Where Do State Colleges Fall?

Where Do State Colleges Fall?

Kathryn McNutt

Originally published in Oklahoman | U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released the 30th edition of its Best Colleges rankings.

Three Oklahoma universities are included on the National Universities Rankings list. Six are on the Regional Universities Rankings list and five others on the Regional Colleges Rankings list.

The 2015 rankings offer data on almost 1,800 schools. The rankings are based on up to 16 measures of academic excellence,such as graduation and retention rates, faculty resources,
student selectivity and financial resources. Princeton University topped the national list of 200 research universities that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs. Harvard University and Yale University were ranked second and third.

Oklahoma schools on the list are:I Number 88: University of Tulsa, tied with six other institutions;I Number 106:University of Oklahoma, tied with six others, including Big XII schools Iowa State University and University of Kansas;I Number 145: Oklahoma State University, tied with three others.

West region Regional rankings place schools into four geographic categories. The West region includes Oklahoma,Alaska, Arizona,California, Colorado, Hawaii,Idaho, New Mexico,Montana, Nevada, Oregon,Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Rankings are broken into universities that offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs, and colleges that focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

Oklahoma schools on the West universities list are:I Number 25: Oklahoma City University, tied with an Oregon school;I Number 40: Oklahoma Christian University,tied with two California schools;I Number 46: Oral Roberts University, tied with two West Coast schools;I Number 75: University of Central Oklahoma, tied with three other institutions;I Number 84: Southern Nazarene University and Northeastern State University,tied with five others.

Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Christian University, also were recognized as A-Plus Schools for B Students,colleges and universities that accept applicants whose scores are not A and help them achieve their goals.

President Robert Henry issued a statement crediting outstanding students,experienced faculty and challenging academic programs for OCU’s high ranking.

“Our low student-to-faculty ratio and experiential learning environment gives students creative educational opportunities. We are committed to helping students rise to their dreams,” Henry said.

This is the 16th straight year U.S. News & World Report has honored Oklahoma Christian, President John deSteiguer noted in a statement.

“We are thrilled to be honored again as one of the best universities in the West,” deSteiguer said.“I’m also proud of this recognition of our A-plus approach to B students. It speaks to the heart and quality of our professors,who work alongside our students to bring out their best and help them discover their gifts.”

UCO President Don Betz noted the institution is the top public regional university in the state. The ranking affirms the university’s continued commitment to transforming the lives of its students and preparing them to be agents of change in both Oklahoma and the world,Betz said.

Oklahoma schools on the West colleges list are:I Number 4: Oklahoma Baptist University I Number 6: Oklahoma Wesleyan College, in Bartlesville I Number 23: Southwestern Christian University,in Bethany I Number 24: Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology-Okmulgee I Number 25: St. Gregory’s University.

Students and parents need facts about the academic expectations of colleges and what is going on in the classroom, said Michael Poliakoff, director of the council’s What Will They Learn? project.

Poliakoff said colleges and universities should require all students take basic classes in core subjects such as writing, math, science,economics, U.S. history and foreign language. Only 18 percent require students to take an American history course, 14 percent require foreign language and only 3 percent require economics, he said.

What Will They Learn?,which is online at www.whatwilltheylearn.com, is a database of almost 1,100 colleges and universities that grades institutions on what courses students are required to take.