By DAN LOYD, Staff Writer
The University of Michigan Dearborn has been recognized as one of the best universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2013-2014 list.
The annual guide to American colleges places U-M Dearborn’s master’s program as eighth in the Midwest, and the undergraduate program No. 36 overall in the Midwest.
“UM-Dearborn is once again honored to have been ranked near the top on many of U.S. News and World Report’s most recent regional college rankings,” said Daniel Little, university chancellor. “The rankings are just one indicator of the quality education our students receive at UM-Dearborn and the value we provide to the community.”
Furthermore, both the College of Business and College of Engineering and Computer Science were listed by the report as being among the best in the country. This is the sixteenth consecutive year the engineering and computer science program was ranked, and the fifth consecutive year for the College of Business.
Specific programs such as the College of Business, the College of Engineering and Computer Science curriculums are distinguished from similar programs based on surveys of deans and senior professors from around the country.
The College of Business was also ranked the third best in the state, behind the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Michigan State University.
“It’s great to be in that kind of company,” said Raju Balakrishnan, dean of the College of Business.“[The ranking] puts us in a pretty exclusive club in terms of the quality of our program.”
Balakrishan said there are a number of things that make U-M Dearborn’s College of Business stand out, but he is particularly proud of the real-world skills graduates of the program have.
“In talking to local community leaders, one of the things I hear not only from alums, but also from the community, is they think very highly of U-M Dearborn for the kind of experiential practical knowledge that the students bring when they graduate.”
Robert Morse, director of data research of U.S. News, wrote in an article on the report’s website that the rankings are based on “quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality.”
These factors include freshmen retention rate, six year graduation rate, and factors related to class size. U-M Dearborn scored an impressively low 6 percent in the statistic measuring classes containing 50 or more students, and a 33 percent for classes that have less than 20 students. The university is also able to boast an 84 percent freshmen retention rate. However, the six-year graduation rate is just a shade over half at 52 percent.
“It’s always good to be ranked than not,” said Balakrishan, though ultimately the ranking is a confirmation of something he already knows. “The way I look at it is it’s an external recognition and validation of the quality of our programs, our faculty, staff and students and what we have to offer. We are obviously very proud of the high quality of the business education we provide.”