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Syracuse University’s study-abroad programs, learning communities lauded in latest U.S. News rankings
Syracuse University’s study-abroad programs, learning communities lauded in latest U.S. News rankingsSeptember 13, 2002Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Syracuse University gained recognition as one of the top national universities for study-abroad programs and learning communities in new rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. The University’s study-abroad programs were ranked fifth, while its learning communities were ranked 12th.
Overall, SU was ranked in the second tier of national universities with doctoral programs, as it was last year. Its 66 percent of classes with fewer than 20 students placed it alongside such first-tier schools as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University. Its average SAT scores are comparable to first-tier institutions such as Pennsylvania State University and several of the campuses of the University of California.
Rankings are calculated on the basis of peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
“Syracuse ranks higher than many top-tier schools in several criteria,” says Deborah A. Freund, SU’s vice chancellor and provost. “Our Academic Plan is helping us to focus on the things we need to improve, and we are doing it.”
SU’s Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA) serves more than 2,000 students each year, more than half of them from other universities. It maintains centers in Florence, Hong Kong, London, Madrid and Strasbourg, and places students in 20 countries.
“We have long known that SU’s study-abroad programs are among the very best,” says Nirelle Galson, executive director of DIPA. “I’m pleased to have the recognition of our peers–especially at this pivotal moment, when SU’s mission involves linking curriculum and international experience in a way that serves even more students at an even higher level, something I know we can attain.”
Academic Plan funds have been used to support learning communities centering around academic areas, such as management and education, or other areas of interest, such as wellness, international living and service learning. Members of a learning community usually live on the same floor and take some common courses. The University currently sponsors 18 learning communities, with others being planned.
“It is our goal that learning community initiatives at Syracuse University help students develop strong relationships, along with skills of interactive inquiry and other human building blocks of success,” says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “As a result of our learning communities, we regularly witness meaningful connections between students and members of the campus community and learn firsthand from our students that these experiences ease their transitions into university life.”
SU’s School of Management ranked 38th among undergraduate business schools, an improvement from its ranking of 44th last year. Dean George R. Burman says: “That ranking reflects the same qualities found by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International when it reaccredited the school in 2001. The AACSB lauded several aspects of our programs, including its commitment to excellence in teaching, outreach and research.”
The L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science’s undergraduate programs received a peer assessment score of 2.9 in this year’s rankings, the same score as they received in last year’s survey. This year, the 2.9 score placed SU’s engineering programs 73rd in the rankings, tied with the University of Rochester and Tufts University.
Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Edward A. Bogucz points out that SU’s engineering programs are in good company, but says he expects their ranking to rise in coming years. “ECS’s recent advances in research in signature areas of environmental systems and information assurance are likely to influence the rankings of our undergraduate programs soon. Further, institutional initiatives–such as the emphasis of the University’s Academic Plan in these areas and the recently announced Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems-are sure to strengthen ECS’s overall reputation,” he says.