CSB and SJU recognized as top institutions nationally

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August 19, 2009

The College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John’s University (SJU) have been recognized nationally by their peers in several important classifications in the recently released U.S. News and World Report college rankings.

Last spring, U.S. News asked higher education leaders around the country to identify schools that are considered “Up-and-Coming.” CSB was one of only 13 liberal arts colleges cited as “Up-and-Coming.” According to the magazine, “These college and universities may not be at the top of the rankings (yet), but they’re leading the pack in improvements and innovative changes.”

In addition, both CSB and SJU were also recognized for their strong commitment to teaching and the schools’ study abroad program.

The magazine asked school leaders to identify which of their peers do the best job teaching undergraduate students. Eighty colleges and universities were singled out. CSB and SJU were included among only 27 cited as best teaching institutions in the liberal arts colleges’ category.

The U.S. News rankings also included a list of schools with outstanding academic programs that are commonly linked to student success. Among the more than 2,300 four-year colleges and universities in the country, CSB and SJU were cited with just 34 institutions for the quality of their study abroad program. College presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admissions were invited to nominate up to 10 institutions of any size and type.

In the U.S. News overall ranking in the liberal arts colleges group, SJU was ranked 68th (up from 71st in 2008) and CSB was ranked 80th (up from 84th in 2008). The rankings include 266 liberal arts colleges that focus on undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the arts and sciences.

“While numeric rankings don’t necessarily tell the whole story,” said MaryAnn Baenninger, president of CSB, “it is certainly encouraging for our faculty and staff to receive national affirmation for the extraordinary work that I, as a president, know they are doing.”

“I am especially pleased that the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have been identified among the schools with an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and study abroad,” said the Rev. Robert Koopmann, OSB, president of SJU. “Our inclusion on these lists is a credit to our faculty who have a deep commitment to undergraduate teaching, exceptional scholarship and the mentoring of students.”