With everything going on, the last thing that needs to be on the minds of college student and their parents is safety. Thankfully, colleges and universities are worrying about safety and security so students can keep their focus on hitting the books.
There are a lot of colleges and universities out there, so if you’re looking to find the safest ones for yourself or your child, we’ve got you covered. Here are four colleges whose strong commitment to student safety stands out.
1. Pepperdine University
A Christian University planted in the celebrity playground of Malibu, California, Pepperdine is a beacon of safety to its 3,000 plus undergraduate students. And student reviews like this one, “Campus is extremely safe … Campus security is always doing their job and helping us students feel comfortable,” is just one of the reasons Pepperdine was ranked as one of the top 20 safest schools by College Prowler.
Coming in at number 11, Pepperdine boasts a fully functioning Department of Public Safety that works to maintain a safe environment for students, faculty and staff. Pepperdine offers students multiple ways to report issues, including a tip line and an online portal to report concerns. In addition, their Safe Rides program provides safe transportation to students who are off campus and feel unsafe for any reason.
2. Wheaton College
This Norton, Massachusetts college has been ranked as one of the top 10 liberal arts colleges when it comes to Fulbright winners, but they’re also outstanding when it comes to student security. The college has a Public Safety Department that provides security and emergency services 24/7.
It also doesn’t hurt that the campus is conveniently located less than half a mile from the local police station. The Public Safety Department is staffed with emergency dispatchers and includes both vehicle and bike patrols that keep a constant eye on what’s happening on campus. Wheaton also ensures that all its Public Safety Officers are trained in CPR, first aid, crisis management and crime prevention, as well as offering students regular safety education classes that include Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training.
3. Cardinal Stritch University
Located in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cardinal Stritch is the largest Franciscan institution of higher education in the country – and one of the safest universities around, period. Cardinal Stritch’s University Department of Security works to facilitate “the personal safety, security and well-being of all members of the Stritch community.”
The department has established a text message notification system through e2Campus that alerts students to emergency and crisis situations and plans. All students have to do is register online and they can rest easy that they will be in the know if an emergency occurs on campus. Their strategies seem to be working, because Stritch reported no on-campus crimes in 2012.
4. Idaho State University
It might help that this Carnegie-classified state university is nestled in the low-crime city of Pocatello, Idaho, but its Department of Public Safety still does a world-class job of keeping Idaho State University’s (ISU) nearly 15,000 students safe and secure. ISU keeps Safety Officers on patrol around the clock and even offers a late night escort service to ensure students don’t fall into trouble after the sun goes down.
In addition to well-lit pathways and parking lots and strategically placed 24-hour emergency telephones, campus patrols are periodically subsidized by visits from local and state police who add an extra security presence to the campus. The University also provides safety awareness education, a suicide hotline and a Campus Watch program for university housing that is similar to the national Neighborhood Watch program.
What element of campus security makes you feel the most reassured when researching a university’s safety record?
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more