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Otis College Third Highest Ranking Art and Design College in New Ranking

New Wall Street Journal/THE Ranking Puts the Student First

Otis College of Art and Design is the third-highest ranking art and design college on the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) College Rankings for 2017. Otis College ranked 200th of all colleges and universities nationwide. The only other Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) members to break the top 200 are Rhode Island School of Design (105) and ArtCenter College of Design (139).

Using a student-centered approach with 15 individual performance indicators, WSJ/THE compared more than 1,000 colleges, from large research universities to smaller liberal arts programs. Key data in the findings originated from 100,000 current American college students, collected through Times Higher Education’s annual US Student Survey.

Historically college rankings emphasize selectivity, using SAT scores of incoming freshman and the percentage of accepted vs. rejected applicants as a measure of an institution’s desirability among candidates. However, measuring the preferences of the most elite students and rewarding colleges based on their graduates’ success is not helpful to students and their families trying to decide which unique program will be the best fit for their needs.

A shift in the way higher education is assessed, with more pressure on colleges and universities to deliver job-ready graduates, has disrupted this model in favor of graduate earnings and job placement.

In the WSJ/THE model, value added is included in the ‘outcomes’ pillar, one of four categories, that seeks to give a more balanced assessment of each institution. How likely a student is to get a job or their ability to pay off student loans is considered in conjunction with how well the program supports critical thinking and how much opportunity the student has to interact with faculty.

This holistic approach including outcomes for students, the quality of resources the institution provides, the level of engagement students have with their faculty and studies, and the overall diversity of their learning environment makes the WSJ/THE model the most student-focused of all rankings to date.

The Economist’s first ever college rankings focused on the value-added to the student, with an approach that rewarded colleges and universities whose graduates exceeded salary expectations for their field and socio-economic background. Otis College ranked sixth in the nation in this model, and the only art and design school to rank in the top ten.

Otis College has recently unveiled ‘Your Creative Future’, a signature career preparation initiative that places business practices, real-world engagement, and individualized mentoring at the core of its art and design programs, further echoing a shift towards education that is student-responsive and future oriented.

Other art and design colleges included in the ranking are California Institute of the Arts (262), Pratt Institute (271), Maryland Institute College of Art (411) and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (464). For a full listing of the rankings, visit