NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Of the 55 colleges, universities and academies in the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools, 42 are listed in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2001 Edition of America’s Best Colleges.
Ten ASBCS schools were named in the top tier of institutions in their respective categories, 11 schools were listed in the second tier, 12 schools were listed in the third tier, and nine schools were listed in the fourth tier.
U.S. News & World Report evaluates schools according to their identification in the categories developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. There are four major categories: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Liberal Arts Colleges. The Regional Universities and Regional Liberal Arts Colleges are ranked within the four geographic regions: North, Midwest, South and West.
U.S. News & World Report gave major attention to its rankings of schools in two issues of the magazine in addition to its complete book. The Sept. 11 issue focused attention on the ranking of America’s best colleges. In that issue, the four tiers of schools in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories were identified. In their ranking of Regional Universities and Regional Liberal Arts Colleges, the magazine only listed the top tier of schools.
The prestigious top tier ranking includes 10 ASBCS member schools; five of the schools were ranked among the Regional Universities; and five were ranked among the top Regional Liberal Arts Colleges. Four of the ASBCS top tier institutions were ranked in the elite top 10 in their respective categories.
In the Sept. 18, issue, the magazine identified those schools which were considered to be the “Best Values” in education. To determine which colleges and universities offer the best value, a formula was used relating a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its U.S. News ranking, to the net cost of attending the institution. “The higher the quality of the school’s academic program and the lower the cost to the student, the better the deal,” the magazine said in introducing the listing.
Four ASBCS member institutions were listed among the “Best Values:” Samford University and Mercer University were listed as best values among Regional Universities; Ouachita Baptist University and Oklahoma Baptist University were listed as best values among Regional Liberal Arts Colleges.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and U.S. News & World Report define their categories as follows:
— National Universities: These universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors along with master’s and doctoral degrees in most major disciplines. Many of them place a strong emphasis on research. There are 228 universities in the United States that fall into this category. Of these, 147 are public institutions and the remaining 81 are private institutions. The only ASBCS institution which is classified as a National University is Baylor University. Baylor is listed in the second tier in the U.S. News ranking of National Universities. Baylor had two programs listed among the best in the nation; the “Entrepreneurship Program” in the school of business was ranked fourth and the school of engineering was ranked 21st among schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s.
Mercer University’s engineering program was ranked 33rd in the “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” report.
— National Liberal Arts Colleges: These colleges are identified as those which emphasize undergraduate education and award at least 40 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. There are 162 institutions nationwide which the Carnegie Foundation lists as National Liberal Arts Colleges. Three ASBCS schools were listed in the fourth tier in the U.S. News ranking of these institutions: Georgetown College, Judson College (Alabama) and William Jewell College.
— Regional Universities: “The regional universities, like the national universities, offer a full range of undergraduate and master’s level programs but offer few, if any, doctoral programs,” according to the magazine. There are 504 colleges and universities listed by the Carnegie Foundation in this category. These schools are ranked within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest, and West.
Five ASBCS institutions are ranked in the top tier of schools in the South: Samford (5th), Mercer (9th), Meredith (17th), Belmont (18th) and Mississippi College (20th).
Three ASBCS schools were listed in the second tier of best Regional Universities: Campbell University in the South region and Hardin Simmons and Houston Baptist University in the West region.
Seven ASBCS member institutions were listed in the third tier of best Regional Universities. In the South: Averett, Charleston Southern, Cumberland College and Gardner-Webb College. In the Midwest: Southwest Baptist University (Missouri). And in the West: Dallas Baptist University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Two ASBCS schools were listed in the fourth tier of best Regional Universities: William Carey College and the University of Mobile were listed in the South region.
— Regional Liberal Arts Colleges: These institutions are different from National Liberal Arts Colleges in that they grant fewer than 40 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines and they tend to be less selective in admitting students. There are 429 of these schools ranked by U.S. News within four regions: North, South, Midwest and West.
Five ASBCS institutions are ranked in the top tier of schools in this category, four in the South region and one in the West region. In the South ASBCS members schools were ranked as follows: Union University (9th), Ouachita Baptist University (11th), Carson-Newman College (13th) and Louisiana College (29th). Oklahoma Baptist University ranked third in the West.
Seven ASBCS member institutions were listed in the second tier of best Regional Liberal Arts Colleges. In the South: Brewton Parker College, Palm Beach Atlantic College and Shorter College. In the West: California Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, Grand Canyon University and Howard Payne University.
Five member schools were listed in the third tier of best Regional Liberal Arts Colleges. In the South: Bluefield College, Blue Mountain College, Campbellsville University and Virginia Intermont. In the West: Wayland Baptist University.
Four ASBCS schools were listed in the fourth tier of best Regional Liberal Arts Colleges. In the South: Anderson College and Williams Baptist College. In the Midwest: Hannibal-LaGrange College and Missouri Baptist College.
Agee is executive director of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools and former president of Oklahoma Baptist University. (BP) logo posted in the BP photo library at www.bpnews.net. Logo title: ASBCS.