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Appalachian is one of region’s best universities according to U.S. News & World Report

USNewsBest.jpgBOONE—Appalachian State University rose to the No. 9 spot in the “Best Universities-Master’s in the South” category in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 America’s Best Colleges Guide. Appalachian tied with the College of Charleston for the ninth-place ranking.

The university also climbed to fourth place in the magazine’s South’s top public master-degree granting universities category, also in a tie with the College of Charleston.

Appalachian has placed among the top 15 southern universities since the rankings first appeared in 1986.

In addition, for the first time U.S. News has listed “Up-and-coming Master’s Universities” in the South. Appalachian appears third on the list.

Appalachian also is included in the magazine’s first-year experiences and learning communities listing in the “Programs to Look For” category.

“Appalachian continues to rise to new levels of excellence,” said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. “It’s no secret that Appalachian offers top academic programs, has highly qualified faculty and staff, and provides the mentorship and support that helps our students make a difference in the state, nation and world. However, it is always gratifying to see the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and administrators recognized.”

To develop the rankings, the magazine considers information from a peer assessment survey (25 percent of ranking), six-year graduation rate (20 percent), per student spending on academic programs (10 percent), SAT or ACT score of incoming freshmen (7.5 percent), average faculty compensation adjusted for regional cost of living (7 percent), percent of freshman class who graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school class (6 percent) and percent of classes with 19 students or fewer (6 percent).

Other areas considered in the rankings are average freshman retention rate (5 percent) alumni giving (5 percent of score), percent of faculty with highest terminal degree (3 percent), number of classes with 50 or more students—the fewer the better—(2 percent), acceptance rate (1.5 percent), student/faculty ratio (1 percent) and the percent of full-time faculty (1 percent).

“I am particularly pleased to see Appalachian’s continued commitment to freshmen through the First Year Seminar and other programs and our focus on service learning recognized in this national publication,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Stan Aeschleman.

Universities and Colleges appearing in the Top Public Universities-Master’s south category were:

1. James Madison University

2. The Citadel

3. University of Mary Washington

4. Appalachian State University

4. College of Charleston

6. UNC Wilmington

7. Murray State University

8. Tennessee Technological University

8. Winthrop

10. Western Kentucky University

11. Longwood University

12. Mississippi University for Women

13. University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

14. Radford University

14. Western Carolina University

Placing in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Universities-Master’s in the South were:

1. Rollins College

2. Elon University

3. Stetson University

4. James Madison University

5. The Citadel

5. Loyola University

7. University of Mary Washington

8. Mercer University

9. Appalachian State University

9. College of Charleston

11. Belmont University

12. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

13. Spring Hill College

14. UNC Wilmington

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of U.S. News & World Report, available for newsstand purchase Aug. 25. The 2009 America’s Best Colleges guidebook will be available Aug. 26.