Friday, September 13, 2013

Rising in the Rankings

This week, LeTourneau University got some good news when the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings of "America's Best Colleges" were released and LETU was again ranked as a top-tier school. The U.S. News rankings are released each fall and are considered the most notable of the annual published college rankings.

I am pleased to share that LeTourneau University moved up in the 2014 rankings to 27th place from 36th place in last year's 2013 rankings among our category of "Best Regional Universities in the Western Region, which includes master's comprehensive universities in 14 western states. Those states include Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska. Our ranking placed us 5th among schools in the state of Texas, and above all state universities in Texas in our category. Again this year, Trinity University in San Antonio was ranked #1 in our peer group. Out on the west coast, CCCU members Whitworth was #9 and Seattle Pacific University was #14.

This year marks two full decades that LETU has ranked in the magazine's top tier. To be included in this report's top tier of campuses for 20 consecutive years is a noteworthy accomplishment that indicates a long commitment to academic excellence and student success that defines LeTourneau University. The U.S. News ranks colleges and universities among other schools with similar programs and degree offerings.

As I said in my report to start the new year, U.S. News' methodology is not without its faults. However, the rankings do provide a starting point for many families and prospective students to compare colleges using indicators such as  retention rates and assessment by peer institutions, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving.

Also, our School of Engineering moved up to 45th place among engineering schools in the nation whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's degree. Ranked third among Texas universities, with Baylor University, Trinity University, LETU is the top-ranked school of engineering within the CCCU (Council of Christian Colleges and Universities).

And our school was listed among the magazine's ranking of "A+ Schools for B Students," which are schools where students who were not "A" students in high school, but displayed spirit and hard work, can thrive. 

LETU has added over $50 million in campus facilities in recent years, with the Allen Family Student Center - slated to open after spring break next semester - as our most recent investment.  Our goal at LETU is to continue to create a distinctive Christian university experience for our students, and if in the process, we continue for more years to get noticed by rankings like U.S. News, that is a good thing.