U.S. News Ranks William Woods in Top 100 Midwest Universities
|9/14/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
For the second year in a row, William Woods University is one of the top 100 universities in the Midwest, according to the 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges issue.
WWU jumped eight spots, from 99th to 91st, in this year’s 28th edition of the college rankings.
Regional universities, the category where William Woods is ranked, offer an array of undergraduate and graduate degrees but few doctoral programs.
In addition, William Woods was cited for its freshman retention rate, which measures the percentage of first-year students returning for their sophomore year. Nationally as many as one in three first-year students do not return, for a variety of reasons. WWU’s rate was 80 percent; the highest in the Midwest was 89 percent.
“I’m very pleased that we have moved up in this year’s rankings,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said. “This solidifies William Woods University’s position among the leading universities in the region. It is excellent news for our stakeholders, particularly our alumni and students, as the value of their educational investment continues to increase. I am delighted that William Woods is receiving the recognition it richly deserves.”
Over the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.
The 2012 Best Colleges package provides a thorough examination of how more than 1,600 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
The exclusive rankings are contained in the 350-page 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges guidebook. The guidebook is available at www.usnews.com/colleges and will be on newsstands Sept. 20.
According to campus surveys, students say they choose William Woods for many reasons, but three are immediately identified: (1) the challenging academic programs, (2) the friendliness of the people—faculty and staff, as well as students who come from nearly every state and approximately 20 foreign countries and (3) the encouraging environment and the opportunity for involvement—both in the classroom and outside.
William Woods, Barnett pointed out, offers several unique programs:
- WWU is one of only 30 schools in North America offering a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language interpreting.
- WWU was the first school in the world to offer a bachelor’s degree in equestrian science.
- WWU is the only school in Missouri to provide a course of study in juvenile justice. WWU also offers a degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in homeland security.
- WWU offers one of only 11 accredited athletic training education programs in the state.
Always striving to improve the university for which she has been president since 1990, Barnett cited several steps planned for the future, including:
- Adding more general education online courses,
- Revising curriculum in current programs to meet the needs of the current and future job markets,
- Bringing current courses up to date on use of technology and engaging students in learning,
- Conducting environmental scans to decide on new programming that would fit our mission and meet student demands, and
- Increasing the number of articulation agreements with community colleges.