UF College of Education Ranked Among Nation's Top Education Schools

The University of Florida College of Education, founded in 1906 as Florida’s first education school, once again has joined the nation’s top tier of education schools in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2005 edition of "America’s Best Graduate Schools."

UF tied for 24th among 158 education schools surveyed. Among the nation’s elite AAU institutions ranked by U.S. News, UF’s College of Education ranked 14th among public universities. The college’s top-24 overall ranking not only makes it the highest ranked college at UF, but the top-ranked school in any discipline among all Florida universities or colleges.

Four College of Education academic specialty areas also were ranked, including two of UF’s four top-10 programs. Counseling education and special education ranked third and ninth, respectively, while curriculum and instruction was 19th and elementary education 23rd. The college’s education psychology program held down the 20th spot in 2004, the most recent ranking of that specialty.

“It is an honor to earn recognition as one of America’s top education schools," said Catherine Emihovich, dean of UF’s College of Education. "Our stellar reputation in education circles is probably one of the university’s best kept secrets, but word about our innovative research and teaching programs is starting to leak out."

Emihovich said, for example, that few people know about the College of Education’s pioneering role in such education milestones as the Head Start program, the community college system, school desegregation, the middle-school movement and the formation of Florida’s first laboratory school (P.K. Yonge School in Gainesville). Today, as teaching conditions in schools become more complex and stressful, UF education researchers are exploring ways to prepare educators to adapt emerging, cutting-edge technologies and media to students’ learning needs in the classroom. They also are focusing more attention on the needs of schools in high-poverty communities through school-partnership initiatives such as the college’s UF Alliance program and the UF Lastinger Center for Learning.

“What is so encouraging in these national rankings is how the College of Education has steadily climbed over the years, from 36th in 2000 to 27th last year and 24th this year," Emihovich said. "That indicates we’re moving in the right direction toward reclaiming our rightful spot among the nation’s premier education schools."