CASTINE, Maine — Maine Maritime Academy is included in a list of the top undergraduate colleges in the nation.
The college is listed in the rankings of the nation’s top baccalaureate colleges for the northern region in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.
MMA also was ranked among the nation’s top 50 engineering colleges in the category of Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. Based solely on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty conducted during spring 2010, the undergraduate engineering category ranked Maine Maritime Academy 42nd.
MMA was ranked for the fourth consecutive year in the Best Baccalaureate Colleges (By Region) section. The college placed ninth overall in the listing of public and private colleges located in the north, a region defined as spanning from Maine to Maryland.
The college also was listed in a number of subcategories among Baccalaureate Colleges in the North, including seventh-place rankings in the categories of Economic Diversity Among Top-Ranked Schools and in Average Freshmen Retention Rates, with an 83 percent first-year student retention rate. For the second year, MMA was ranked 10th among its northern baccalaureate counterparts in the category Highest Graduation Rate.
Meanwhile, new students began arriving on campus this week. Following the success of a pilot orientation program last year, the college will hold three separate orientation sessions for incoming students. All new students must attend one of the sessions, which focus on small-group discussions and activities.
In addition, students seeking U.S. Coast Guard licenses who will be members of the college regiment of midshipmen also will take part next week in Regimental Preparatory Training, a series of training and team-building exercises, including familiarization with the MMA training ship State of Maine.
According to Capt. Jeff Loustaunau, MMA commandant of midshipmen, particular RPT activities may be noticeable to the public. Student marching units will utilize public routes linking the waterfront and main college campuses. Tours of Castine will be conducted each evening from 4 to 5 p.m., and will focus on familiarizing students with community resources, local businesses and municipal offices and services.
The college anticipates an incoming freshman class of 280 to 290 students, which is about the same as last year. With the new group of students, college officials expect the total undergraduate enrollment to be between 920 and 930 students.
Returning students are expected to arrive on campus Sunday, Aug. 29, with classes beginning Monday, Aug. 30.