Tuesday, August 24, 1999

Avondale's Union Institute best in class size

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A non-traditional college in Avondale scored tops in the nation in a lesser-known category of U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings released to newsstands Monday.

        The Union Institute — where the average age of undergraduates is 39, rather than the usual 20-something college crowd — ranked first among all colleges and universities nationwide for its small class size. Ninety-nine percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students.

        Tim Mott, dean of the institute's College of Undergraduate Studies, said the institute has been ranked No. 1 in class size for at least three years because few of its students learn in traditional classrooms.

        Instead, each student is matched with a faculty member, and instruction is arranged around work and family time. Some courses are taught via mail or Internet.

        “It's the individualized nature that makes the institute unique,” Mr. Mott said.

        The college includes undergraduate study and technology courses, and it awards master's degrees and doc torates. It ranks in the third level, or top 250, of research universities nationwide, Mr. Mott said.

        About 2,100 students across the country take courses through the institute, which has three other campuses in California and one in Florida. Its 117 faculty members are spread throughout 23 states.

        The institute was founded in Avondale in 1964.

        In another category, Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., ranked in the second-tier of southern liberal arts colleges. Last year, the college ranked in the first tier.


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