Tennessee Tech University remains the only Tennessee school to be ranked as a Top Public University in the South according to the guide, available on newsstands Aug. 21. TTU is tied for 11th place in the Top Public list.
This marks the fifth year U.S.News & World Report has given TTU top billing among Tennessee public universities. TTU is also ranked among the Best Universities (which includes both public and private institutions) for the southern region this year, tied for 33rd, and up three places from the 2006 rankings.
"This recognition is indicative of the quality that's evident on our campus and in our programs," said TTU President Bob Bell. "Tennessee Tech University is proud to set important standards and goals for each of the characteristics considered by U.S.News & World Report.
"Our attention to quality programs, exceptional faculty and successful students has helped us earn this ranking, and I expect it will help us continue to climb. But rankings can't depict everything about a university. The culture, character, dedication and attitude expressed by everyone on this campus are what truly make TTU one of the best universities anywhere. I appreciate the great work of all our faculty and staff."
The magazine's ranking system is based on two main pillars, according to U.S. News editors. It relies on quantitative measures of academic quality and the editors' nonpartisan view of what matters in education.
To determine rankings, data for 15 indicators of academic excellence are gathered for each school. U.S.News then assigns a weight to each indicator, and colleges in each category are ranked against their peers based on the weighted score.
Several indicators were used to determine a school's academic quality: peer assessment, student retention and graduation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving rates.
TTU's ranking indicates that 86 percent of its faculty members are full-time. Some 47 percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. About 53 percent of TTU entering freshmen are classified in the top 25 percent of their high school class.
The rankings are separated into four main categories: national universities, liberal arts colleges, universities-master's and comprehensive colleges-bachelor's. The universities-master's and comprehensive colleges categories are further subdivided by geographic region.
The category in which TTU is ranked is the "universities-master's" category, but that title can be deceiving. Universities in that category offer a full range of undergraduate and master's-level programs, but fewer doctoral programs (if any) compared to institutions listed in the National category. TTU offers doctoral degrees in engineering, education and environmental sciences. The universities-master's category is separated by region because, in general, schools in this category tend to draw students heavily from surrounding states. While TTU typically attracts most of its students from within the state, last year TTU enrolled students from 38 other states and 62 foreign countries.