University lauded for innovation and commitment to undergraduate teaching
For the third year in a row, Belmont University remained at No. 7 on U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges. Announced today, Belmont placed in the Top 10 of the Regional Universities-South listing for the fifth consecutive year and was also lauded for the sixth year in a row as a top “Up-and-Comer.” For the 2014 rankings, Belmont placed second in the southern region in that category, indicating the university has made “the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.” Moreover, Belmont was praised by its peers for its “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching,” placing second in a regional ranking in that area.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “While there are lots of rankings out there, the U.S. News process is probably the most relevant to us since it features several measures of quality that are important to Belmont including retention rate, graduation rate, the academic preparation of incoming students and the level of commitment of resources to teaching and learning. In addition to the overall ranking, it is even more gratifying that our peer institutions voted us a No. 2 in the South in the ‘Up-and Coming’ category as well as No. 2 in our commitment to undergraduate teaching—they see us as a university that is on the move.”
In the Best Regional Universities-South category, Belmont is again the highest-ranked university of the 15 ranked Tennessee institutions and ranked No. 7 of the 124 schools included from the South for 2014. Belmont has improved over the previous year in a number of areas including in its peer assessment and alumni giving rate. Other regional institutions in the Top 10 include Rollins College, Elon University, Stetson University, Samford University, The Citadel and James Madison University.
At the start of the semester Belmont reached a record-breaking enrollment number for the thirteenth consecutive year with a total of 6,913 students on campus. Last month Belmont was also listed as one of the fastest growing campuses in the nation, according to an annual “Almanac of Higher Education” report released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Belmont landed at No. 7 on the Almanac’s nationwide review of private master’s level institutions with 104 percent enrollment growth between 2001 (3,129 students) and 2011 (6,395 students).
Belmont is the only one of its peers in the Top 10 U.S. News Regional South list to be mentioned in the Chronicle growth story. While the University continues to draw students to its signature music and music business programs, other majors are also attracting high numbers, including nursing, audio engineering, entertainment industry studies, business, songwriting, biology, entrepreneurship, psychology, exercise science, public relations and social work.