Recently, K-State had three graduate programs rise in national rankings, according to the U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate School rankings for 2016. The three programs that made the list are the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Education and the College of Engineering.
The College of Veterinary Medicine rose from number 19 in the 2015 rankings to number 14 in the 2016 rankings.
“The ranking is a recognition of continued excellence for the faculty and staff at Kansas State University and to build upon the excellent education our veterinary students receive here,” Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, said.
Richardson said the influences on the improved ranking are a combination of the national focus on K-State relative to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.
“(It is) a better job of telling the public what it is that we do and the increasing amount of research that is being done inside the veterinary college and beyond,” Richardson said.
The College of Education is up to number 88 for 2016’s rankings from number 92 in the 2015 rankings.
“Our goals are not to rise in ranking but to provide quality education to our students,” David Allen, office of field experiences director in the College of Education, said.
Currently, the College of Education is trying to reach an untapped population to provide better quality of education. The college is planning to provide a master’s of arts in teaching, so people in other fields can reach a teaching licensure in 12-14 months compared to two years.
“Undergrad takes a bit of focus,” Allen said. “A few years ago, we shifted focus on graduate programs for the 2025 goals. Quality undergraduate means quality in the graduate programs.”
For students like Breanne Kruse, sophomore in biology and secondary education, who have decided to become teachers after coming to K-State, this extra focus is promising.
“As a student who recently changed my major and went through the process of deciding to become a teacher, it’s helpful to know that I’ll be receiving a higher quality education,” Kruse said. “I’ll be using that education in my future career.”
In addition to the College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Education, the College of Engineering is now ranked number 94 compared to number 99 in 2015.
“I’ve had an excellent experience in the College of Engineering since I was a freshman,” Tyler Hieber, junior in mechanical engineering, said. “The faculty is extremely excellent and helpful. I believe phase four of construction – bringing all the disciplines together in one building – is really showing that our program is worth while.”
Overall, K-State’s schools are rising in the national rankings and are trying to better themselves. As Allen said, the ranking is not the reason for the improvement, but the quality of education provided is.