“We have a long history of doing these rankings,” Eileen Murphy, director of media relations at the U.S. World and News Report, said. “We look at a number of factors before making up our list.”
The College of Education spans over eight departments, and, according to the USF Department of Education home page, graduates more educators than any other university in the state. The department has received its share of accolades including garnishing more than 20 grants over the past year.
“I think for me, it further reinforces the high quality of our graduate level program in the college,” Colleen Kennedy, Dean of the College of Education, said. “There were 190 schools that submitted sufficient information that offer graduate level, for us to be ranked 60 it makes us in the top 3 rd. It speaks of the high quality of our faculty. It should help with external funding. We generated over 23 million dollars in external funding this year alone.”
Being recognized by the report can help the College’s growth.
The University of Florida, which ranks at No. 25 on the list, has been on the list every year since its inception.
“Being ranked increases donations from alumni because they want to be part of something that is successful and it helps us advertise our program,” Catherine Emihovich, dean of the College of Education at UF, said. Climbing the rankings is not an easy task given the competition at the top. Many factors go into rating the universities, including mean GRE scores, Ph.D and Ed.D acceptance rate, faculty-to-student ratio and the amount of research that is funded at each school.
“It gets hard because you must be selective with who you accept to the college and be able to have the resources to keep a low faculty-student ratio,” Emihovich said. “It’s all hard to do simultaneously and it takes a long time to build to that point. As you get higher up, the competition gets stiffer. You’re looking at schools like Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley. You’re looking at the big guys, and to jump ahead of those is tough. You’re all competing against the same faculty pool. A big piece is hiring faculty who are nationally visible, the rankings are produced by people in your field. To keep your visibility you have to have a strong faculty.”
USF hopes to gain notoriety and use the consistent rankings as a system to recruit faculty and students.
“When we’re trying to recruit faculty, they look at things like the rankings,” Kennedy said. “They want to know how we compare with other institutions. We are vying for the best faculty. If we can demonstrate high quality, it will help us attract students and faculty and convey what we’re doing here for the external community, and it sends a wonderful message to the current faculty.”