By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – For the second year in a row, Campbellsville University has been ranked 22nd by U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” in the 2009 Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South category. The 22nd ranking is the highest ranking the university has ever received in 16 consecutive years of rankings.
“It is a great accomplishment to be ranked in the top 25 of Best Baccalaureate Colleges,” according to an announcement from Campbellsville University President Michael V. Carter.
This year’s ranking recognizes the “colleges that are helping students be successful and stay in school,” according to an announcement from Campbellsville University President Michael V. Carter.
“It is an honor to be recognized for providing students with an excellent educational experience,” Carter said. “Our freshmen retention rate went up one point, and the percentage of incoming freshmen in the top 25 percent of their high school class went up two points,” he said.
“We are proud of both as we prepare the next generation of servant leaders during our second century of Christian higher education,” Carter said.
Carter said the rankings “recognize significant progress and achievement at the university especially in the area of service to students.”
Carter said CU’s innovative program called FIRST CLASS, a freshman year experience that emphasizes character, leadership and stewardship, has freshmen with a program that will help them in their college career and in life.
Campbellsville University recently received a $399,800 grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program. Funds will be used to improve achievement and retention during the first two years of students’ academic careers.
“This Title III grant, which was announced by Congressman Ron Lewis, R-Ky., will allow us to concentrate on improving our academic support area where we will put programs in place to help our students be successful,” Carter said.
CU will receive a total of about $1.8 million over a five-year period for the “servant leaders program.”
Another recent grant, of $10,000 from the Rowland Foundation, will provide 10 scholarships for full-time students who have completed the university’s Summer Education Experience (SEE) Program for at-risk students.
“The SEE Program is an important one as we seek to help these students have a great educational experience as they begin their college career with us,” he said.
Among the improvements in academics is the addition of new master’s programs and new endorsements.
Campbellsville University now has 15 master’s programs that include: master of arts in education, master of arts in special education, master of arts in music, master of arts in social sciences, master of business administration, master of science in counseling, master of music in church music, master of music in music education, master of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), master of theology, master of social work, master of music in musicology, master of music in conducting, master of music in piano pedagogy and master of music in performance, plus rank I and endorsement in gifted and talented education, endorsement in English as a Second Language and director of special education certification.
“We anticipate new undergraduate and graduate programs to be available to meet the growing socio-economic demands of our area and the Commonwealth,” Carter said.
“CU has a proud tradition of academic excellence in a Christian context,” said Carter. “Student satisfaction is a priority, not only in the classroom, but for their co-curricular experience.”
Other changes to Campbellsville University’s campus include a recent groundbreaking for a new School of Education building, an upcoming groundbreaking for a new School of Business building, the completion of the new 12,000-square-foot facility and new landscaping throughout the campus.
This is the first year of use for the Gosser Gymnasium which is used for the university’s wrestling program and also has a walking track for students, faculty and staff use.
“We will continue to make quality Christian higher education affordable throughout the Commonwealth as we continue to reach students throughout the United States and internationally during her next 100 years,” Carter said.
“Alumni of Campbellsville University, too, should be pleased with this announcement as this validates the strong education they received at CU,” said Carter.
“Needless to say, we are pleased with this ranking among the South’s best baccalaureate universities,” Carter said.
Academic institutions are categorized by their mission and region with the gathering of data from each of 12 indicators of academic excellence. The schools are ranked against their peers, according to scores given by U.S.News & World Report.
Factors contributing to the ranking formula for baccalaureate schools are: peer assessment score, graduation and retention rates, class sizes, student/faculty ratio, percentage of full-time faculty, student ACT/SAT scores and high school grades, acceptance rate and alumni giving.
“Campbellsville University has a theme of ‘find your calling’ that exemplifies what Campbellsville University means to our students. We feel it is the epitome of what a Christian education at Campbellsville University can provide for our students as we prepare the next generation of Christian servant leaders,” Carter said.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 36 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.