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|Reprinted with permission from the Lewiston Morning
L-C Sits Atop Rankings as West's Best Public College
Wyatt Buchanan - Lewiston Morning Tribune
Lewis-Clark State College tied for first as the best public college in the West, according to rankings released by U.S. News and World Report this week.
The ranking is for public schools that focus on undergraduate education and offer degree programs ranging from liberal arts to professional fields.
"We are just elated," said LCSC President Dene Thomas. "We have really felt we have a quality school here, and this verifies it."
In the pool of public and private schools, LCSC lands in the third tier, or top 28 of 37 Western schools.
But among the seven public schools in the category, LCSC tied for first.
The other top-ranked public schools are: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, first with LCSC; Western Montana College, Dillon, third; and Metropolitan State College of Denver, fourth.
Criteria for the ranking include the school's academic reputation, retention and graduation rates, average class sizes, student/faculty ratios and alumni giving rates.
LCSC will use the ranking as a marketing tool for attracting students, Thomas said.
"We'll use this on just about everything, you better believe. We tell students we are a small, supportive institution with quality programs, and this reinforces that message."
In other good news for the college this week, enrollment figures show LCSC with the highest percentage growth of all four-year schools in the state.
LCSC had a 9.3 percent enrollment increase this fall, compared to Idaho State University, which was up 5 percent, Boise State University, up 4 percent, and the University of Idaho, up 3.7 percent.
The ranking and enrollment increase contribute to a new optimism at the college, which weathered criticism in an accreditation report last year and the resignation of President Jim Hottois.
"We've had lots of wonderful spirit-lifters," said Thomas, who took over the top spot at the college in June from Niel Zimmerman, interim president.
State College, 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501 (208) 792-5272