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Miami 2nd nationwide in its commitment to teaching, says U.S. News & World Report

08/16/2010

Miami University is ranked second among national universities for its commitment to teaching in the just-released U.S. News & World Report 2011 edition of America's Best Colleges. Only 16 national universities are cited for such faculty commitment, the results of a peer assessment survey by university officials at the national universities included in the magazine.

"Some schools do a much better job than others of teaching their undergraduate students, putting highly accomplished professors even in front of freshmen and creating a culture that balances the requirements of faculty members' academic research with a determination to make the most of students' time in the classroom," said the editors in introducing the list.

"It is very meaningful to receive national recognition for Miami's focus on student success, knowing that it comes from the deep commitment of our faculty and staff to produce graduates of uncommon quality," said Miami President David Hodge.

In addition, Miami University ranked 34th among 164 top public national universities in the country and 79th among all 262 national universities (public and private) in the list.

The magazine uses a variety of factors in creating the rankings, including undergraduate academic reputation and faculty resources. Graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted this year, accounting for 7.5 percent of the final score, compared to 5 percent previously for national universities and liberal arts colleges. Miami's graduation rate of 83 percent outperforms U.S. News' predicted rate of 74 percent, meaning that Miami students graduate well above the average for their peers, and giving Miami an "over-performance" score of 9 percentage points.

Miami is featured in the magazine's "A Strong Focus on Student Success" section, described as "outstanding examples" of academic programs that are commonly linked to student success. These are also culled from a survey of university presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admissions. Miami is cited in three areas:
  • "Learning Communities" in which students typically take two or more linked courses as a group and get to know one another and their professors well;
  • "Writing in the Disciplines," making writing a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum. Through the Howe Center for Writing Excellence, Miami students have unique access to writing support and resources; and
  • "Senior Capstone" experiences, culminating experiences ask students nearing the end of their college years to create a project that integrates and synthesizes what they've learned.

Miami's undergraduate engineering program is tied with a 38 rank in the category of "Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs where the highest degree is a bachelor's or master's." Miami’s Farmer School of Business is tied for 57th among undergraduate business programs.

Miami University's commitment to developing students as future leaders includes providing more than 2,000 undergraduates each year the opportunity to work with professors on funded research and having 44 percent of all students study abroad. Median time to a degree is 3.7 years.

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands Aug. 31. The 2011 Best Colleges guidebook will be on newsstands Aug. 24.

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