U.S. News rates UMES 22nd among HBCUs

  • Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    U.S. News rates UMES the nation's 22nd best HBCU 

    Rob Johnson and Jordan Ward in math classPRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Sept. 13, 2016) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is the nation's 22nd best historically black institutions and among the top 10 of its public-sector peers, according to the 2016 Best Colleges survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report. 

    UMES improved eight spots over its 2015 ranking and equaled the highest position it received in 2007 when the national news publication started comparing peer institutions. The university was rated the ninth-best public institution in the HBCU category. 

    In February, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education named UMES aDoctoral University (Moderate Research Activity), one of three public institutions in the state with that credential. Only seven percent of the nation's 4,664 higher education institutions are considered “Doctoral Universities” in the newest Carnegie survey. 

    Four months later, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed the university'sinstitution-wide accreditation for the next decade. 

    During the 2015-16 academic year, UMES awarded 768 degrees, the most in one academic year during the university's 130-year history. The previous high was 758 in 2011-12. 

    “This is certainly inspirational news on our 130th anniversary,” said UMES President Juliette B. Bell, adding “the timing couldn't be better.” The university opened its doors on Sept. 13, 1886. 

    “The ranking is a reflection of a tremendous amount of hard work that our dedicated faculty and staff - as well as our students - put into making our institution one that can measure up favorably with the best of the best,” Bell said. 

    Among UMES' 768 graduates in the past year were 160 who studied science, technology, engineering or math, collectively known as the STEM disciplines. A year ago, UMES awarded 128 “STEM' degrees. 

    UMES is moving methodically toward becoming a leader among peers in “STEM” education, helped along by the January opening of a $102 million classroom building that is home to the engineering, aviation science and math programs. 

    UMES has been listed in the upper tier of black colleges since the survey's inception in 2007. The 2016 edition rated 72 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in which UMES and Tennessee State University were tied at 22. Morgan State was rated 20th, dropping one notch, while Bowie State was 26th compared to 24th a year ago. 

    Of the 72 HBCUs ranked in the survey, only 17 had a higher “peer assessment” score than UMES, one of the leading factors in the publication's ranking equation. Spelman College in Atlanta again topped that category as well as the overall rankings. 

    U.S. News asks senior administrators - presidents, provosts and admissions directors to rate the academic quality of peer institutions. Along with peer assessment scores, graduation and retention rates and faculty resources carry the most weight in the ranking equation. 

    Other factors also taken into consideration include the number of full-time faculty, student selectivity based on test scores and high school class standing, the institution's financial resources and how large classes are. UMES' student-to-faculty ratio is 15-to-1, and 55 percent of classes the university offers average fewer than 20 students.

    UMES offers 38 undergraduate majors, 15 master's degrees and eight doctoral programs. Twenty-seven academic units are accredited, including business and engineering. There is also increased emphasis on developing online degree programs to broaden accessibility to educational opportunities, including a new Master of Sciencein Cybersecurity, Engineering Technology. 

    U.S News describes HBCUs as “an appealing option for applicants of all races.”  Two-thirds of UMES' student body was African-American during the latest survey period, according to the university's institutional research office.

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    UMES Office of Public Relations, (410) 651-6669