Using the full-time and part-time faculty figures from the Peterson’s database, we calculated how many full-time faculty members each school had per part-time faculty member. Accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, such as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), acknowledge that a bigger number of full-time faculty members typically indicates a higher chance of high-quality instruction. In fact, the CIHE states that one of the factors it considers when evaluating a school is that the school “avoids undue dependence on part-time faculty, adjuncts, temporary appointments, and graduate assistants to conduct instruction.”
The Peterson’s database did not have these figures for all of the colleges on our list. We did not, however, want to penalize those colleges without data. To that end, we simply excluded those schools from the rankings in this category.