For the third year in a row, College of the Atlantic has been recognized as being among the top five schools in the nation
for small classes and an international student body, according to US News & World Report's 2008 edition of "America's Best
Colleges," available online today and on newsstands on Monday, Aug. 20.
Among the magazine's list of key criteria for judging schools is the category titled, "Highest Proportion of Classes
Under 20." With 94 percent of its classes under 20 students, COA ranks fifth in the nation for small classes.
Hearing of the recognition, COA President David Hales reflected upon the magazine's survey system, parts of which rely
heavily upon the subjective praise of other college presidents for its data. "Although many aspects of the US News & World
Report represent a narrow band of at best partially-informed opinion there are a few standards that are based directly on
facts." said Hales. "Class size and international presence are two of those that can actually be measured and compared. The
key question is never 'which college is best', but 'which college is best for a specific student', and the fact-based comparisons
can help with answering that question."
As COA prepares to open the school year with the largest student body ever, 16 percent of those students will hail from outside
the United States, making COA the number three college in the nation for a global presence. Many of these students come to
the college as part of the Davis United World College Scholars program. This program, funded by Shelby and Gale Davis, grants
full college scholarships to outstanding international students at five selected U.S. colleges, COA among them. The diversity
of background, nationality and culture in the student body create a vibrant dynamic of multiple perspectives, skills, insights
and styles on campus.
Since 1972, when COA held its first classes, the college has emphasized small classes and student-faculty collaborative
relationships as a way for students to best obtain the knowledge they need to make a difference in the world.
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Acadia National Park, COA was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should
go beyond understanding the world as it is to enable students to actively participate in shaping its future. A leader in environmental
stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to education-human ecology-that develops the kinds
of creative thinkers and doers who are able to lead all sectors of society to promote sustainable ecosystems while meeting
compelling and growing human needs.