Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has once again been named one of the nation's best and most interesting colleges by Fiske Guide to Colleges.
Compiled by former New York Times Education Editor Edward B. Fiske, the 2014 edition of the Guide is billed as "a selective, subjective, and systematic look at 300-plus colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain."
In addition to being profiled, WPI is again included in two specific categories in the new guide: "Small Colleges and Universities Strong in Business" and "Engineering Top Technical Institutes."
In particular, the guide praises the WPI Plan, the university's revolutionary approach to undergraduate education, calling it a "hands-on and project-based and takes a humanistic view of engineering." Additionally, the guide notes that WPI "emphasizes teamwork instead of competition" and offers a "global emphasis unusual for an engineering school."
Kristin R. Tichenor, senior vice president at WPI, praised the publication.
"The Fiske Guide has long been hailed for its in-depth analysis of colleges, going well beyond the numbers to capture institutional personality and purpose," she said. "We are very happy that WPI was noted for providing students the opportunity to work in team settings to solve global problems."
Specifically, the Fiske Guide notes, "The intent of WPI’s unique grading system and educational philosophy is to polish social skills, build self-confidence, produce well-rounded students, and nurture young people interested in using their knowledge to improve the world."
The guide adds, "WPI focuses especially on developing teamwork. The curriculum remains remarkably flexible for a high-powered technological university."
WPI has been featured in numerous editions of the Fiske Guide over the years. In 2011, Fiske named WPI one of 10 colleges and universities that "should be on the radar screens of all students looking at undergraduate engineering programs," noting the university's renowned "emphasis on projects and team building." Similarly, the 2010 edition called WPI "a pioneer in engineering education [that] has built a solid reputation in the sciences. But with its ever-expanding academic curriculum, surprising devotion to music and theater, and dedication to hands-on undergraduate experiences, WPI has expanded the definition of what it means to be a tech-oriented institution."