Carson-Newman Garners Several Accolades in U.S. News Ranking

An Excellent Education --  Professor Matt Wilkerson teaches a lab group as part of a biology class. C-N’s commitment to academic rigor has earned the institution a high level of regard among leaders at peer institutions, which is one of six factors weighed by U.S. News & World Report in its 2013 “Best Colleges” guide, which will hit newsstands Tuesday.

Carson-Newman has collected four distinct accolades in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 edition of “Best Colleges.” Carson-Newman is championed as an “up and coming” institution that has an “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Ranked 12th among “Best Colleges in the South,” it is also touted on the publication’s “Great Schools, Great Prices” list.

“We are always encouraged by laudatory rankings, but what pleases us most is the reality behind the ranking,” said Dr. Randall O’Brien, C-N president. “Coupled with our receipt of the President’s Award for General Community Service earlier this year, this citation of our academic strength confirms that we are fulfilling our mission to be ‘intentionally Christian, academically rigorous, student-focused, and future-minded.’ On top of that, we have once again been championed as offering a good deal on a great education.”

As part of its peer assessment process, U.S. News requested presidents, chief academic officers and admissions deans to cite fellow institutions “whose faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner.” They were also asked to list schools that have implemented “the most promising and innova­tive changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities.” C-N is featured in each category among colleges in the south.

The guide is designed to help students and their families to “compare at a glance the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty,” explained Robert Morse and Samuel Flanigan in the guide’s statement of methodology.

According to the publication’s editors, “The calculation … takes into account a school’s academic quality, based on its U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2011-12 net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal… because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.”

O’Brien called the U.S. News ranking “the most recent evidence” of the institution’s excellence. Three accolades were announced in August. Washington Monthly ranked C-N 9th among America’s baccalaureate colleges and also trumpeted it as the national leader in community service among such schools. The Princeton Review cited it as one of 136 "Best in the Southeast" colleges, and Forbes.com included Carson-Newman in the top 10 percent of American colleges and universities in its system.

U.S. News & World Report’s 12-state South region consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The online report is available at US News & World Report.