Coker Ranked a Top 100 Baccalaureate College in the Nation

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – September 1, 2011 – Washington Monthly’s September-October issue ranks Coker College among the top 100 baccalaureate colleges in the nation that contribute most to the public good.

“In recent years, college rankings have proliferated dramatically,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt.

“While each list endeavors to measure the value of a college education, prospective students may find themselves spending almost as much time comparing the rankings as they do comparing the institutions.

"In fact,” Wyatt added, “the field has become so complex that education writers now weigh in with unexpected commentary on each other’s efforts.  Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, who wrote the popular college guide, Harvard Smarvard, describes Washington Monthly’s list as, ‘a model for what all college rankings should be.’”

“It is based on how professors are teaching and students are learning, not on the average SAT score of a college’s freshman class or how prestigious college presidents think the school is,” Mathews wrote.

Regardless of how the rankings are judged, invariably they reveal surprises for readers who aren’t well versed in the attributes of the individual institutions.

Washington Monthly’s roster is based on three broad criteria: the social mobility of its students, the cutting-edge research it produces and the ways its students give back to the nation.

Of the various individual measures that contributed to its overall rank, three scores, in particular, elevated Coker to the top tier:  research expenditures #27; community service #45; and academic and administrative support of community service #25.

This year, as last year, Coker College was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Also this year, Coker was one of about 250 colleges nationwide that joined the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge, which was launched in Washington last month.

Examples of Coker’s commitment to conducting cutting-edge research include Professor of Biology Joseph Flaherty, who recently received a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to support new undergraduate biology research, and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Gordon Brown, who was awarded a $50,000 grant from the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund to enhance Coker’s chemistry program.

For more information about Washington Monthly’s 2011 rankings, visit

For information about admission to Coker College, visit




Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. For more information contact Barb Steadman: 843-397-9959 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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