The University of Minnesota Crookston is proud and excited about a move to number one in this year’s U.S. News Best Colleges rankings in the category Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges. The rankings for 2014 mark the 16th consecutive year the Crookston campus has appeared in the top four and signals a return to the top spot moving up from number two in 2013. The exclusive rankings, available at usnews.com on Tues., September 10 will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands on Tuesday, September 24.
Within the specific category, Top Public Regional Colleges, U.S. News compared 367 colleges by region. The University of Minnesota Crookston’s category, Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges, is comprised of both public and private institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs but grant less than half of their degrees in the liberal arts.
Campus officials credit this move up to first and the high marks by U.S. News to a campus-wide focus on students and on their experience at the U of M Crookston. “Students are the top priority at the University of Minnesota Crookston,” says Fred Wood, chancellor for the Crookston campus. “Our faculty and staff place a high value on providing an exceptional academic experience and preparing students for success after graduation whether they go into the workplace or on to graduate or professional school.
“This recognition by U.S. News acknowledges the work of our dedicated faculty and staff. It also builds on our legacy as one of the system campuses of the University of Minnesota,” Wood continues. “We provide our students an opportunity for learning that results in a highly respected and well known U of M degree in an atmosphere that is small and personal and where faculty and staff know your name. This hallmark has spanned our campus history for more than 100 years.”
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, have grown to be a comprehensive tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings of regional colleges, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving. For details, visit www.usnews.com.
“While we know the methodology for the U.S. News rankings changes from time to time, we’re additionally pleased with their most recent move to more highly weigh outcomes such as retention and graduation rates. This makes our ranking all the more satisfying because we are very proud of what we do to support students and help them graduate with a University of Minnesota degree,” said Wood.