Misericordia receives 'Best Bang for Buck' ranking from Washington Monthly magazine

Students provided service at Blue Chip Farms.
Students provided service at Blue Chip Farms.
Students provided service along the Back Mountain Trail.
Students provided service along the Back Mountain Trail.

Misericordia University is ranked among the top 39 percent of all master’s degree-granting institutions of higher education in the country by Washington Monthly magazine in a survey that stresses community service and social mobility of students.

Misericordia University is ranked 264th overall among 684 other colleges and universities in the nation that were recognized in the “2013  Master’s Universities’’ category. The rankings are based on the institution’s contribution to the public good in three evenly weighted categories: social mobility, research and service. The rankings appear in the September/October issue of Washington Monthly magazine.
In a separate “Best Bang for the Buck’’ listing, Washington Monthly ranked Misericordia 233rd overall and 97th among master’s degree granting colleges and universities in the nation. Of the 1,572 colleges and universities recognized in the broader annual rankings, only 349 were recognized on this exclusive list.
The “Best Bang for the Buck” ranking recognizes “colleges in America that do the best job of helping nonwealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices,’’ according to Washington Monthly magazine.
In the traditional rankings, Washington Monthly ranks Misericordia 13th in the nation for student participation in service. The service-related rankings are based, in part, on the number of students participating in community service, the number of service hours performed, the number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service learning and whether or not the university provides scholarships for community service.
“Service has been a staple of a Misericordia education since the institution was founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1924,’’ said Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., president of Misericordia University. “We are pleased that national publications and organizations, such as U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, the Princeton Review and the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll have recognized our quality academic programs and our continuing efforts to assist those most in need in our local communities, across the nation and around the world.’’
Service opportunities come in many forms at Misericordia University through Campus Ministry programs, service-based academic courses, and campus clubs and organizations. Students, faculty and staff focus on at-risk children, issues of poverty, empowerment for those in need, social justice and community-based issues. In the past year, the University has participated in service trips in regional communities and to Guyana, Jamaica, Benson, Vt.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Mobile, Ala.; Philadelphia, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y.
Kevin Feifer, director of service-learning, coordinates academic-based service learning opportunities for students. MU works with a network of service partners, such as the Commission on Economic Opportunity, Ruth’s Place, and regional school districts and daycare facilities. Misericordia students also provide pre-school and after-school tutoring to regional elementary school children at McGlynn and Mineral Springs learning centers, Commission on Economic Opportunity.
The University also features special programs to enhance student volunteerism in the region. The Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania Program at Misericordia, sponsored by Americorp VISTA, provides a stipend to students who perform a certain number of service hours during the academic year at places like the Catherine McAuley House, Head Start and local libraries.
For more information about Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or log on to Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full and part-time formats.
Misericordia University fist-year student Michael Gottstein of Drums, Pa., prepares to restore paths on the Back Mountain Trail in Shavertown, Pa., as part of the annual Orientation Dave of Service.
Misericordia University first-year students, from left, Haley Zelinka, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; orientation leader Gabby Pollina, Olyphant, Pa.; and Brittany Chyristiano, West Scranton, Pa.; and Margaret Guarnieri, Pittston, Pa., volunteer at Blue Chip Farms in the Back Mountain as part of the annual Orientation Day of Service.