A Responsive University

The Context

At a time when the public disenchantment with higher education is growing, and disruptive (often commercial) alternatives are looking more and more appealing to prospective students and their families, the real measure of a university’s success is the degree to which its offerings satisfy the demands of its many stakeholders. The current list of these demands is lengthy and all too familiar—including calls for lower tuition, higher return on investment, and graduates who are competitive in the job market. Not surprisingly, RIT is aggressively addressing these demands. Leveraging its appetite for difference, its talent for adaptation, and its commitment to student success, RIT has listened and acted.

The public is demanding RIT has responded with
Career preparation for jobs at graduation (parents and students). A 95-percent employment/graduate school acceptance rate six months after graduation.
Return on tuition investment (parents and students). A combination of a strong career-oriented mission, curricular currency, and excellent relations with business and industry, yielding one of the best ROIs in the nation.
Affordability (parents and students). Need-blind admissions; tuition below the national average for private institutions; intervals of paid cooperative employment; historically high percentage of Pell-eligible (low-income) students.
Breadth and depth in content mastery (employers). Education in fields with high employer demand integrated with design, management, critical and innovative thinking, and data management; broad participation of undergraduates on funded research teams, which sharpens critical and innovative thinking skills, data analysis, and problem-solving skills.
More STEM graduates (employers). The second highest number of STEM graduates among U.S. private universities.
Experiential education and work experience (employers). An educational experience that includes considerable time learning outside the classroom—either working in a paid cooperative education position, designing new products and businesses in the Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or participation on interdisciplinary research teams.
Groundbreaking research in multiple disciplines (business, industry, government, society). Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs—ranging from imaging science to microsystems to sustainability—dedicated to providing solutions to complex problems that defy a single-discipline approach.
Anytime, anywhere learning (students, alumni, community members). A program (the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies) that gives credit for prior learning; an Innovative Learning Institute providing credit and noncredit experiences to traditional and nontraditional students in multiple electronic formats.
Diverse population. Over 50 percent international students at the graduate level; 1,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students on the Rochester campus; and a history of serving low-income students.
Global reach. Unusually high number of international students; four international campuses with multiple opportunities for student exchange; courses in 10 languages.