UF College of Education ranks among the nation’s best graduate education schools

The College of Education continues to earn recognition as the best graduate education college in the state and stands as No. 15 among the nation’s top public colleges of education, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Graduate Education Schools. Two academic programs were recognized in the top-10, Counselor Education (No. 3) and Special Education (No. 7), and two programs gained positions in the top-20, Elementary Education (No. 16) and Curriculum & Instruction (No. 18).

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UF College of Education reclaims ranking as best in nation

The College of Education at the University of Florida reclaimed its place as the nation’s best online graduate education degree program, according to the most recent annual rankings released by U.S. News and World Report magazine.

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UF College of Education jumps five spots in national rankings; still No. 1 in Florida, and best in Southeast among publics

The UF College of Education jumped five spots in the US News annual rankings of America’s Best Graduate Education Schools–placing 14th among public education colleges and 24th overall. Once again, that makes UF the top-ranked education college in the state and among public institutions in the Southeast.

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College jumps 9 spots in national rankings; rates highest in state

The University of Florida College of Education improved nine spots to No. 21 among public education colleges in the 2015 U.S. News and World Report rankings of America’s Best Graduate Schools. The UF college was rated 30th overall, 10 spots higher than last year.Ranking_Badges_White_COE_Number

U.S. News also rated two College of Education academic programs—special education and counselor education—among the nation’s top five in their respective specialty areas. Both ranked fifth in their disciplines, with special education moving up one spot from No. 6 last year, and counselor education improving three positions from No. 8.

Two other UF education specialties gained top 20 ratings: in elementary teacher education (up two spots to 16th), and curriculum and instruction (holding steady at 18th).

“Seeing this rise in the rankings is a testament to the intellectual leadership of our faculty, the enthusiasm of our students, and our ambitious research agenda that addresses the most critical needs in education and our global society,” said UF education Dean Glenn Good. “The real payoff is our impact within the broader community as evidenced by the high quality of our graduates, the engagement of our school and district partners, and the accomplishments of our alumni.”

The University of Florida remains Florida’s highest ranked education school. Florida State runs second with a national rank of 39th, followed by the University of Miami at No. 51. UF’s college also is the highest ranked public education school in the Southeastern Conference.

The UF College of Education showed significant improvements in several of the quality measures assessed in the rankings, including the two measures for faculty research activity (averaged over the past two fiscal years)—total research expenditures ($21.9 million, more than $4 million than the previous two-year average) and research expenditures per faculty member ($336,500, a 34 percent increase)

“Our faculty have increased external research funding every year over the past six years, reaching our highest level ever in 2013,” Good said.

According to the U.S. News rankings, the College of Education also improved its scores in doctoral student selectivity with an applicant acceptance rate of 34 percent, and in the ratio of full-time doctoral students to full-time faculty members (4.3 to 1).

Assessment by peers (deans and deans of graduate studies at U.S. education colleges) stood pat with a rating of 3.6 on a scale of 5.  Mean GRE scores of doctoral students entering in fall 2013 varied slightly from 2012, with verbal scores dropping two points to 153 and quantitative scores averaging seven points higher at 154.

The college’s overall score of 61—with the top-ranked college scoring 100—was a two-point improvement over last year.

The complete U.S. News Best Graduate Schools rankings data are available online at:

   SOURCE: Tom Dana, assistant dean of academic affairs, UF College of Education,, 352-273-4134
   WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137

U.S. News ranks college’s online ed program 1st in state, 18th in nation

The College of Education at the University of Florida is one of two UF colleges with online master’s degree programs rated first in the state and in the top 20 nationally in their respective specialties, according to rankings announced Jan. 15 by U.S. News & World Report.

The College of Education’s distance learning program ranked 18th in the magazine’s 2013 Best Online Graduate Education Programs reference guide, higher than any other Florida education college. Campuswide, only the Hough Graduate School of Business ranked higher, placing fourth in its specialty. Other top UF performers were the College of Engineering at 26th and UF’s online bachelor’s degree programs at 34th.

This is the second year that U.S. News has collected data on distance learning programs in higher education. U.S. News ranks education programs based on wide-ranging criteria that includes admissions selectivity, student services and engagement, technology, and faculty credentials.

“Our online education courses are designed by top-flight faculty using the latest knowledge about best practices in web-based learning environments. Our goal is to develop master educators who can lead transformations in practice,” said Tom Dana, COE associate dean for academic affairs.

He said “the feature that sets our online programs apart” is a cohort instructional approach with extensive student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction.

Dana has steered the development of UF’s online education program since its inception in 2004, when 57 students enrolled in three graduate distance-learning courses. The program has grown exponentially.

In the 2011-12 academic year, nearly 1,200 individual students took online courses at the College of Education, including all advanced degree programs, generating more than 3,300 total enrollments and nearly 10,000 credit hours. The college offered 114 fully online courses and nearly 280 “blended” courses, mixing online and face-to-face instruction.

“The emphasis on student engagement makes this ranking particularly rewarding because we strive to integrate innovative instructional approaches that best take advantage of how adults learn in online environments,” said Kara Dawson, who coordinates the College’s education technology program.

The College’s distance learning program brings together diverse and far-ranging students from around the world. According to Dan McCoy, senior director of e-learning and technology at the college, online students last year ranged in age from 18 to 65 and hailed from six countries, 25 states and some 200 Florida cities and towns.

The College offers three online master’s degrees: teacher leadership for school improvement (TLSI), education technology and Teach Well (teaching students with disabilities). The job-embedded TLSI program won the national Association of Teacher Educators’ 2011 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award.

“We’ve been able to attract the best and brightest students to our online programs. We provide world-class faculty who have embraced online education as a way to be innovative in their teaching and increased access to students working in the field,” McCoy said. “Our online support staff work tirelessly to ensure that students can enjoy the best education our college can offer while helping them to feel at home as members of the College of Education academic family.”

U.S. News is not publishing a printed guidebook for the online rankings, but does plan to include highlights in the 2014 guidebooks for Best Graduate Schools and for Best Colleges.

You can view the complete online graduate education rankings and accompanying data on the U.S. News website at

   SOURCE: Tom Dana, associated dean for academic affairs, UF College of Education, tdana@coe.ufl.edu352-273-4134
   SOURCE: Dan McCoy, senior director for e-learning, technology and creative services, UF College of Education,, 352-273-4134
   WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137