Thomas Doane was a railroad man, a pioneer who used compressed air and high explosives to help lay the tracks for how railroads would lay their tracks for years to come. A Massachusetts native, Doane settled in Crete, Nebraska and dedicated much of his life to improving the area, helping found the first bank (of which he was president) and was also essential in the foundation of Doane College in 1872, the first liberal arts and science college in the state.
In the years since its inception, Doane has grown to 3,000 students enrolled not only at the original Crete campus, but at two more campus location in nearby Lincoln and Grand Island. A private school offering both bachelor and master’s degrees, Doane is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (though it was originated by the General Association of Congregational Churches to create a respectable literary institution for the area).
Although distance learning is limited to online course registration and material dissemination online, Doane has garnered a sound reputation that has seen several awards in the last decade (given by everyone from Princeton to the President). They have an astounding 9:1 student to teacher ratio and offer a “four year graduation guarantee” (one of the first colleges in the nation to do so), using dedicated faculty advisors and a well-planned curriculum to promise undergrad completion in the normal four years/eight semesters.
They use a 4:1:4 system (regular 4 month fall and spring semesters with a one month intermediary semester in January for in-depth work on one class or studying abroad) and offer over 40 undergrad majors, ranging from English Lit to Management. In addition, several graduate programs are offered, including a Master’s of Education and two Master’s of Arts (counseling and management). Doane’s commitment to continuing education for adult learners may not show itself in its distance learning online, but it does offer night classes at all of its campuses for non-traditional students looking for “applied learning and practical experience that you can instantly utilize in your work or community setting”.
Doane’s level of quality education has led not only to a high student retention (about ¾ stay) and graduation rate (averaging around 65-70%), but it’s commitment to “student-centered, results-oriented” teaching has consistently produced “ethical leaders who serve their communities”. Over 130 years later, Doane is still leading the way in offering top notch educational opportunities. They have received more Fulbright Scholarships than any other Nebraska school (allowing more students to study at a distance from the school than in other state schools), have one of the highest graduate placement percentages in the entire nation (96-100% are working in their field or in graduate schools almost immediately after graduating Doane), and continuously show their dedication to strengthening learners at all phases of their education. For example, their RN to BSN program, meant to work around a nurses busy schedule to train them to “grow” through “purpose driven” education to achieve a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, raising their knowledge and level of care beyond many in their field.
Doane’s mission is to prepare students to be the leaders of tomorrow, using face-to-face interactions with students to perpetuate the “academic excellence, innovation, community, and a special sense of place” that has made them one of the hallmarks of education in the country for over 130 years.