2 K-State graduate programs make top 100 list

Parker Robb | The Collegian Xiongjie Dong, graduate student in electrical engineering, works on a digital filtering project Wednesday in the Engineering Complex. U.S. News and World Report recognized K-State's College of Engineering and College of Education as among the best in the nation in their respective fields.

The U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Graduate School ranking listed the College of Engineering and the college of education at K-State as two of the best in the nation in their respective categories. The College of Education is ranked 88th in the country, a rank it shares with Washington State University and American University. The College of Engineering is ranked 94th alongside George Washington University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“It is no surprise that Kansas State University has two graduate programs listed in
U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate School rankings,” said Kirk Schulz, university president, in a March 13 news release. “Attracting highly talented and diverse graduate students,
the College of Education and College of Engineering have graduate programs that advance
a culture of excellence at Kansas State University and prepare graduates to be acknowledged
as outstanding in their respective fields after graduation.”

The rankings are determined through a number of national surveys, peer and recruiter assessments, expert opinions on program quality, student selectivity, faculty resources and the institutions’ research activity.

The College of Education currently has over 1,000 graduate students, with 60 percent from the state of Kansas. The college also has 55 tenured and tenure-tracked professors. The College of Engineering, on the other hand, has 455 graduate students to go along with 126 tenured and tenure-tracked professors.

There are 2,364 private and public 4-year institutions in the United States with well over 10,000 education and 6,000 engineering graduate programs. Of these education programs, 235 provided the data needed for the survey while 191 schools with engineering programs provided data as well.

“Given that level of competition for colleges of education, being recognized in the top 100 is very prestigious,” said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. “Because we are on this list, graduate students across the nation will recognize Kansas State University as a high-quality education program.”

Amy Betz, assistant professor in the College of Engineering, said anything that gives K-State more recognition is a good thing for the programs and the university.

“You can get the same quality education [at Kansas State] compared to other schools on the list,” Betz said.

In February of
2010, the university launched a planning initiative with the goal of being recognized as a Top 50 Public Research University
by 2025. This list is, “showing how much progress towards some of the of the goals of 2025 have been made,” said Noel Schulz, director of engineering research and graduate programs and Paslay professor of electrical & computer engineering.

She also said that the two programs’ recognition “helps promote to people that we are in the top 100 and the best graduate program in the state.”

To continue the progressing toward the 2025 goal, both programs look to the future.

“We look to increase the number of graduate students, and this list will help encourage students to come to graduate school here at Kansas State,” Schulz said.

When asked what the program intends to do to continue its improvement, Schulz mentioned K-State would continue to improve its state-of-the-art-facilities for research and to improve the quantity and quality of graduate recruitment.