US News rates COE first in state; five specialties nationally ranked

UF’s College of Education remained the top ranked education college in Florida and among public institutions in the Southeastern Conference, while its special education and counselor education programs maintained top 10 national ratings in their specialties in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of America’s Best Graduate Schools, which were announced Tuesday (March 12) by the magazine.

Three other UF education specialties gained top 20 ratings: in elementary teacher education (18th), curriculum and instruction (18th) and education administration and supervision (20th).

The COE ranked 30th among the nation’s public education colleges and 40th overall, with the college’s scores improving in five of six quality measures assessed in the rankings survey and matched last year’s score in another category. U.S. News ranked UF’s special education and counselor education programs sixth and eighth, respectively, in their specialty areas.

“We say every year, whether we rise or drop, that we don’t live or die by the U.S. News rankings. They are largely subjective and often there’s not much difference in schools rated within five to ten spots of each other,” said UF education Dean Glenn Good.  “But many prospective students and the general public pay attention to the rankings, so we must, as well.

“Our improved scores in almost every category show we’re heading in the right direction. Last year we climbed 18 spots in the rankings. We’re aiming for a national standing in the top 10 in the next few years, and we think we can get there by continuing to assess and improve our programs.”

The college’s special education and counselor education programs consistently rank in the top 10 and often among the top five nationally. Counselor education has previously held the top spot in the U.S. News rankings (in 1997).

The U.S. News rankings are calculated based on a weighted average of nine measures, eight of which are listed on the U.S. News website listings. Data on the remaining category—percent of faculty holding funded research awards—were not immediately available.

The College of Education matched its score from last year in peer assessment (by a poll of U.S. education school deans and graduate studies program heads), which accounted for one-fourth of the total weighted calculation, and improved over last year in five of six other categories. Those improvements occurred in:

  • Assessment by school superintendents nationwide (weighted by 15 percent)
  • Doctoral application acceptance rate (6 percent),
  • Doctoral degrees granted per faculty member (5 percent),
  • Total research expenditures (15 percent)
  • Average research expenditures per faculty member (15 percent).

The college’s doctoral student-to-faculty ratio (weighted by 4.5 percent) increased from three students to six students per faculty member; this was the only category in which the college did not improve or match. In another category gauging student selectivity (weighted 12 percent), U.S. News used a new scale for GRE scores, making comparisons with last year’s average scores invalid.

Good cited dramatic increases in external research funding as cause for optimism in improving the college’s future national standing.

“College research expenditures have tripled over the past five years, reaching nearly $18 million in 2012. That’s 20 percent more than the previous year and works out to more than a quarter-million-dollars in funding for each faculty member,” Good said. “Our faculty scholars produce vital knowledge that is improving professional education practices across the state, nation and world.”

The complete U.S. News Best Graduate Schools 2014 rankings data are available online at:

SOURCE: Dean Glenn Good, UF College of Education,, 352-273-4135
WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137

COE ranking jumps 18 spots to 34th in U.S., four programs cited

After a brief downturn, UF’s College of Education has reclaimed its long-held spot in the Top 50 national rankings of America’s best graduate schools, which were announced March 13 by U.S. News and World Report.

UF’s 106-year-old education college didn’t merely crack the Top 50 benchmark—it obliterated it, climbing 18 spots to No. 34 among 238 education schools participating in the survey. UF is Florida’s highest ranked education school. The College of Education ranked 24th nationally among education schools at public institutions and was the top-ranked public education college in the Southeastern Conference.

Four UF education specialty programs also were nationally ranked:





The college had ranked between 52nd and 54th over the past four years before this year’s turnaround. Those years marked a decline from its traditional Top 50 ranking that coincided with severe budget reductions in Florida’s higher-education budget as mandated by the state legislature. The COE consistently ranked in the Top 35 in the first half-decade of this century, rising as high as 24th in 2005.

“We don’t live or die by the rankings, but it is gratifying when the news involves a jump of 18 spots in the rankings. Improvement of this magnitude is quite rare,” said UF education dean Glenn Good. “It’s indicative of the extraordinary and inspiring work of our faculty and staff during a time of declining state support, and they earned this good news.”

Good, in his first year as UF’s education dean, also credited his predecessor, Catherine Emihovich, who served as dean from 2002-2011, including the survey assessment period for the latest U.S. News rankings.

Along with good, old-fashioned hard work by faculty, staff and students, Good attributed the exceptional turnaround to several factors, including substantial spikes in externally funded research grants and in increased doctoral student selectivity. Funded research and GRE scores are two variables considered in the U.S. News rankings.

Funded research in the College of Education increased by 15 percent overall (to $14.8 million) from 2010 to 2011, and rose by 28 percent (to $212,000) per faculty member over the same period. Mean verbal and quantitative GRE scores of doctoral students entering in fall of 2011 climbed an average of 83 points per section.

Good also noted the improvement in how the nation’s school district superintendents rated the college’s program quality (improving from 3.6 to 3.9 on a 5.0 scale). He attributed the improvement to the college’s commitment to partnering with school districts and communities to advance school improvement, student achievement and teacher professional development.

“We have a lot to be proud of at the University of Florida and we will continue to improve our programs in the future,” Good said.


SOURCE: Glenn Good, Dean, UF College of Education, 352-273-4135; ggood

WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news & communications, UF College of Education, 352-273-4137;