NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 2003 annual survey by U.S. News and World Report listed forty-five associated southern Baptist colleges among the top institutional tiers, among the 1,400 institutions scattered across the United States. Eight ASBCS schools were listed in the top tier, 13 in the second tier, 16 in the third tier, and eight in the forth tier. Two of the ASBCS ranked in the top 10 schools with the highest graduation rates.
This annual survey is based on seven indicators of quality: peer assessment; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving. Rankings are developed into four categories: Best National Universities -- Doctoral; Best Liberal Arts Colleges -- Bachelor's; Best Universities -- Master's; and Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's.
For schools evaluated in the national universities-doctoral and liberal arts colleges-bachelor's categories, the ranking system also analyzes data on "graduation rate performance." In addition to the overall ranking, the magazine developed additional comparisons on topics of lowest acceptance rate, highest graduation rate and highest proportion of classes under 20.
The eight ASBCS member schools ranked in the top tier were listed in Best Universities-Master's and in Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's. Samford University (5th), Mercer University (tied for 8th), Belmont University (tied for 15th), and Union University (33rd) were ranked in the top tier of Best Universities -- Master's in the South.
The Best Universities -- Master's category looked at 572 schools that they determined fit into this group. Samford also was ranked sixth among all the Best Universities -- Master's institutions in the listing of schools with the highest graduation rate. These schools are those that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's-level programs but offer few if any doctoral programs.
Among institutions ranked in the category Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's, four ASBCS member schools made the top tier. Oklahoma Baptist University (2nd in the West), Ouachita Baptist University (4th in the South), Shorter College (tied for 17th in the South) and Louisiana College (tied for 20th in the South) were listed among the best in this category.
Oklahoma Baptist University also was ranked second in the listing of schools with the highest graduation rate among the Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's. The category includes 324 institutions that were evaluated by U.S. News and includes those schools that offer a wide range of undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and professional disciplines.
Baylor University was listed in the second tier of Best National Universities -- Doctoral category. The magazine evaluated 249 institutions that fit the profile to be listed based on the fact that these schools offered a "wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master's and doctoral programs." The group included 162 public institutions and 87 privates.
Other schools ranked in the second tier in their respective categories included 13 ASBCS member schools. Among the Best Universities -- Master's; Campbell University, Carson-Newman College, Cumberland College and Mississippi College were listed among the schools in the South. Grand Canyon University, Hardin-Simmons University and the University of Mary Hardin Baylor were listed among the schools located in the West.
Within the category of Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's, five member schools were ranked in the second tier: Blue Mountain College and Virginia Intermont from the South; Judson College (Illinois) from the Midwest; and East Texas Baptist University and Howard Payne University from the West.
Sixteen ASBCS schools were ranked in the third tier of their respective categories: Georgetown College and William Jewell College among the Best Liberal Arts Colleges -- Bachelor's; Averett University, Campbellsville University, Charleston Southern University, Gardner-Webb University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, William Carey College, California Baptist University, Dallas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University among the Best Universities -- Master's; Anderson College, Bluefield College, Chowan College, North Greenville College and Hannibal LaGrange College among the Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's.
Eight ASBCS member schools were ranked in the fourth tier of their respective categories: Judson College (Alabama) among the Best Liberal Arts Colleges -- Bachelor's; University of Mobile, Southwest Baptist University and Wayland Baptist University among the Best Universities -- Master's; Brewton-Parker College, Mid-Continent College, Missouri Baptist University and Williams Baptist College among Best Comprehensive Colleges -- Bachelor's.
By Pauline J.