St. Kate's ranks sixth in faculty focus on teaching in 'America's Best Colleges'

St. Kate's ranks sixth in faculty focus on teaching in 'America's Best Colleges'

A new category in the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” rankings, “Undergraduate Teaching” ranks St. Catherine University in the top five percent of institutions nationwide identified for their faculty's "unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching."

St. Catherine University President Andrea J. Lee, IHM was interviewed by U.S. News & World Report about the ranking.

“People here would say teaching’s in the water, it’s so much part of peer expectation,” said Lee.

The new ranking was included in the magazine's peer assessment survey of administrators at colleges and universities and asked them to “identify schools where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.”

According to U.S. News, “This item on the peer survey enabled college officials to pick schools within their U.S. News "America's Best Colleges" ranking category that have a strength in undergraduate teaching that the public should be aware of and that is not always noticeable in a college's regular peer assessment survey results.”

“St. Catherine University has a long standing reputation for academic excellence and leadership development,” said Senior Vice-President Colleen Hegranes. “Our faculty engages, motivates and challenges students to achieve their maximum potential to be scholars and excellent leaders for the 21st century.”

Overall, St. Kate’s ranked 17th in the "Best Universities-Master's-Midwest" region that includes 146 public and private institutions. There are 572 universities-master’s institutions across the country.

The University is ranked first in two categories, “Economic Diversity among Top–Ranked Schools” and “Average Amount of Need-Based Aid Awarded.”

"Economic Diversity" gauges an institution’s efforts to achieve economic diversity by the percentage of students receiving federal Pell grants. Thirty-three percent of Katies receive Pell grants.

Institutions ranking high in the “Need-Based Aid Awarded” supplied the largest need-based financial aid packages, on average, during the 2008-2009 school year.

St. Catherine University is also first in Minnesota in “Best Colleges: Racial Diversity” with a diversity index of .40. The U.S. News formula produces a diversity index between 0.0 and 1.0; 1.0 is the highest possible rating.

Other Minnesota colleges and universities in the "Best Universities-Master’s-Midwest" category include Hamline University (9), Bethel University (14), Augsburg College (23), College of St. Scholastica (24), University of Minnesota-Duluth (36), Winona State University (47) and Bemidji State University (71).

U.S. News’s ranking system is based on quantitative measures on academic quality drawn from education experts and are based on the magazine’s “nonpartisan view of what matters in education.”

The rankings utilize the classification system established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to break institutions into three categories: universities-master’s institutions, national universities and liberal arts colleges.

The universities-master's institutions offer a variety of undergraduate degrees, some master’s degree programs and a limited number of doctoral programs; national universities offer a broad range of undergraduate majors, master’s degrees and Ph.D. programs and emphasize research; while liberal arts colleges focus on undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the arts and sciences.

In addition, St. Catherine University merited four rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s national survey of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” released earlier this year. Three of the four graduate programs are in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health: Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Arts in Nursing.

Learn more about St. Kate's faculty:

Education Assistant Professor Jill Long enlists students to craft state legislation

Q and A with Chemistry Professor Daron Janzen

Exercise Science Assistant Professor Mark Blegen is pumping up curriculum

Professor of Social Work wins Wellstone Award

St. Kate's Professors author state report card on environment

By Julie Michener
Aug. 24, 2009

Contact Julie Michener, (651) 690-6521

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