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Appalachian rises in U.S. News & World Report’s best colleges rankings; is included in “Top Up-and-Coming Schools” and “Best Undergraduate Teaching” categories

all_colleges_hi_res.jpgBOONE—Appalachian State University rose to the No. 8 spot in the “Best Universities-Master’s in the South” category in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 America’s Best Colleges Guide. Appalachian tied with Mercer University for the eighth-place ranking.

The university also rose to third place in the magazine’s rankings for the top public master-degree granting universities in the South.

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

Once again, Appalachian was included in the magazine’s “Academic Programs to Look For” listing and in the “First-Year Experience” and “Learning Communities” categories.

“Appalachian has long prided itself in the quality of instruction students receive in the classroom as well as the opportunity they have to work alongside faculty on research and other academic projects,” said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock.  “The university’s blending of teaching and scholarship and close student-faculty interaction enables students to become successful and influential citizens of the world. During these challenging economic times for all of us in higher education, this recognition by U.S. News & World Report clearly demonstrates that the faculty and staff at Appalachian are committed to quality in our academic programs.”

In addition, Appalachian appears third on a list of 16 master’s-degree granting public and private universities in the South listed as “Up-and-Coming Master’s Universities” and is included in the “Best Colleges: Undergraduate research/Creative projects” listing.

Appalachian also is included in the magazine’s “Best Undergraduate Teaching” ranking. The university is listed sixth in the category that includes eight public and private master’s-degree granting institutions in the South.

The “Up-and-Coming” category lists 77 colleges and universities that were singled out as “schools that have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus, or facilities.” The “Best Undergraduate Teaching” lists 80 schools that the magazine says, “were singled out most often when experts were asked to identify schools where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching.”

“We continue to place a high priority on the undergraduate experience of our students. To have Appalachian’s continued commitment to undergraduate education be cited in the magazine’s ‘Best Undergraduate Teaching’ and ‘Academic Programs to Look For’ categories is another affirmation of our dedicated faculty and superior curriculum,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Stan Aeschleman.

Universities and colleges appearing in the Top Public Universities-Master’s south category are:

1. James Madison University
2. The Citadel
3. Appalachian State University
4. College of Charleston
5. Mary Washington University
6. UNC Wilmington
7. Murray State University
8. Longwood University
9. Winthrop University
10. 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
6. Loyola University
7. Belmont University
8. Appalachian State University
8. Mercer University
10. College of Charleston