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Feature Story

SIUE Cited Again By U.S. News As A Leader ‘In Innovative Changes’

SIUE Cited Again By U.S. News As A Leader 'In Innovative Changes'

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has for the second consecutive year been cited by its peers and reported in U.S.News & World Report as an "up and coming school." SIUE was listed as one of only three Midwestern regional universities for recently making "innovative changes in the areas of faculty, student life, campus life and facilities." The listing is in the magazine's Best Colleges of 2011 issue that will hit newsstands next week. In addition, for the sixth consecutive year, SIUE was listed in the senior capstone experience category, among 15 universities-including Brown, Princeton and Stanford-for its comprehensive program measuring the competency of graduating seniors.

At SIUE, the program is called Senior Assignment and is a required culminating curriculum experience 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 20 public universities in the best Regional Universities Midwest (master's granting) category for the fourth consecutive year. The overall scores are based on the academic preparedness of students, graduation rates, faculty characteristics and the reputation of SIUE in higher education. SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift said he was "extremely pleased" with the recognition of SIUE as one of the "2011 Up-and-Comers" schools. "To have SIUE among the top three public universities in the Midwest in a category that touts innovation is a credit to this institution," Vandegrift said.

"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. The "Up-and-Comers" category includes a total listing of 68 colleges and universities throughout the country. Vandegrift said SIUE has embraced innovative change, pointing to improvements made in the general education curriculum to enhance the educational experience as well as the newly constructed Student Success Center that consolidates student services in one location, a new Science Building under construction, and planned additions to the SIUE Art and Design and Engineering buildings. SIUE is in the midst of a $250 million planned campus infrastructure update and construction phase.

He also cited the University's commitment to NCAA Division I certification in Intercollegiate Athletics as another indicator of excellence. "The E continues its strong dedication to providing a quality and affordable education to our students."

SIUE's Senior Assignment initiative 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 offerings. "This recognition speaks to the hard work, innovation, and commitment of the SIUE students and faculty," said Victoria Scott, Assistant Provost for Academic Innovation and Effectiveness at SIUE. "The Senior Assignment optimizes the role of a capstone experience by engaging students in an open-ended, holistic and authentic assessment of discipline specific outcomes as well as general education competencies.

"We are thrilled to receive this recognition for the sixth consecutive year."

In response to SIUE's U.S. News rankings, Paul Ferguson, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, commented, "this consistent national recognition from our peers and national associations strongly endorses the long term commitment of SIUE to continuous quality improvement and academic innovation in all of our academic programs, and is a wonderful affirmation of the excellence of our faculty, staff and students."

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