The Neag School of Education is not only the #1 public graduate school of education in the Northeast and on the East Coast, it is now ranked the 12th best among public universities nationwide and 21st among the 278 public and private graduate schools of education in the U.S., according to the latest review in U.S. News & World Report.
Also significant are the rankings of the Neag School’s core programs which are individually assessed by U.S. News.
Four of these rank among the nation’s top 20: elementary education (13); secondary education (17); curriculum and instruction (19); and special education (20).
Other UConn schools ranked in the top 50 include pharmacy (29); social work (42); law (46); and business (52).
In addition to education, graduate programs ranked in the top 50 include the master of public administration program in public finance and budgeting (7); speech pathology (25); audiology (31); primary care medicine (43); master of public administration (49); environmental engineering (50); and history (51).
Although the U.S. News rankings serve as only one of several barometers used by the School of Education to assess its reputation and quality of its programs, Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School, describes the findings as “very encouraging.”
“We look at those ranked ahead of us, like Harvard, Michigan State, and Ohio State, and see that we’re in very good company,” he says.
Each year, U.S. News gathers opinion data from program directors, senior faculty, school superintendents, and deans to rank professional school programs.
Statistical indicators supplied by each school are used to measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students.
“Our mission is to prepare highly qualified teachers who are capable of meeting the diverse needs of their students,” Schwab says.
“To have four of our key programs ranked among the country’s top 20 is something we can be extremely proud of.”
The Neag School’s overall ranking (21) has climbed since 2003 when it was ranked #50. Last year, it was positioned at #31.
| Marijke Kehrhahn, director of teacher education in the Neag School of Education, demonstrates TaskStream, a web-based program, to a group of visitors from the education school at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
|Photo by Janice Palmer
Schwab credits the school’s rise to the contributions made by his faculty and administration to help the school become more effective and efficient, and to the support it has received on several fronts.
“We’ve been able to heavily invest in the recruitment of top faculty and students, in improving the quality of our programs, increasing scholarship funds, and installing some of the best education technology available,” Schwab says.
“These advancements and more were made possible by the $21 million gift from UConn alum Ray Neag, and by the support we’ve received from the University and the State of Connecticut.”
The state matched the 1999 Neag gift with $3.4 million.
Schwab believes a key factor helping to build the Neag School’s reputation is its work with public schools in Connecticut and around the country.
“Our faculty members are working in partnership with classroom teachers to conduct research, consult, and share information about best practices,” he says.
Partnerships within the University are vital as well, Schwab says.
Through the School’s involvement in the Teachers for a New Era project led by the Carnegie Corp. of New York, the Neag School is working closely with other schools and colleges on campus to improve teacher preparation.
In addition to the new rankings, the School’s doctoral program in kinesiology is ranked #1 in the nation by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings were published in the March 31 issue of its weekly magazine, and its America’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook is available at most bookstores and online.