Since taking office in 2007, President Grant Cornwell and his administrative team have worked tirelessly to move The College of Wooster forward, with notable success.
This year, the College received more than 5,500 applications for admission, setting a new record for the third year in a row. In fact, the past six years have been the best six years for applications in Wooster's history. As more prospective students and their families discover Wooster, the College has increased its selectivity and strengthened its academic profile while enrolling a culturally and economically diverse student body. Almost two-thirds of this year's entering class were ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school class and almost one in five were eligible for Pell grants, the primary federal financial aid program for low-income students. In each of the past four years, U.S. multiethnic and international students together have comprised approximately a quarter of the entering class.
The 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges has singled out Wooster as one of just 20 private and 21 public colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. that the editors deem a "best buy" based on the combination of "quality academic offerings and affordable cost."
Guided by a new strategic plan developed under Cornwell's leadership, Wooster has made strategic investments in its mission and its vision for the future. This focused approach to strategic planning as an on-going process was one of the factors, along with a strong balance sheet and seasoned leadership team, cited by Moody's Investors Service in May 2012 when they reaffirmed the College's A1 credit rating and stable outlook.
In 2012 alone the college opened the Scot Center, a magnificent, Gold LEED-certified student recreation and fitness facility, and renovated of a portion of Andrews Library to create CoRE, the Collaborative Research Environment. The name not only defines the mission of the space, it also proclaims that collaborative research is at the core of what Wooster is: America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research.
The College also has launched a new, integrated model for student academic and career advising, planning, and experiential learning, called APEX, in newly renovated space in Gault Library. One aspect of this new initiative is the APEX Fellowship program, in which students develop proposals and compete for College funding for internships, entrepreneurial endeavors, social justice externships, and research opportunities.
Nationally recognized for his work in defining liberal learning in a global environment, Cornwell served as vice president of the university and dean of academic affairs at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., for five years before coming to Wooster. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and biology from St. Lawrence, and a master's degree and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago.
**Listen to President Cornwell and two students discuss the role and impact of mentored undergraduate research at Wooster in this Woo91 broadcast.
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