For the third consecutive year, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has 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 seven Midwestern regional universities—one of only three public institutions—for recently making “innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus life and facilities.” The listing is in the magazine’s Best Colleges of 2012 issue that will hit newsstands Sept. 20.
Also, according to the U.S. News rankings released today, SIUE is in the best Regional Universities Midwest (master’s granting) category for the eighth consecutive year, and among the top 15 public universities in the category. The overall scores are based on the academic preparedness of students, graduation rates, faculty characteristics and the reputation of SIUE in higher education.
“We’re pleased that our peers continue to rank SIUE as one of the top innovative universities in the Midwest,” said SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. “Across the country, SIUE is recognized for providing academic excellence at an affordable price. As top employers in our region already know, the individualized attention and unique experiences of an SIUE education prepare our students for successful careers in the global marketplace.”
“I know our alumni take great pride in our reputation for academic excellence,” Vandegrift said. “Their commitment to help their alma mater attract the best faculty and students speaks to the power of their SIUE experience. As our reputation continues to grow, the value of their SIUE degree grows with it.”
The “Up-and-Comers” category includes a total listing of 46 colleges and universities (only 17 public institutions) throughout the country. Vandegrift said SIUE has embraced innovative change, pointing to improvements made in the general education curriculum to enhance the educational experience and increasing opportunities for undergraduate research experiences, as well as the Student Success Center that integrates academic and personal support services for students and provides them in one location.
SIUE is in the midst of a $250 million planned campus infrastructure update and construction phase, which includes construction on the Science Building and additions to the SIUE Art and Design and Engineering buildings.
He also cited the University’s commitment to NCAA Division I certification in Intercollegiate Athletics as another indicator of excellence. The two teams identified to be fast-tracked have seen great success in their first year of Division I championship eligibility. Men’s soccer was the runner-up at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and the softball team participated in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
“Our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom, as well,” Vandegrift said. “Spring 2011 marked the 10th consecutive semester all student-athletes have earned a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA.”
The latest U.S. News rankings come on the heels of last month’s recognition by Washington Monthly that ranks SIUE among the top 50 master’s universities in the nation. SIUE has also recently been named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to its list of colleges and universities demonstrating a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
“The continued acclaim our University receives is a credit to our distinguished faculty and dedicated staff who are proud to prepare our students for their careers of choice,” said Ann M. Boyle, interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Our low student-to-professor ratio allows our faculty to mentor our students in the classroom and work side-by-side with them on projects and innovative research.”