University of South Carolina

U.S. News lauds international business, student-success programs

University of South Carolina students begin classes Thursday (Aug. 20) at an institution that has been cited for innovation in academics, facilities and programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” guide.

The university appeared in a section along with 18 other national universities, including the University of Southern California, identified as having made “the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus, or facilities.” The university ranked No. 11, tied with Clemson University, Rice University and Emory University and ahead of Ohio State University and North Carolina State University.

The citation was one of several accolades for the university included in the annual college guide.

The Darla Moore School of Business’ undergraduate program in international business earned the No. 1 ranking for the 13th consecutive year. The school itself, which ranked 42nd for overall business education nationally, was 24th among business schools at public institutions.

U.S. News also ranked the university’s First-Year Experience and Learning Communities among the best in the nation in its “Programs to Look For” section. The designation is for schools with outstanding examples of academic programs linked to student success.

University President Harris Pastides said the accolades recognize the successful efforts of faculty and staff to offer students an exceptional educational experience.

“The U.S. News guide comes as colleges and universities throughout the United States are striving to offer the best possible education in a time of declining resources,” he said. “These rankings are proof that Carolina students will have a solid foundation for their futures.”

The international business ranking follows an announcement earlier this month that the school has raised $44.7 million, exceeding its fundraising goal to match a gift from its benefactor, university alumnus Darla Moore.

“Since its inception, the university’s undergraduate program in international business has been a national leader,” Pastides said. “Our university friends, alumni, parents and students have supported our business school, and we have worked hard to earn their allegiance.”

U.S. News recognized the best “Learning Communities,” where students typically take two or more linked courses as a group and get to know one another and their professors. The Honors Residence Hall that opened this semester is an example of the 18 living-and-learning communities throughout campus, including Green (West) Quad, the world’s largest “green” residence hall, Preston Residential College, the French House and the Capstone Scholars Community.

Dr. Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for academic support, said being featured in the U.S. News’ ranking of Learning Communities is recognition of the university’s vision more than a decade ago to establish vibrant academic experiences beyond the classroom.

“Today, our living-and-learning communities are an integral part of the Carolina experience,” Pruitt said. “Students have the opportunity to learn from other students and faculty in an integrated learning environment where both in – and beyond – the – classroom experiences enhance their personal and academic success.”

The university’s First-Year Experience, singled out by U.S. News, is supported by the pioneering University 101 program, which has been emulated by universities and colleges around the world. The university also is home to The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

“I’m thrilled to see that the university is being recognized not only for opportunities that we offer to students in the classroom, but also those which are offered for the overall experience of the student,” said Meredith Ross, student body president.

Ross, who is a senior from Spartanburg, said she personally has benefited from the university’s learning communities.

“I believe that such programs make a student easily feel at home at such a big school – it is a wonderful way in which the university gives students more exclusive attention while still providing them with all that a large research institution has to offer,” she said.

Among all national universities, the university ranks No. 110 and is 55th among public universities.

U.S. News rankings

  • International Business Program -- Undergraduate program ranked No. 1 for the 13th year in a row.
  • Institutional progress -- University listed among 19 national universities identified as having made “the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus, or facilities.”
  • First-Year Experience, Learning Communities -- Both listed among nation's best in “Programs to Look For” section, which recognizes schools with outstanding examples of academic programs linked to student success.
  • The Darla Moore School of Business -- No. 42 overall for business education, 24th among public institutions.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 08/20/09 @ 12:05 AM | Updated: 09/01/09 @ 5:10 PM | Permalink