Carroll College ranked 'Best in the West' for 10th year straight

Posted at 6:30 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 21:06:16-04

HELENA — For the 10th year in a row, Carroll College has been named U.S. News & World Report’s best “Regional College in the West.”

“Our designation as the number one regional college is significant not only for Carroll College, but for all of Montana. We are the first in the nation to hold this status for 10 consecutive years. It’s great for Montana because it’s going to bring national attention to higher education in Montana,” said Carroll College President Dr. John Cech.

Carroll has also held the top spot this year for “Undergraduate Teaching,” a distinction they’ve earned for the past two out of three years.

“That’s what you want to be number one in,” exclaimed Cech. “Because the students come here for the teaching, the experience and the opportunities to be a part of campus life. We’re so excited about that.”

The private Catholic college has recently expanded more nursing opportunities on campus, including a new accelerated nursing program that will allow students to earn a bachelor’s in nursing in only 15 months.

The new E. L. Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center was completed this Spring, that allows students to learn through high-impact practice in a safe and realistic healthcare setting.

“It’s the most state of the art nursing simulation center in Montana and the Pacific Northwest,” said Cech.

Carroll also opened their new Perkins Call Canine Center for their Anthrozoology program. The 7,000 square foot building is solely dedicated to the learning and training involved in the field that examines and explores the human-animal bond.

The college also retained the top standing for “Best Regional College in the West for Veterans” with U.S. News & World Report 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.”

“What’s fantastic is post 9/11 veterans can come to school here essentially for free, or designate their children to come to school here for free,” said Cech.

Carroll did see a 12.5 percent decline in enrollment this year related to the pandemic. However, they also saw their second highest retention rate between freshmen to sophomores in the past 20 years.

Cech says the college is look at all of their academic programs and how they can reach some different markets in the coming years, especially in the graduate field.

“We began our masters program in accountancy, which is doing very well, and we’re presently working on a new masters of social work program,” said Cech.

Cech added the college is also actively looking into starting a masters of public health.