NEWBERRY, S.C., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Newberry College ranks among the nation's top regional colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2011 ranking of America's Best Colleges, featured at http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/ and available today on newsstands. Data from more than 1,400 colleges and universities nationwide was collected to determine this year's rankings, placing Newberry No. 35 among the first tier of the 100 best baccalaureate colleges in the southern region.
This year, the school showed increases in key factors within the U.S. News' rankings, including its highest freshman retention rate and highest average alumni-giving rate. This fall's incoming class also marks the highest enrollment in Newberry's history.
Dr. Scott Koerwer, a business school administrator and entrepreneur who was recently named the school's 21st president, commented:
"As Newberry College begins an era of renewal and revitalized engagement, we are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News as a leading academic institution in our region," President Koerwer said. "We will continue to focus on those things that distinguish Newberry – the close, personal attention we offer to each of our more than 1,000 undergraduate students through small class size, academic advising from our faculty and a commitment to the full intellectual, spiritual and physical development of each of our students."
"As we move forward in today's evolving and challenging educational landscape, we are excited to pursue strategic opportunities that will further increase our involvement and profile in the state, in the nation and around the world," he added.
Newberry has a long tradition of providing educational opportunities for a diverse population of students, offering a strong liberal arts foundation with specialized professional degree programs, including one of the only undergraduate forensic chemistry programs in the state and a music program widely known for its annual jazz festival.
The college has also launched several new initiatives as part of campus-wide efforts to expand its academic profile and enhance the student experience:
- Along with its teacher education and expanding business programs, Newberry has now established a new nursing department, offering a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing for pre-licensure students. The program is approved by the State Board of Nursing for South Carolina, enabling graduates to take the licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) to become registered nurses. The program is partnered with Lexington Medical Center, a hospital in nearby West Columbia.
- The Summerland Honors Program offers top students a series of interdisciplinary seminars over three years focused on the theme "A Quest for Identity." The students engage in self-reflection from various perspectives including arts and humanities, natural and social sciences along with community service. A capstone community service project is completed in their senior year.
- The Center of Excellence for Teacher Retention, funded through a five-year grant from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, provides the Department of Education with the opportunity to increase teacher retention in South Carolina public schools. The program, in partnership with local schools, provides mentoring, professional development and research.
- Newberry also has a competitive intercollegiate athletics program where student athletes are challenged to develop their leadership on the field, in the classrooms and throughout the community. Last year, the college launched a new program called the Order of the Gray Stripes, a group of football players specially chosen by the coaches. Distinguished on the playing field by the wearing of a gray stripe down their helmets, the elite order team members sign an oath to display character, leadership and honor beyond just the football field.
About Newberry College
A private, residential, co-educational, college with a diverse student population, Newberry College offers baccalaureate degrees in 24 majors, 31 minors, and 27 areas of concentration. Founded in 1856 by the Lutheran Church, the college is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the National Association of Schools of Music. Core courses emphasize liberal arts, sciences, and technology. The college has a radio and television station, and offers 15 NCAA Division II sports. For more information visit www.newberry.edu.
SOURCE Newberry College