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Aug 31, 2007

DePaul Honored In National College Rankings

Service Learning, Diversity, Entrepreneurship All Recognized by National Publications

As summer winds down, the annual variety of national college rankings are hitting the newsstands. And once again, DePaul University has been honored in several key categories by several different national publications.

DePaul’s efforts in community-based service learning, a hallmark of the university’s Vincentian mission, were recognized by U.S. News & World Report. DePaul was one of 23 top service-learning programs in the nation cited by the publication in its “Programs to Look For” section of its “America’s Best Colleges 2008” edition. The publication sought out “schools with outstanding examples of academic programs that are believed to lead to student success,” and then invited college presidents, chief academic officers and deans of students from over 1,300 colleges and universities to name 10 institutions that were the best examples of each program type.

“In service learning programs, required (or for-credit) volunteer work in the community is an instructional strategy,” U.S. News wrote. “What’s learned in the field bolsters what happens in class and vice versa.”

This is the fifth consecutive year that the magazine has ranked DePaul’s service learning program among the nation’s Top 25. DePaul is the only university in Illinois honored in the service learning category.

In addition, DePaul’s campus diversity was lauded by two different national publications. In the Princeton Review’s annual college guide, “The Best 366 Colleges,” released this week, DePaul was ranked No. 20 in the country in the “Diverse Student Body” category. This is the fifth consecutive year that DePaul has been ranked in the nation’s top 20 in diversity by Princeton Review. The Princeton Review rankings are based on surveys of 120,000 students at 366 top colleges, who rate their schools in dozens of categories and report on their campus experiences. The Princeton Review also named DePaul No. 5 nationally in the “Best College Town” category, the fifth consecutive year the university has made the nation’s top 20 according to the survey.

DePaul is a regular in the Princeton Review rankings. In addition to the continuing honors in diversity and campus setting, the university topped the survey’s “Happiest Students” category in both 1999 and 2003.

DePaul also has received other honors for diversity this summer. In July, the university once again was prominent in the 2007 Diverse Issues in Higher Education rankings of the 100 top minority degree-producing institutions. DePaul was ranked in 25 different categories, scoring among the nation’s top 25 in seven of them. For the second year running, the university scored highest in the graduate rankings for computer and information sciences degrees. DePaul’s School of Computer Science, Telecommunications, and Information Systems ranked in the top 10 in the nation in three different categories, including the number of total Asian-American master’s degree recipients (No. 2), total Hispanic/Latino master’s degree recipients (No. 5) and total African-American master’s degree recipients (No. 10).

Finally, three DePaul academic programs, two affiliated centers and a business school faculty member earned high marks from Fortune Small Business in its review of entrepreneur education programs, “America’s Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs,” which appears in the September issue of the 2.4-million-circulation magazine.

DePaul won praise from the magazine for emphasizing “learning by doing.” The undergraduate entrepreneurship program was chosen as one of the best 25 programs in the country, and the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business was named among the nation’s top 26 “B-schools with entrepreneurial flair” for its entrepreneur MBA concentration. The School of Music’s performing arts management program—an interdisciplinary music, business and theatre undergraduate major—was named one the 23 best cross-discipline programs. Top-tier programs were listed alphabetically and not ranked numerically by the magazine. Initiatives by DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and the Center for Creativity and Innovation also were honored, and associate professor of management Gerhard Plaschka earned the magazine’s praise for his innovative teaching methods.

“These rankings reflect that that DePaul’s model of combining academic excellence, a diverse student population and a Vincentian mission of service to the community is working,” said Helmut Epp, DePaul University provost. “We are proud to provide an academically enriching experience for students from all backgrounds, who then go on to become socially responsible future leaders and engaged alumni.”

With an enrollment of 23,149 students on two city and four suburban campuses, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the nation and the largest private, not-for-profit university in the Midwest. DePaul is an innovative and diverse university offering pragmatic educational programs that instill values, including a commitment to community service.