U.S. News and World Report used four equally-weighted criteria in determining rank: Internet speed, Internet Access, Application of Technology and Resources Available. Each category was broken into subcategories, including percentage of dormitory rooms with wireless access and online learning management systems available to students. Online access to resources, such as library materials, and student access to cloud data storage were also accounted for.
The data used to determine rank was the same data collected during the spring and summer of 2012, which is primarily used to rank the overall quality of undergraduate programs in the “Best Colleges” rankings. Since, Culver-Stockton has only advanced technologically, nearly doubling the bandwidth speed, increasing from 70 megabits/second to 120 megabits/second. This bandwidth increase was not accounted for in the recent ranking.
“The Culver-Stockton Information Technology Department strives to set itself apart from other colleges and universities by going above and beyond what is normally available to students. Our complimentary, unlimited technical support for students is one example of how we make a difference,” says Joe Liesen, executive director of administrative systems and services. “We are very pleased with the US News & World Report “Best Connected” rankings, which serves as an affirmation and reminder of the great importance of technology in teaching and learning.”
Staying technologically current is a major focus for Culver-Stockton. The school’s curriculum is technology-based, and professors have been given the task to constantly create new ways to utilize technology in the classroom. Resources available to enhance the student experience are vast, including:
• 15 computer labs on campus, with each division having its own lab. All servers are available online from on and off campus.
• Every building on campus, including all student residences, has access to Wi-Fi. Also, laptops and iPads are available for students to check out and a $100 subsidy for iPad purchase is provided for students with a course requiring one.
• 24 hour online I.T. helpdesk and complimentary computer depot technical support.
• A mobile site, as well as a Smartphone “app,” is available for convenience. The app was developed by the Institute of Management Accountants, a student group at C-SC.
• Online library resources are available via proxy server, including databases, card catalog, the MOBIUS multi-library coalition resource checkout, thousands of eBooks and other non-electronic resource reservation.
• Intranet portal available for many student functions including online registration, advising, student account balance/payment, and grades. Students also have access to an online Learning Management System (LMS), available for every course, where syllabi, assignments, materials and grades are compiled.
• C-SC has a Google Apps partnership which gives students access to email, hard drive space and hundreds of other resources.
• Apple TVs located in many classrooms so students and faculty can wirelessly mirror to a projector as a way to not only engage students, but effectively and efficiently share information. Airprint printers are available in most academic buildings. All classrooms have projection systems installed and many are equipped with Smart Boards.
• Cable TV system has channels in high-definition (HD), and students vote on the channels they want.
• An emergency notification system that alerts students of urgent situations via text message.
“The student experience is the primary focus for the faculty and staff at Culver-Stockton. Technology is a major part of that experience,” says Richard Valentine, president of the College. “This acknowledgement is proof we truly are changing learning.”
Related Link: Methodology used by U.S. News and World Report.
OTHER FEATURED ARTICLES