value of this kind of investment cannot be understated. It is life-changing."

John Sullivan, Eckerd's Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, said the book is often mentioned by families looking for the right fit for their college-age student.

"As we travel throughout the country and visit with families looking for a college, we hear that they want not only an institution that will prepare their student for professional opportunities but will provide a truly transformational education," Sullivan said. "We look forward to continuing our work with like-minded schools included in the book, touring together to meet with parents and students and telling them about the ways Eckerd College changes lives."

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