UAH tops list of Alabama schools for economic outcomes of its graduates

Value Added Colleges
Source: Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) ranks first among all Alabama schools based on the economic outcomes of its graduates according to a recent report from the Brookings Institution.

That means UAH alumni go on to enjoy higher occupational earning power – as well as higher mid-career earnings – than the majority of their peers in the state.

UAH's Career Programs Manager Kellee Crawford says the recognition is an honor but comes as no surprise. "UAH's administration and faculty do an outstanding job at staying abreast of current technology and market needs, which they translate very well in the classroom," she says. "This in turn provides our students with an outstanding education that, when coupled with experiential learning opportunities, produces a very well-rounded, desirable graduate."

The report, entitled "Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools," is the first of its kind to compare colleges using value-added measures. These include the institution's graduation and retention rates, the mix of majors and skills offered, and the level of financial assistance provided, among others.

The report also analyzed upwards of 4,400 colleges using at least one economic outcome, notably more than the 600 or fewer typically ranked by non-academic publications. And data were drawn from a blend of government and private sources, with adjustments made for expected student characteristics like academic preparation, race/ethnicity, and family income.

The result? A more transparent and accurate reflection of a college's ability to prepare its students for high-paying careers, something Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell hopes will prove of value to prospective students. "No ratings system can capture everything about a college that matters," he says, "but these data can shed some light on how colleges compare in their contributions to student success and, hopefully, spark further research with even better data."


Kellee Crawford


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