University praised by its peers for commitments to innovation, undergraduate teaching, internships
Belmont University catapulted today into the Top 5 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges in the South region. After three years at No. 7, Belmont’s ranking at No. 5 for the publication’s 2015 edition marks another check on the University’s Vision 2015 goal-setting list, an accomplishment achieved a full year ahead of schedule as was Belmont’s enrollment target (set for 7,000, the University hit 7,301 this fall at the start of classes).
Belmont was also lauded for the seventh year in a row as a top “Up-and-Comer,” 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 ranked second in the South for its “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching” and was lauded by its peers for the internships the University emphasizes as part of its overall educational experience, an academic enrichment closely paired with student success.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This is great news. I’m so privileged to be associated with faculty and staff who give their best every day to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students. While it’s gratifying and humbling to achieve this part of our Vision, we’re far from done. Planning has already begun on Vision 2020, and I fully expect our campus to raise the bar even higher as we imagine our future together.”
In the Best Regional Universities-South, Belmont is again the highest-ranked university of the 15 ranked Tennessee institutions in its category, a feat the University has claimed for more than a decade.The No. 5 ranking places Belmont in a premier position among the 126 public and private institutions included in the South region, an area that covers Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana.Other southern regional institutions in the Top 5 included Elon University (NC), Rollins College (FL), Samford University (AL) and The Citadel (SC).
U.S. News bases its ranking on a number of measures using the most recently available statistics, and Belmont saw improvement in nearly every column over last year’s data. Belmont’s peer assessment score, graduation rate and retention rate all made gains over previous reports. Meanwhile, the University’s much lauded enrollment growth was balanced by its commitment to small class sizes and personal attention with a student/faculty ration that remains 13-to-1. In addition, the University’s alumni giving rate ranked second only to the Citadel of all the institutions in the Top 5.
Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns noted, “Numbers alone can’t be indicative of a college experience or determine a student’s future success, but these statistics do prove that Belmont University is on the right path. Clearly, Belmont is providing its students a high quality education and an overall experience that is consistently improving according to both the U.S. News factors measuring academic excellence and the ratings of our colleagues at peer institutions.”
At the start of the semester Belmont reached a record-breaking enrollment number for the fourteenth consecutive year with a total of 7,301 students on campus. The University also opened two new buildings this fall, its largest campus structure to date in the Wedgewood Academic Center (which includes Belmont’s new Chapel) as well as its largest residence hall, Two Oaks.