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CASTINE – Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) has been listed in the rankings of the nation’s top baccalaureate colleges for the northern region in the 2011 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. The college was also ranked among the nation’s top 50 engineering colleges in the category of “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.” Based solely on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty conducted during the spring of 2010, Maine Maritime Academy was ranked 42nd in the undergraduate engineering category.

Maine Maritime Academy was ranked for the fourth consecutive year in the section titled, “Best Baccalaureate Colleges (By Region)”. MMA was placed as 9th overall in the listing of public and private colleges located in the north, a region defined in the publication as spanning from Maine to Maryland. In the last two editions, MMA was placed at 10th, and the previous year as 14th within the overall regional category.

In all four editions, MMA has held on to the third position within the regional list as a top public college within its regional category. Placing behind two federally run academies, Maine Maritime Academy was the first state-funded college to appear on that list in each of the four most recent editions.

The college was also listed in a number of sub-categories for the region: a 7th place ranking in the category “Economic Diversity Among Top-Ranked Schools: Baccalaureate Colleges (North)”, and a 7th place ranking in the category titled, “Average Freshmen Retention Rates: Baccalaureate Colleges (North)” based on an 83% first-year student retention rate. For the second year, MMA was ranked as number 10 among its northern baccalaureate counterparts in the category “Highest Graduation Rate”.

MMA was founded in 1941 by an act of the 90th Maine Legislature and has no mandatory service obligations for any of its graduates. The college will begin the 2010-2011 academic year on Monday, August 30, with maximum enrollment.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the category in which Maine Maritime Academy was evaluated, was defined as institutions that “…focus almost entirely on the undergraduate education experience and offer a broad range of degree programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of all bachelor’s degrees granted), and in fields such as business, nursing, and education.” U.S. News & World Report reported that there were 319 baccalaureate colleges within the four regions that they considered nationwide.

Publishers noted that the new list, marking the 27th edition of the publication, measures up to 16 indicators of academic performance for each college and university. Each indicator is assigned a weight (expressed as a percentage) based on their judgments about which measures of quality matter most. The colleges are ranked based on their composite weighted score. The numeric rank of roughly the top three-fourths of schools in each of the 10 categories are published; the remaining lowest ranked schools in each category are placed into the Second Tier, listed alphabetically, based on their overall score in their category. To be included in the rankings, a college or university must be regionally accredited and have a total enrollment of at least 200 students.

Each year, the ranking methodology is reassessed to stay current with developments in higher education. For example, this year U.S. News has changed the category names to make the rankings more understandable and to reduce confusion, more schools have been ranked, and graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted. The results, along with a complete summary of the methodology used to rank each school, are online at http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges

For More Information:

Contact Name: Janice Zenter, Associate for Public Affairs

Telephone Number: (207)326-2256

Website: http://www.mainemaritime.edu

Email: janice.zenter@mma.edu