5 COE programs make top 20 in national rankings

The latest U.S. News & World Report national rankings of U.S. graduate schools, announced Tuesday (March 15), confirm that the University of Florida’s College of Education is one of America’s best […]

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March 15, 2011

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The latest U.S. News & World Report national rankings of U.S. graduate schools, announced Tuesday (March 15), confirm that the University of Florida’s College of Education is one of America’s best education colleges.

The College came within two slots of a top 50 position, while five COE academic specialties landed top 20 positions in their respective specialty areas. The College’s newest additions to the rankings were all teacher education programs from the School of Teaching and Learning.

Along with the College’s No. 52 overall ranking (up one spot from last year), here’s the breakdown of COE academic programs listed in the US News rankings:

— No. 2    COUNSELOR EDUCATION (moving up one spot and oh-so-close to the top post)
— No. 4    SPECIAL EDUCATION (maintaining the same top 5 ranking as last year)

And, our 3 latest additions to the rankings, all teacher education programs:

— No. 15   ELEMENTARY TEACHER EDUCATION
— No. 17   CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
— No. 19   SECONDARY EDUCATION

Some interesting fast facts about the ranked programs :

Counselor Education trails only the University of Maryland-College Park for the top spot in its specialty. UF’s program is no stranger to the No. 1 post, having held it in 1997, and it’s held down a top 5 slot since the mid-1990s.

The top 5 ranking of UF’s Special Education program also received mention in the U.S. News online summary of its Education rankings and the demand for more special education teachers.

Tom Dana, COE associate dean for academic affairs, said the national ranking of three STL programs is a testimony to the effectiveness and reputation of UF’s teacher preparation model, with its heavy emphasis on clinical experience and participation in powerful professional learning communities by our students.

At a time when teacher preparation programs in the U.S. are taking a lot of heat,  he said it’s particularly gratifying to have three COE teacher education programs nationally ranked in the top 20.

“We’re doing better at getting the word out about our innovative graduate programs in teacher preparation and our teacher quality activities—by disseminating and reporting our scholarly work among our peers and through improved marketing efforts targeting our colleagues and peer institutions,” Dana said.

“The faculty and staff of all our ranked programs are to be congratulated” he added. “The really good news is we have other strong academic program areas in all three schools on the verge of breaking through or returning to the national rankings.”

Dana said the College doesn’t live or die by the yearly U.S. News rankings, but admits it feels better after a strong showing.

“The US News rankings have their value, much of it promotional. But we make our policy decisions based on what the college needs to do to meet the most critical needs of education, today and in the future,” he said. “Nonetheless, it’s nice to report that our peers seem to acknowledge our expertise and scholarship and think we’re doing things right at our institution.

“We have a lot to be proud of at University of Florida and we strongly believe we’re still a school on the rise in the years to come.”
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CONTACT
Writer/Media Contact: Larry Lansford, director, news & communications, UF College of Education, llansford@coe.ufl.edu; 352-283-6733.