U.S. News & World Report says that Adelphi outperforms its ranking.

By Bonnie Eissner

Matthew Wojis Asperger’s syndrome
Matthew Wojis ’12

“No one has ever given up on me,” says Matthew Wojis ’12. Life has been anything but easy for Mr. Wojis, who has Asperger’s syndrome.

Despite his success in navigating high school, coming to college was a big step for Mr. Wojis and his family. He describes the first meeting he and his mother had with Mitchell Nagler, M.A. ’06, who is now the assistant director of Adelphi’s Student Counseling Center and director of Bridges to Adelphi, a support program for students with Asperger’s syndrome, autism and other social anxiety disorders.

“We were both nervous, not knowing what to do or say,” Mr. Wojis recalls. “We were just anxiously waiting for instructions. And I think my mom was more nervous than me…My mom did most of the talking. I wasn’t that good of an advocate for myself.”

Fortunately, through weekly meetings with Mr. Nagler and regular social gatherings among the Bridges students, Mr. Wojis improved his academic and social skills, which allowed him to advocate for his needs, establish friendships and manage his anxieties more effectively. In January, Mr. Wojis began an M.S. in Accounting with a concentration in taxation at Long Island University. “I want to be an investigative accountant,” he says.

Mr. Wojis’ story and those of other Adelphi students who have defied expectations give life to an unusual rating that Adelphi received last fall from U.S. News & World Report. The famous college ranker issued a new list of schools that outperformed or underperformed their academic reputation. Adelphi was named a top 15 overperformer.

What does this mean? Adelphi’s graduation and retention rates, selectivity and financial and faculty resources, as measured by U.S. News, have been outpacing the reputation score that Adelphi garners from higher education leaders in annual surveys. In short, the University’s reputation within higher education lags behind its measured success.

Adelphi’s outperformance can be explained by a number of trends and initiatives: the successful close of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, the hiring of scores of faculty, improving graduation and retention rates and renewed dedication to supporting students through a variety of programs, from a robust Center for Career Development and centers for writing and academic skill development to Bridges and the sought-after Levermore Global Scholars Program.

“I’m delighted that U.S. News has caught on to the quality of the Adelphi student experience and recognized us for taking student outcomes seriously,” says Adelphi Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gayle D. Insler. “I hope our peers will take a second look, too.”

Excerpted from Adelphi University Magazine Spring 2013 edition.

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