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Subject: US News & World Report
Ranking Places LCSC at Top in Category/Tier Ranking
Contact: Office of the President - 208/792-2216
LCSC Lands Top Spot in Annual College Ranking
Good news followed on the heels of good news for Lewis-Clark State College this month.
After reporting important gains in student enrollment, the college found itself at the top
of the list of comprehensive Bachelor's degree-offering public schools, published by U.S.
News and World Report last week.
In the pool of 37 public and private western region schools, Lewis-Clark State is listed
in the third tier. Among the seven public schools in the category, LCSC tied for first
place. The "comprehensive college - Bachelor's" rankings are for public colleges
that focus on undergraduate education and offer degree programs ranging from liberal arts
to professional fields. Criteria for ranking include the school's academic reputation,
retention and graduation rates, average class sizes, student/faculty ratios and alumni
The other top-ranked public schools are: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, tied
for first with LCSC; Western Montana College, Dillon, third; and Metropolitan State
College of Denver, fourth.
With fall enrollment figures giving LCSC the highest percentage growth of all four-year
schools in Idaho, the top place ranking is another banner moment in the college's drive to
demonstrate what it has to offer. The college has approached the new academic year with a
new president and renewed optimism for growth and opportunity that has permeated all
aspects of campus activity.
"We are just elated," said President Dene Thomas. "We know we have a
quality school here: good teachers, great course offerings and all-around good value for a
student's education dollar. Placing so high in the U.S. News and World Report rankings is
part of verifying it."
Every year the magazine ranks accredited colleges and universities with at least 200
students. First, schools are grouped in ten peer categories related to mission, emphasis
(graduate/undergraduate studies, research, etc.) and location (North, South, Midwest and
West). Then data is collected from 16 areas related to academic excellence.
Each of these indicators is assigned a "weight," which is expressed as a
percentage. Colleges are ranked according to their composite weighted score. U.S. News and
World Report then publishes the numeric rank of top schools in each category, and then in
tiers based on overall score in their category.
Scores of some of the region's schools slipped in this year's report, possibly due to a
change in categories used by the magazine in the evaluation process. Thomas was
comfortable with L-C's placement in the new categories. "We tell students we are a
small, supportive institution with quality programs, and this reinforces that
The rankings are just one of many tools prospective students and their families may use to
evaluate options for post-secondary education. Academic and professional goals, financial
resources, individual preferences and special needs are also important determining factors
when choosing a college or university. More information on the ranking process is
available from the US News & World Report web site at: www.usnews.com.