HELENA — U.S. News & World Report released its annual Best Colleges rankings, and Carroll College topped of the list for best “Regional Colleges in the West.”
This marks the ninth year in a row that Carroll has held the #1 spot, earning a perfect overall score of 100, with the 2020 rankings providing data on over 1,900 schools.
“Carroll, a diocesan, Catholic college, continues to lead the field due to our concerted focus on students and the undergraduate experience, our exceptional academics, and a thorough commitment to graduate outcomes,” said Carroll College President John Cech. “While it is nice to be recognized at the national level, what I am most excited about is the work that is happening in our classrooms right now and the impact that will have on our communities moving forward.”
Over the past 15 years, Carroll has seen a 250% growth in enrollment in their health sciences programs, which include pre-professional health tracks such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, advanced nursing practice, and physician assistant.
The nursing program is adding an Accelerated Nursing Option, which allows students who already have bachelor’s degrees in other fields to become registered nurses within 15 months. Carroll is also currently developing its first two healthcare-related graduate programs – a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science in Social Work.
Carroll has initiated Advantage Awards, providing scholarship support of $2,000-$10,000 for first-year students from Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.
“We are not content to rest on our laurels,” said Cech. “We continually look for ways to improve the academic experience for our students to help make them both productive and marketable in their future careers. We want to be part of the workforce solution and we believe our students are the answer.” Carroll is also proud of the fact that 72 percent of its graduates are working in Montana four years after graduation. “Per capita, we are the largest net importer of talent among Montana’s colleges and universities,” said Cech.
In addition to the #1 ranking for Best Regional College in the West, Carroll also retained the top standing for Best Regional College in the West for Veterans for the fifth year in a row. Carroll was selected #3 for Best Value College in the West, ranking in the top three for four years in a row.