Name: Jennifer Burt
Southern Utah University has once again secured a spot on U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the best colleges across the nation. And as was the case last year, the University’s high quality master’s programs are the shining star in the eyes of this annual report.
According to the official U.S. News and World Reports “Best Universities-Master’s” regional listings, Southern Utah University provides one of the best master’s-level experiences in the West, and is one of the top 572 universities in the nation to grant a full range of both undergraduate and master’s-level degrees. The 572 schools listed in this distinguished group comprise less than one-quarter of all colleges and universities in the U.S.
On the tail of a Best in the West overall ranking from the Princeton Review, the University’s President Michael Benson is obviously pleased with U.S. News and World Reports’ most recent ranking, stating “Such prestigious recognition simply reinforces what we already know about the high quality education we strive to provide at SUU.”
Best known for the public-private undergraduate education unique amidst the state’s schools, SUU’s graduate programs are oftentimes mentioned as an afterthought to the ever-growing list of the University’s bragging points. And yet, those same standards are carried into SUU’s graduate programs, where personalized, participative classes and qualified, supportive faculty direct the University’s mission. With a graduate student base that increases year after year, Southern Utah University is fast establishing itself as a powerhouse in providing a high quality, affordable education for those interested in pursuing a secondary degree.
Amidst the report’s ranking system, SUU scored particularly high for its small class sizes and high percentage of full-time faculty. As of the fall 2007 semester, just eight percent of all SUU classes had more than 50 students—and nearly 50 percent had less than 20 students. According to the report, 88 percent of SUU’s professors are full-time faculty members.
The U.S. News ranking system is evaluated based on both quantitative measures (including peer assessment, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving) and subjective evaluations of the overall educational experience. The list of schools ranked specifically for masters programs must offer a broad scope of undergraduate degrees as well as competitive master's programs. The schools are then grouped by region in the rankings, because a large portion of master’s students stay within their geographical region.
Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to more than 7,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.
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