School also honored as one of top two schools nationwide for ‘leading the pack in improvements and innovative changes’
For the first time in its history, Belmont University breaks the Top 10 ranking in the Best Universities Master’s level South category from U.S. News & World Report’s annual analysis of America’s Best Colleges. Soaring to No. 7 in the 2010 edition, Belmont was also honored for the second year in a row as one of the top two schools nationwide for “leading the pack in improvements and innovative changes.”
Belmont ascended four spots from its ranking in the 2009 issue of 11, joining other Top 10 institutions such as Rollins College, Elon University, James Madison University, The Citadel and Stetson University. In addition, Belmont landed a ranking of third in its category for its strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, one of only 80 colleges and universities nationwide to be honored by its peers for this aspect of academic life. Furthermore, three components of Belmont’s nationally recognized and innovative general education program were identified as “outstanding examples of academic programs that are commonly linked to student success”; Belmont’s First-Year Experience, Learning Communities, and Senior Capstone were all featured as “stellar examples” and demonstrate Belmont’s ongoing commitment to engage students in key issues affecting their lives.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “What a day for Belmont! To be recognized so highly and in so many categories is a true compliment to our entire university, particularly our dedicated and gifted faculty. I’ve long known that Belmont University was providing a first-rate education to its growing student body, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be recognized by our peers for those accomplishments. Our faculty and co-curricular programming are providing students with the education and resources they need to complete the Belmont mission, empowering men and women ‘to engage and transform the world.’ Seven is the perfect number—until we reach six!”
Belmont is the highest-ranked Tennessee school in the Master’s category, which reports on 117 schools across the South, including 15 in Tennessee. The rankings in America’s Best Colleges 2010 are based on several quality indicators including peer assessments, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. For this year, Belmont showed strong increases in its overall score, its average graduation rate, alumni giving and the strength of its freshman class.
Interim Provost Dr. Marcia McDonald added, “Belmont University’s growing national reputation for the high quality of its academic programs continues to attract an increasingly strong and talented applicant pool. Our freshman last year averaged 26 on the ACT, and 70 percent were in the top quarter of their high school graduating class. Our peer institutions are recognizing that Belmont is not only attracting these high-caliber students, but is also engaging them intellectually, spiritually, socially and creatively.”
Belmont’s high rankings arrive on the heels of a remarkable year in the life of the university after hosting Tennessee’s first presidential debate in 2008. Expected to announce another record-breaking enrollment this fall, Belmont remains the largest Christian university in Tennessee and one of the fastest growing in the nation.