Education school makes grade in 'U.S. News'

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The UA College of Education is stepping into the national spotlight in the first national ranking of education graduate schools.

U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Arizona College of Education 35 of 223 schools, placing the college in the top 16 percent in the country. The college was ranked 25 among public institutions.

"This is good news for the college," states John Taylor, dean of the college, in a statement about the ranking. "This guide provides us with a solid benchmark. It's a pleasure to see that we are doing well relative to our peer institutions."

The UA college was ranked 25th in the nation, or in the top 11 percent, in a survey of College of Education deans and senior faculty members from across the country.

"It is good for the state, the university and the college to get some recognition," said Michael Cusanovich, vice president of research and graduate studies. "We are often viewed as just being somewhere out in the sticks."

He said it is wonderful to see national attention directed toward programs, like education, that are not among the sciences. "It's about time for people to realize we do a lot of things well."

The UA college offers graduate programs in teaching and teacher education, higher education, educational psychology, special educations and rehabilitation and language, reading and culture.

More than 1,000 students are enrolled in the programs, making it the largest graduate population on campus, said Janice Streitmatter, associate dean of the college. Having a quality education graduate program in Tucson benefits all the area teachers, who are required by state law to earn a master's degree, 40 units of postgraduate work, within eight years of teaching, she said.

One of the college's strengths is its bilingual education program, Taylor said. Last year, the UA graduated twice as many students with bilingual education majors or minors than any other program in the country.

Peggy Douglas, assistant dean of the college, said the ranking will inform more students about the department, which has always been of high quality.

"We have had strong graduate programs, but because there was no sort of national ranking, it has never been so widely known before," she said. "Now we will likely have even more people from a wide range of areas interested in coming here."

Arizona State University's College of Education was ranked 47th in the study. Northern Arizona University was not ranked.

Wildcat reporter Charles Ratliff contributed to this story.

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