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Notre Dame de Namur University Among Top Small Private Bay Area Universities in Graduation Rate

But university officials warn there is no single measure of institutional quality

Belmont, CA, June 8, 2009 — A new national report showed that Notre Dame de Namur University ranked near the top in six-year graduation rates among small, private universities in the San Francisco Bay Area, but NDNU officials warned that there is no single statistic can adequately measure an educational institution’s quality.

“While we are certainly pleased to be among the best performing universities of our size in the Bay Area, it is important for prospective students and their parents to recognize that there are many factors that they should weigh when considering a university,” said Dr. Judith Maxwell Greig, president of NDNU.  Dr. Greig was commenting on a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute that ranked some 1,300 colleges and universities across the country based on their graduation rates. NDNU was among the best small, private universities in the Bay Area with a 58 percent six-year graduation rate. The group includes schools with enrollments of roughly between 1,000 and 3,000 such as Mills College, Dominican University of California, St. Mary’s College of California, Holy Names University and Menlo College. Only St. Mary’s, the largest school in the group, had a higher rating, at 67 percent, than NDNU. NDNU, Mills and St. Mary’s also had higher graduation rates than all of the California State Universities.

Vice President for Enrollment Hernan Bucheli noted that a great many factors go into determining a school’s graduation rate. Some schools admit only students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and the ability to do college level work. NDNU and schools like it admit a wider variety of student types, including some who may need more help, at least initially, to adjust to the demands of college life. “The key to helping such students succeed is having the right institutional structures and programs,” he said.  “At NDNU we rely on small class size, which promotes close contacts between students and their professors and advisors, coupled with institutional structures such as the Academic Success Center to identify those students who need help and provide them with the right amount and type of help. Unlike some larger schools, students here tend not to fall through the cracks.”