Agnes Scott Innovation 01

Banners located on Agnes Scott College’s campus celebrate the school’s No. 1 ranking on the Most Innovative Schools list.

Agnes Scott College is ranked No. 1 in the country among national liberal arts colleges on the Most Innovative Schools list in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges. To President Leocadia I. Zak, who assumed her role in July, it is no surprise that Agnes Scott College received this distinction.

“Innovation is woven into the DNA of Agnes Scott College and that is part of what attracted me,” said Zak. And according to Zak, the college is changing perceptions on what innovation means and who can be known as innovative leaders.

“Some people only think of men when it comes to innovation, so I think it’s important that we’re a women’s college and we’ve received this high ranking,” she said.

The leadership at Agnes Scott attributes this recognition to SUMMIT, a program that aims to design an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics. A digital portfolio, focus on leadership development and board of advisors, as well as a faculty-led international study tour is a part of every student’s experience at the college.

“SUMMIT has been truly been transformative for Agnes Scott, and as we continue to rise in the rankings, we are proud to be recognized as one of the premier institutions in the country,” said Zak.

The Most Innovative Schools ranking identifies schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses. It is based on a peer assessment survey in which college presidents, provosts and admissions deans nominate up to 15 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

Freshman student Julia King, class of 2022, said the innovative programs at Agnes Scott College are why she chose to apply to the school. “I’m relatively new to SUMMIT and so far I’ve had powerful experiences and conversations that have been really interesting and eye opening,” King said. Part of her experiences so far include leadership courses and group work, gearing up for a study abroad program and classes at the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta.

Part of what makes the school innovative, said Zak, is the continuous building of programs and connection with students and faculty. “Our continued focus is to help shape Scotties that are ready to take on the world,” she said.

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