- Harvey Mudd College's computer science graduating class featured more women than men this year, a historic trend that matches the school's aggressive effort to increase participation from women, which has tripled in the last 10 years.
- Officials say targeted efforts to appoint and promote women in leadership positions throughout the institution, including six department chairpersons and nearly 40% of the campus' total number of professors, makes the difference in encouraging and modeling success for women in historically underrepresented fields.
- Changes in curriculum, along with the school's small size, allow for more adaptive learning opportunities which don't skew in benefit to male or female students.
Smaller private institutions have to be innovative to maintain enrollment, attract new students and to receive media attention, but it is always better when the numbers confirm the risk taking. Paul Quinn College in Dallas has focused on affordability as a metric of success, and like Harvey Mudd, has grown a brand around a focus of support for an underserved community in academic space.
For larger institutions, similar strategies can be adopted to scale for meeting unique niches of industrial or social innovation. At Stanford, students are visualizing the future of learning through a new interactive exhibit, while the University of Missouri is trying to rebuild its diversity brand through its high school feeder program. For all schools, working to meet the needs of a changing society while preparing to add to its industrial imperative are the keys to market uniqueness and financial stability.