the Goshen College Bulletin | Alumni magazine since 1956
Photo of Shirley H. Showalter

Research and teaching excellence

By President Shirley H. Showalter

A few weeks ago one of the students now taking a May term course in Colorado called "History of the Southwest” was sitting on the floor in our house explaining what she was reading in preparation for her class. When she spoke about her professor, Jan Bender Shetler, her eyes lit up. "You just have to get interested in the subject when she talks about it,” she said. "She loves it so much that you want to love it too.” This is one of our five core values – passionate learning – and it happens all over campus and all around the world.

One of the first words people who know Goshen College associate with our name is "academic strength.” A recent survey of our alumni, local community and church leaders confirmed that our reputation outranks our closest competitors in this area. However, it also showed us that many details of that reputation are not fully known. How much do you know about the current faculty and the collaborative academic achievements of faculty and students in recent years? Did you know:

In 2003, 100 percent of GC grads who applied to medical school were accepted. The average acceptance rate of GC grads is more than 80 percent, compared to a national average of 50 percent.
Goshen ranks in the top sixth of U.S. liberal arts colleges for graduates who hold Ph.D.s.
English majors as a class consistently score in the 99th percentile compared to other colleges in the Educational Testing Service comprehensive exam.
Accounting majors successfully complete the CPA exams at a rate three times the national average.
The rate of GC nursing graduates who pass the licensure test averages 94.67 percent.
In the 2004 issue of U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges,” Goshen College ranked 111th in the nation among liberal arts colleges (bachelors) and was cited as a "best value.” U.S.News also reported that GC's study abroad program ranks 14th nationally.
In 2003, the entering class had an average SAT score of 1165, GPA of 3.55 and ACT score of 25.
GC students have been awarded Marshall, Fulbright, Danforth and Goldwater scholarships and Pulliam Fellowship journalism awards.
Twelve students participated in the eight-week Maple Scholars program last summer, working alongside a faculty volunteer who assisted the undergraduates in designing, carrying out and presenting their research project. This year there are 20.
Seniors complete an internship in their field.
The Mininger Center for faculty development is supported by a $1.2 million endowment for faculty development.
Church-related leadership opportunities include the popular Ministry, Service and Camping Inquiry Programs. The latter two are specific to GC. MIP is a program open to all individuals attending Mennonite colleges, and GC has had more students enrolled in the program than any other campus.

Our faculty members have studied in the best universities in the country –Yale, Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame and scores of outstanding public research universities. They have a passion for learning and for teaching. They stay current in their fields. More than half of GC faculty members have lived, studied or worked abroad, and their experiences are a powerful part of their classes. Each year they produce books and scores of articles and conference papers. They work side by side with students, teaching them not only facts but how to become scholars and researchers themselves. They take advantage of the interdisciplinary dialogues that are only possible in a liberal arts setting.

As we renovate and build new spaces, we are looking for natural ways to enhance the dialogue among disciplines and between faculty and students. Great faculty, students and facilities are the good news at Goshen College. Please tell three or four friends some of the salient facts in the quiz above. Help us shine our light!

The poet Wordsworth said it well in his poem "The Prelude”: "What we have loved, others will love, and we will teach them how.”