U.S. News ranks MU in top 100

Christina Cardamone
News Writer

Millersville is home to about 8,725 students, including both graduate and undergraduates. That means roughly 8,725 students chose M.U. as their institute for higher education. Many factors go into deciding what college is best and when a student applies to Millersville they feel that the University meets their ideas and goals best. Like the students here, the U.S. News & World Report believes Millersville to meet their high standards as it has once again ranked Millersville University among the best Northern Region Universities. Millersville University was ranked #81 this year, which is five spots higher than last year.
U.S. News published their first rankings in 1983 using the Carnegie classification system. According to the U.S. News website there are two pillars which the ranking system rests on. The first is derived from the school’s missions. The second includes 16 different indicators of academic excellence. Each of these indicators is collected, assessed, and measured by how well the school uses them. Some of these indicators are Peer Assessment, Retention, Faculty Resources, Financial Resources, and Graduation Rates.
Vilas Prabhu, Millersville University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, commented on Millersville’s recognition, saying, “Millersville continues to exceed the national norms when it comes to student success outcomes such as second-year persistence, four-year graduation and 6-year graduation rates. Our faculty continues to be one of the most qualified faculties within the Commonwealth and the State System of Higher Education; 96.9% of our faculty in Fall 2012 have terminal degrees (primarily doctorates) in their disciplines. We continue to emphasize the quality of learning opportunities for our students, both inside and outside the classrooms.”
There have been changes on campus to improve the quality of student life. These changes are to provide students with the tools they need to succeed and the confidence to strive for their own independent excellence. Some of these changes are more noticeable, such as the two-year renovation of the University library. Other changes will come with time, for instance the new dorms whose renovations started just a few short months ago. Dr. Breaux, Vice President of Student Affairs supplied an insight in just how these new housing communities will shape students to be more rounded. “We are partnering with academic affairs to provide these communities which students may be able to have discussions and topics that are linked back to their classrooms and explore different topics that help encourage their intellectual curiosity.”
Many of the factors that U.S. News and World Report uses to judge universities link back to how students are adjusting on their campuses. If a University does not have a good retention rate, or an acceptable graduation rate, or a strong student response to academics they may not be acclimating well to their environment. “We want to help students feel supported.” Dr. Breaux says, “Students in this generation are known to be very stressed, they go 24/7, are attached to technology, and they overtask themselves. These are just a few reasons we offer Counseling Services and Health and Wellness Programs to our students. The Fitness Center provides an outlet and recreation venues to allow students to have outlets to distress. Students want those outlets and need them to help them become more successful and have that balance to take care of their bodies.”
Students are the heart of this campus: without the attendance of 8,725 students there would be no Millersville University. The faculty and staff of this campus recognize the importance of those admitted. “Millersville must continue to make progress in making sure that student success is at the center of everything we do” Mr. Prabhu said. “The university will redouble its efforts to provide our students flexibility and convenience with our educational offerings including online classes, weekend and evening classes and classes at off-campus sites to meet the needs of our adult and non-traditional students. In short, Millersville will continue to strive to provide high quality, accessible and affordable educational opportunities for our students.”
As if there was any shadow of a doubt, our newest president, Dr. Anderson, offers a reassurance to the future of Millersville and its intentions. “I am gratified to see Millersville University ranked so highly by this prestigious publication. Ranking #81 in the category of “Best Regional Universities in the North region” is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff. As importantly, MU students should be pleased as these rankings demonstrate that students are getting a good return for the investment they are making in their education at Millersville.”