Page 23 - William Woods University - Winter 2012-13

Winter 2012
William Woods
continues to move up
in U.S. News rankings
By MaryAnn Beahon
For the third year in a row, William Woods
University has moved up in the rankings
of universities in the Midwest, this time
ranking in the 80th percentile. The rankings
are published in the 2013 edition of U.S.
News & World Report’s annual Best
Colleges issue.
WWU jumped 11 spots in the last two
years, from 99th in the 2011 edition to 88th
in this year’s 29th edition of the college
rankings. Altogether, 625 regional
universities were evaluated.
Regional universities, the category where
William Woods is ranked, offer a full range of
undergraduate majors and master’s programs
but few doctoral programs.
In addition, William Woods was cited for
its positive freshman retention rate, which
measures the percentage of first-year students
returning for their sophomore year. Nationally
as many as one in three first-year students do
not return, for a variety of reasons. WWU’s
rate was 79 percent; only one university in
the Midwest had 90 percent.
This ranking is great news for William
Woods University,”
Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett
WWU president, said. “To be ranked among
the foremost universities in our region is
an honor, but an honor we have diligently
worked to achieve. Our alumni and students
know that WWU provides an excellent
education, but this ranking means that others
are aware of our triumphs and recognize our
Over the last two decades, the U.S.
News college rankings, which group schools
based on categories created by the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,
have grown to be the most comprehensive
research tool for students and parents
considering higher education opportunities.
The 2013 Best Colleges package provides
a thorough examination of how more than
accredited four-year schools compare
on a set of widely accepted indicators of
excellence. Among the many factors weighed
in determining the rankings, the key measures
of quality are peer assessment, graduation
and retention rates, faculty resources,
student selectivity, financial resources,
and alumni giving.
The rankings are contained in the 2013
edition of U.S. News & World Report’s
Best Colleges guidebook. The guidebook is
available at
According to campus surveys, students
say they choose William Woods for
many reasons, but three were immediately
identified: (1) the challenging academic
programs, (2) the friendliness of the
people—faculty and staff, as well as
students who come from nearly every state
and many foreign countries and (3) the
encouraging environment and the opportunity
for involvement—both in the classroom
and outside.
William Woods University is strong and
vibrant,” Barnett said. “We are fortunate to
have excellent faculty and staff who work
together to ensure that our number one
priority—our students—live and learn in
the exceptional environment that they do.”
William Woods, she pointed out, offers
several unique programs:
WWU is one of only 30 schools in North
America offering a bachelor’s degree in
American Sign Language interpreting.
WWU was the first school in the world
to offer a bachelor’s degree in equestrian
WWU is the only school in Missouri to
provide a course of study in juvenile justice.
WWU offers one of only 12 accredited
athletic training education programs in
the state.
Always striving to improve the university
for which she has been president since 1990,
Barnett mentioned several steps planned for
the future, including:
Adding more online programs,
Revising curriculum in current programs to
meet the needs of the current and future
job markets,
Keeping current courses up to date on use
of technology and engaging students in
learning, and
Stronger collaboration with two-year
colleges in providing degree-completion
programs that join technical skills with
critical thinking skills.
Citing a recent study, Barnett said,
The challenges and changes facing William
Woods University—the same challenges
facing every other institution of higher
education— include growing competition for
new populations of students; the opportuni-
ties, costs and uncertainties of new technol-
ogy; declining financial support; rising tuition;
and increasing student debt,” but she said,
We are committed to a proactive and
enthusiastic attitude as we bring the best
academic programs to our students.”