(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) For the fourth consecutive year, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been heralded by U.S.News & World Report in the senior capstone experience category, among 17 universities—including Yale, Harvard, MIT and Princeton—for its comprehensive program measuring the competency of graduating seniors. At SIUE, the program is called Senior Assignment and is required curriculum for all seniors to demonstrate their degree of general education knowledge, as well as knowledge within their disciplines prior to graduation.
Also, according to the U.S. News rankings released today, SIUE is among the top 10 public universities in the Midwest-Master’s category for the second consecutive year—this year SIUE also is in the top one-third of all public and private Midwestern universities. The overall scores are based on the academic preparedness of students, graduation rates, faculty characteristics and the reputation of SIUE in higher education.
Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift said he was “extremely pleased” with the new rankings. “We owe this recognition to a committed faculty of teacher/scholars as well as to strong programs, excellent staff support and a shared sense of community. It all adds up to a great educational experience at SIUE,” Vandegrift said.
“As we begin our second half-century, the e continues that commitment to providing a quality and affordable education to our students."
SIUE’s Senior Assignment program has been recognized on several occasions as a model for other institutions across the nation. The Association of American Colleges and Universities has lauded SIUE’s program as an effective tool in gauging the comprehensiveness of academic programs. “The Senior Assignment is the hallmark of a baccalaureate education at SIUE,” said Victoria Scott, director of assessment at SIUE. “It is all-encompassing in that it weaves together evaluation of program outcomes and general education goals. While involved in the Senior Assignment, students are actively engaged in their education,” she pointed out.
“Each Senior Assignment is unique because departmental faculty determine the desirable characteristics that each program graduate must demonstrate. For example, the Senior Assignment in computer science may involve software design with input from external professionals; in Chemistry, students may conduct basic research which is presented to the faculty and at national meetings; in Special Education, students complete a portfolio related to student teaching demonstrating classroom impact of children with disabilities.”
In response to these recent rankings, Paul Ferguson, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, commented, “this national recognition from our peers and national associations strongly supports the commitment of SIUE to continuous quality improvement in all of our academic programs and is a wonderful affirmation of the excellence of our faculty, staff and students.”