WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, today announced the 2024 Best Colleges. Serving as a guide for prospective students and their families, the rankings evaluate 1,500 colleges and universities using up to 19 measures of academic quality. This year’s rankings placed a greater emphasis on social mobility and outcomes for graduating college students, demonstrating the most significant methodological change in the rankings’ history.
More than 50% of an institution’s rank now comprises varying outcome measures related to success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success. In addition, five factors were removed: class size, faculty with terminal degrees, alumni giving, high school class standing and the proportion of graduates who borrow federal loans.
“For 40 years, students and their families have come to count on Best Colleges as a vital resource as they navigate one of the most important decisions of their lives,” says Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News. “The significant changes in this year’s methodology are part of the ongoing evolution to make sure our rankings capture what is most important for students as they compare colleges and select the school that is right for them.”
With these outcomes-focused methodology adjustments, the following schools saw significant increases in their rank:
- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (NC) +106
- University of Texas at San Antonio (TX) +92
- California State University, East Bay +88
- Florida Gulf Coast University +80
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley +72
- Gwynedd Mercy University (PA) +71
- University of Nevada, Reno +68
- Northern Arizona University +68
- The University of Texas at El Paso +68
- California State University, Fresno +65
- The University of Texas at Arlington +63
- Northern Illinois University +62
- Aurora University (IL) +62
- Texas Woman’s University +62
- San Francisco State University (CA) +56
- Florida Atlantic University +54
- Augusta University (GA) +52
- University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh (WI) +52
- Texas State University +51
- University of Houston, Clear Lake +51
For the first time, Best Colleges includes undergraduate economics degree and psychology degree rankings. This edition of the rankings also includes specialized rankings, such as the most innovative colleges and universities with the greatest commitment to undergraduate teaching.
The 2024 Best Colleges methodology is calculated using 19 key measures of academic quality for National Universities and 13 indicators for the National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges. The formula uses data universally reported by schools or obtainable from third-party sources. As always, schools’ eligibility to be ranked is not contingent on participation in U.S. News’ surveys.
2024 Best National Universities – Top 3
1. Princeton University (NJ)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Harvard University (MA) (tie)
3. Stanford University (CA) (tie)
2024 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. Williams College (MA)
2. Amherst College (MA)
3. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2024 Top Public Schools: National Universities – Top 3
1. University of California, Berkeley (tie)
1. University of California, Los Angeles (tie)
3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2024 Top Public Schools: National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2. United States Air Force Academy (CO)
3. United States Military Academy at West Point (NY)
2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility: National Universities – Top 3
1. California State University, Long Beach
2. California State University, Fullerton (tie)
2. California State University, Riverside (tie)
4. California State University, San Bernardino (tie)
4. University of California, Merced (tie)
2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility: National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. Lake Forest College (IL)
2. Agnes Scott College (GA) (tie)
2. Salem College (NC) (tie)
2. Spelman College (GA)
Alongside the rankings, U.S. News publishes editorial content related to the college selection experience. This includes advice on topics such as a complete guide to the application process, how to ask for letters of recommendation, how to apply to college for free and more.
On Sept. 28, U.S. News will host a free webinar on the new edition of Best Colleges and its methodology, with presentations from the lead ranking analysts. Those interested in attending can register here.
U.S. News’ education portfolio also includes the newly acquired CollegeAdvisor.com which offers expert support during the college admissions process. In addition, U.S. News College Compass provides students and their parents with access to the most complete rankings and data.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report, L.P.
People who communicate more, show expertise are more likely to be seen as essential team members
Newswise — A new study sheds light on the vital role of communication and expertise within organizations, revealing their impact on group performance. Researchers examined how individuals become part of communication networks and the effect of selection processes on group performance. The study found that people who communicated more during training were more likely to be chosen as a central member of the network. In addition, teams that chose their central member performed as well as and often better than teams whose central member was randomly assigned.
The study, by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Clark University, is published in Frontiers in Psychology.
“The people in network positions and the processes by which they arrive at those positions play a significant role in determining team performance,” says Linda Argote, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, who coauthored the study. “For centralized network positions which require occupants to transfer information to other members of the network, it is critical to have good communication skills.”
Communication networks serve as the conduits for knowledge exchange, and central members in a network are often responsible for gathering and sharing that information. Researchers drew on studies on communication networks as well as the Carnegie research perspective, which studies the ways organizations gain efficiency through learning, developing routines and structures, and exchanging knowledge.
To test whether group members who choose the occupants of network positions select themselves and others that best suit skill requirements of the position, the authors compared the performance of groups whose members received their choice of who occupied which network position to the performance of groups whose members did not. They conducted a lab study that involved nearly 125 university students. They had two experimental conditions: in one condition, members received their choice of who occupied the central position; in the other condition, members did not receive their choice.
Allowing group members to choose who occupies which network positions enabled teams to optimize their position assignments based on individuals’ skills and expertise (e.g., organization, delegation), which boosted groups’ performance. Team members were more likely to choose individuals who communicated frequently and those who appeared to have task-related expertise to occupy the central network position. Teams receiving their choice of central member performed better than teams not receiving their choice or teams in which members were randomly assigned to the position.
Among the study’s limitations, the authors note that they investigated the effects of choice as they pertained to network positions in a single network structure, not whether groups performed differently when they could choose their network structures.
“The Carnegie perspective speaks to formal and informal communication structures in organizations but not about the processes through which workers come to occupy network positions,” explains Jerry Guo, Assistant Professor of Strategy at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, who led the study. “We extended this perspective by showing that the process through which individuals come to occupy network positions affects the performance of networks. In this way, we contribute to an understanding of how the development of a network, not just its structure, influences performance.”
