Abilene Christian University is celebrating its rise in the rankings by U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges”. ACU achieved its highest overall ranking ever, reaching 12th in the western region, and improving by nine places over last year.
But it was a new benchmark U.S. News and World Reports created this year that has ACU President Phil Schubert most excited. The magazine developed a “Focus on Student Success” ranking, that evaluates institutions on eight categories.
Schubert told faculty and staff Monday that ACU ranked in top 20 in the nation for its “First Year Experience," "Service Learning," and "Learning Communities."
- SERVICE LEARNING: (1) Berea College; (2) Elon; (3) Tulane; (4) Abilene Christian; (5) Duke, Seattle, Stanford; (8) Boston College; (9) Fairfield, Michigan State, Portland State, Notre Dame, Warren Wilson College; (14) Appalachian State, Creighton; (16) Brown, College of the Ozarks, Vanderbilt; and (19) Carleton College, Georgetown, Loyola-Chicago, Northeastern
- FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE: (1) Agnes Scott College; (2) Elon; (3) South Carolina; (4) Berea College; (5) Georgia State; (6) Appalachian State; (7) Amherst College; (8) Baylor; (9) Abilene Christian, Arizona State; (11) Alverno College; (12) Brown; (13) Butler; (14) Adrian College, Belmont, College of William and Mary, Texas, Yale; and (19) Bard College, Bowdoin College, Princeton
- LEARNING COMMUNITIES: (1) Elon; (2) Yale; (3) Agnes Scott College, Amherst; (5) Appalachian State, Georgia State; (7) Belmont, Evergreen State College, Princeton; (10) Michigan State; (11) Abilene Christian, Michigan; (13) Rice, Maryland; (15) Clemson; (16) Vanderbilt; (17) Dartmouth College, Davidson College, Duke; and (20) Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State, Middlebury College, Purdue, Stanford, Richmond, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin
“When you really get down to what it is that we’re passionate about at ACU, it’s student success,” Schubert enthused as lights flashed and Kool and the Gang filled the Hunter Welcome Center with music. “And so, to receive the national accolades in five of eight categories that we did, and to be singled out as the only institution in Texas to be ranked in five of those eight categories focused on those practices that are foundational to student success, is just incredible. Because that fits who we are.”
According to a statement from ACU, the only other Texas universities recognized in the Top 20 of this new benchmark are Baylor University, Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin.
ACU also ranked in the top 50 for its Study Abroad and Undergraduate Research Projects.
The next big step for ACU will be to move from being a regionally ranked university in U.S. News and World Reports list, to a nationally ranked university. That is determined by the number of doctoral candidates who complete their degrees. President Schubert says ACU expects to make that move within the next few years.