The College of Education at Lehigh University increased its rankings to 37th in "America’s Best Graduate Schools" for 2003. The list is compiled by U.S. News and World Report and published annually. This was a two-place climb from its 2002 ranking and the College of Education has moved up 22 places in the last four years.
Graduate programs at 188 education schools granting doctoral degrees were surveyed and ranked according to reputation among deans of education and graduate schools, and school superintendents, student selectivity, and faculty research activity.
The college educates graduate students in six program areas: counseling psychology, educational leadership, educational technology, school psychology, special education, and technology-based teacher education. A key factor in the college continuing to ascend the rankings is student academic selectivity. Dean Sally White commented, "The quality of graduate students that Lehigh attracts is of the highest caliber. This year, we rank sixth in the nation behind Stanford, Harvard, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Pennsylvania, and New York University. To be in this elite group is testimony to the faculty and its achievements."
According to White, the college offers graduate students the opportunity to collaborate on grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and Andrew Mellon Foundation. "This greatly impacts the number and caliber of applicants, and allows us to choose only the best," says White.
White was appointed dean last year and brings experience as a higher education leader, and more recently, as an e-solutions consultant.
The college also saw a significant change in its reputation among superintendents. White believes this is due to the philosophy of the faculty. "The faculty has truly embraced the scientist-practitioner model and provides the highest quality of education to the students. Those students who are involved with school-based settings and receive degrees from Lehigh, leave with the latest best practices in their disciplines," White says. "This translates into competent professionals who are highly sought-after and have very positive feelings toward Lehigh and the college."
Several graduates and current students of Lehigh’s College of Education have received national recognition for their achievements, including the MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year, Pennsylvania’s Principal of the Year; student awards presented by the American Psychological Association, and Council for Exceptional Children. "The future is very bright for the college," says White, "and we look to continue our success."
Joanne C. Anderson