The study was funded by the Center for Organizational Learning, Innovation and Knowledge at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon, the National Science Foundation, and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
Source: Carnegie Mellon University
Study: School Debate Programs Linked to Improvements in Academic Achievement, Graduation Rates, and College Enrollment
Impacts Are Largest Among Students Who Were Lowest Achieving Prior to Participation
Newswise — Washington, October 24, 2023—Participating in policy debate programs in middle and high school is associated with improvements in English language arts (ELA) achievement and increases in the likelihood that students graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education, according to new research. The study was published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association. It was conducted by Beth Schueler from the University of Virginia and Katherine Larned from Harvard University.
Policy debate is an interscholastic, competitive, extracurricular activity in which teams of students engage in structured argumentation about public policy issues. Participants focus on a single resolution for the entire academic year, which requires them to learn about one policy area in depth.
Typically, extracurricular debate programs are disproportionately found in private and high-income public schools. However, this study was conducted in the context of the Boston Public Schools, where the Boston Debate League, a nonprofit, serves a student population that is majority low income and students of color.
The study relied on data from the Boston Debate League, Boston Public Schools, and the National Student Clearinghouse for students enrolled in Boston Public Schools during the 2007–08 to 2017–18 school years. It included the 3,515 students who participated in the Boston Debate League over that time.
“We found that debate was linked to improvements not only in overall ELA achievement but specifically in those ELA competencies requiring critical thinking skills,” said Schueler, assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. “The impact was almost entirely concentrated among reading subskills that involve more analysis and argumentation.”
The impacts were substantial, translating to roughly 68 percent of the learning in ELA that typically takes place over the course of the ninth-grade year. The gains were largest among students who were lowest performing at baseline, suggesting that policy debate does not need to be reserved for high-achieving students.
The authors also examined effects on high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment, finding positive impacts driven by increased enrollment in four-year colleges and universities.
“These results provide policymakers a rare promising program for reducing inequality in reading achievement, analytical thinking skills, and educational attainment among middle and high school students,” said Larned, a fellow and doctoral student in the education policy and program evaluation program at Harvard University. “Debate programs are cost-effective relative to other high-profile interventions and therefore have great potential for scalability.”
The authors pointed out that researchers have uncovered very few interventions that generate impacts of this magnitude for secondary school students, especially on literacy outcomes. School leaders looking to boost ELA outcomes could look to this type of extracurricular activity for supporting older students in learning.
“Policy debate appears to be a rare strategy for improving literacy skills among middle and high school students,” said Schueler. “It helps to demonstrate that secondary school is not ‘too late’ to support student progress in reading.”
There are likely implications for teachers working in traditional classrooms. Some professional development programs have been designed to help teachers infuse key principles of debate pedagogy into regular classrooms. The authors suggested that researchers should explore the effectiveness of these programs to help uncover the extent to which debate would generalize to students who do not opt for the extracurricular activity.
The authors also recommended that future research should examine the relative effectiveness of different extracurricular activities, as well as further assess policy debate’s impact on critical thinking, argumentation skills, and other competencies needed for academic and civic participation, such as social perspective taking, media literacy, ability to distinguish fact from opinion, and engagement with the policy process.
Study citation: Schueler, B., & Larned, K. (2023). Interscholastic policy debate promotes critical thinking and college-going: Evidence from Boston Public Schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Prepublished October 24, 2023. http://doi.org/10.3102/01623737231200234
Source: Mount Sinai Health System
Frito-Lay Opens New Scholarship for College Students to Celebrate Community Builders
$100,000 in Scholarships Presented to Needs-Based Local Leaders
PLANO, Texas /PRNewswire/ — Frito-Lay® today announced the opening of a needs-based scholarship aimed at students who demonstrate a commitment to uplifting and leading their communities. The Frito-Lay Community Builders Scholarship will award four students $25,000 each to help further their higher-education goals. Applications open Tuesday, October 3, and students are encouraged to apply early and before the submission deadline of November 20.
“At Frito-Lay, we are committed to celebrating and supporting the next generation of community leaders by providing them with resources to help build a brighter future,” said Joan Cetera, vice president of corporate affairs at PepsiCo. “As these young leaders take the reins, we see a path towards a future where communities are more resilient, where diversity and inclusion are celebrated, and where every individual has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.”
“At Frito-Lay, we are committed to celebrating and supporting the next generation of community leaders.”Tweet
The scholarship is an opportunity to honor students from all backgrounds who improve their communities and provide additional financial assistance to alleviate the burden of higher education costs. In addition to the application requirements, students will be asked to submit a response to a prompt about how they contribute to their communities and how it impacts their higher education path. Students are encouraged to illustrate their demonstrated leadership skills, extracurricular activities, work experience, and personal and professional goals.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must:
- Live in the United States (U.S.)
- Be high school seniors, graduates or current college undergraduates
- Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study in the U.S. at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year
- Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent)
A diverse group of employees from Frito-Lay, including frontline workers, employee resource group leaders, and executives who each have a unique commitment to community building will make up the judging panel and review submitted applications. All applicants will be notified of their award status by January 30, 2024.
To learn more and enter, visit learnmore.scholarsapply.org/frito-lay.
About Frito-Lay North America
Frito-Lay North America is the $23 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay’s® and Ruffles® potato chips, Doritos® and Tostitos® tortilla chips and branded dips, Cheetos® snacks, Stacy’s® pita chips, PopCorners® popped-corn snacks, SunChips® multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30+ manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, www.fritolay.com, on Twitter (@fritolay), on Instagram (@fritolay) and on Facebook (Frito-Lay).
SOURCE Frito-Lay North America
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