Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

Faculty ranked #4 nationwide in professor availability

From staff reports


The Air Force Academy’s professors are among the most accessible in the nation, according to The Best 371 Colleges text, released Tuesday by The Princeton Review.

Faculty availability is an expectation at a military service academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy ranks fourth in the nation in professor availability.  The student-faculty ratio here is 9:1, average class size is 20, 100 percent of the faculty is full-time and zero classes are taught by teaching assistants.

Several academic departments here also staff Extra Instruction laboratories throughout the academic day, with at least one professor available each class period to help cadets tackle questions arising from their latest lessons.

The Academy also came out in several other top-20 rankings in the nation, including:

#4  Don’t Inhale

#6  Stone-Cold Sober Schools

#8  Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution

#11  Most Conservative Students

#11  Everyone Plays Intramural Sports

#19  Scotch and Soda, Hold The Scotch

The Princeton Review features the Air Force Academy and other local colleges in The Best 371 Colleges, the new 2010 edition of its annual best colleges guide.  The guide utilizes online student surveys in 62 categories to assess the academic, administrative, quality of life, social, extracurricular and other aspects of life at American colleges. Other student survey-based ranking lists in the book reveal the schools at which students most highly rated their administrators, campus career centers, and athletic facilities. 

“Each of our 371 ‘best’ colleges offers great academics,” said Robert Franek, author of the book and vice president of The Princeton Review. “However, we don’t rank schools academically because our goal is to help students find and get into the best school for them.  Instead, we tally 62 ranking lists based how students at these schools rated their campus experiences, plus ratings based on institutional data we collect on issues important to applicants. It’s all about the fit.”

Other ranking lists in the book and #1 colleges on them are:

Best Career Services – University of Florida

Best Classroom Experience – Pomona College (CA)

Most Accessible Profs – U.S. Military Academy (NY)

Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University

Most Liberal Students – Warren Wilson College (NC)

Most Politically Active Students – George Washington University (DC)

Least Religious Students – Bennington College (VT)

Race / Class Relations Friendliest – University of Miami (FL)

Top Party Schools – Pennsylvania State University

Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)

Everyone Plays Intramural Sports – University of Notre Dame (IN)

Best Athletic Facilities – University of Maryland at College Park

Best Town-Gown Relations – Clemson University (SC)

The 62 ranking lists are based on surveys of 122,000 students – averaging 325 per campus – at the 371 schools in the book during the 2008-2009 and/or previous two school years. The 80-question survey asks students about their school’s academics, administration, campus life, student body, and themselves.  Almost all of the surveys were completed online.

The Air Force Academy’s fall semester begins Thursday.

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