"This is a remarkable and well-earned achievement," said TTU President Angelo Volpe. "It's a true testament to the commitment and hard work of our faculty, our students and our staff. We've always known we're among the best, but it's nice to be recognized by the magazine and in such a public way."
TTU was ranked 29 out of 33 institutions - in the top 25 percent - earning top tier placement and scoring high enough to be included with The Citadel, Mercer University (Georgia), the University of Richmond, James Madison University, Loyola University of New Orleans and Tuskegee University (Alabama). The only other Tennessee institutions included in the top tier were Belmont University and Christian Brothers University, both of which are private institutions.
This is the second time Tennessee Tech has scored high enough to be ranked in the top tier of Southern regional universities and colleges by U.S News and World Report. The first time was in 1995 when TTU was the only Tennessee institution included in the top tier. In 1986 the publication cited it as one of three institutions judged "noteworthy" in addition to the top 10 picks in the category of 158 "comprehensive institutions" in the South and border states.
The indicators U.S. News used to capture the dimensions of academic quality fell into six categories: academic reputation; retention of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving. The indicators include input measures that reflect the quality of faculty, students and other resources, and outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job.
What are regional colleges and universities? Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and provide graduate education at the master's level. But unlike national universities (including the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Memphis), they offer fewer, if any, doctoral programs. Tennessee Tech offers Ph.D. programs in engineering and environmental science.
Eighty-eight percent of TTU's faculty are full-time, which is among the highest in its category. The university also has a 71 percent freshman retention rate. Only six percent of TTU's classes have 50 students or more while 47 percent of its classes have less than 20 students. The average student/faculty ratio at Tennessee Tech is 18/1.
Sixty-nine percent of incoming freshman at Tennessee Tech rank in the top 25 percent of their high school class and their average ACT score is between 19-25. TTU accepts 83 percent of students who apply.
Alumni giving rate, an indicator of alumni satisfaction, is 10 percent at TTU.All of the rankings from the 2000 edition of U.S. News and World Report's guide, America's Best Colleges, is now on the publication's World Wide Web site.