WPI Lauded in 2015 Edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges

The guide says the WPI Plan is hands-on and project-based and takes a humanistic view of engineering
July 08, 2014

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has once again been named one of the best and most interesting colleges by Fiske Guide to Colleges.

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The Fiske Guide evaluates colleges based on a broad range of criteria, including the composition of the student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food, and extracurricular activities. The 2015 edition praises the WPI Plan, the university's revolutionary approach to undergraduate education, noting that it is "hands-on and project-based and takes a humanistic view of engineering." Additionally, the guide says that WPI "emphasizes teamwork instead of competition" and offers a "global emphasis unusual for an engineering school."

For more than 30 years, millions of students, parents, and guidance counselors have relied on the Fiske Guide to Colleges to guide them to the "best and most interesting" schools during their college search. Compiled by former New York Times Education Editor Edward B. Fiske, the 2015 edition is billed as "the top independent voice in college admissions" and "a selective, subjective, and systematic look at 300-plus colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain."

The 2015 Fiske Guide to Colleges describes WPI as a pioneer in engineering education that has built a solid reputation. "But with its ever-expanding academic curriculum, surprising devotion to music and theater, and dedication to hands-on undergraduate experiences," the guide notes, "WPI has expanded the definition of what it means to be a techie haven. Students must complete several extensive projects, ensure seven-week semesters, and engage in real-world experiences. But it’s WPI’s humanistic approach to engineering that really sets it apart."

"WPI prides itself on helping students understand the social impact of science and engineering," said Kristin R. Tichenor, WPI's senior vice president. "We are impressed by the Fiske Guide's thoughtful, in-depth analysis. Year after year, Fiske manages to capture the core mission and culture of the schools it evaluates. It is gratifying to see many of WPI's distinctive qualities captured so accurately in the 2015 edition."

As one example, the guide explains the outcomes of WPI's academic program. "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," it notes, then adding, "The curriculum remains remarkably flexible for a high-powered technological university."

The Fiske Guide also highlights WPI's distinctive approach to international education: "In light of an increasingly interdependent global economy, WPI offers a unique Global Projects Program that spans more than 30 project centers on six continents."