By Phillip Milano
Jacksonville University is one of “America’s Best Colleges” for the ninth straight year, according to U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2013 list for regional universities in the South.
With a 13 to 1 student-faculty ratio, full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent and nearly two-thirds of its classes with fewer than 20 students, the University ranked 53rd.
“This is the kind of consistency in quality instruction and programs we’ve been working so hard for over these past years,” said JU President Kerry Romesburg. “Our credentials remain at the top of the rankings as we’ve become a strong asset to the Jacksonville community and beyond.”
The U.S. News rankings list Jacksonville University in the first tier among regional universities in the South. The category includes colleges and universities that offer a full-range of undergraduate programs and provide graduate education. JU’s strongest areas for the U.S. News rankings were in its financial and faculty resources, according to Robert J. Morse, director of Data Research for U.S. News & World Report.
JU’s small classes, small student-to-faculty ratio and competitive admissions policies keep it high in the rankings each year. JU, a private university of more than 3,500 students, offers more than 70 majors, with the largest programs in business, marine science, nursing, aviation and visual and performing arts. Additionally, JU offers graduate degrees in education leadership, nursing, business, mathematics, marine science, orthodontics and choreography.
The University has been busy in the past year restructuring its academics, adding The College of Health Sciences and College of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies, said Dr. Lois Becker, senior vice president for academic affairs.
“With new degrees in Sustainability, our first doctorate, in Nursing Practice, and with more graduate-level degrees coming in Public Policy, Healthcare, Speech Therapy and more, we are completely focused on meeting marketplace trends and student demand.”
U.S. News & World Report computes its rankings using objective measures of academic quality provided by the schools and assessments by leaders at peer institutions. Data categories include student/faculty ratio, class size, graduation rate, percentage of full-time faculty, student selectivity, average SAT/ACT scores, percentage of highly ranked freshmen, alumni giving rate and others.