Topics: Miller College of Business, Administrative

September 13, 2011

In its latest college rankings, U.S. News & World Report is acknowledging Ball State University's strategic efforts to strengthen its academic programs, upgrade facilities and focus on ensuring first-year students' success.

The national news magazine released its rankings Sept. 13 in its 2012 America's Best Colleges edition, on the heels of The Princeton Review naming Ball State one of the best in the Midwest for the seventh year. The university's undergraduate entrepreneurship program also continues to be listed among the nation's best.

In the "Up-and-Comers" category, Ball State was tied for eighth place among universities and colleges "that are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, and student life."

"We are pleased with Ball State's multiple citations by U.S. News & World Report," said Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora. "Our ranking of eighth in the list of up-and-coming schools confirms that our innovative approach to everything from academics to campus facilities is being recognized."

Ball State's efforts to integrate first-year students to campus through a variety of programs, including Freshman Connections, were recognized by the magazine for the eighth consecutive year.

The university was listed among 18 institutions that excel in making students feel connected to the campus by building into the curriculum first-year seminars or other academic programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.

The recognition is a reflection of how more and more Ball State freshmen are making successful transitions from high school to college and from their freshman year to their sophomore year,  Gora said.

"Increasing Ball State's retention rate is an important element of our Education Redefined strategic plan," she said, and "our retention rate this fall is close to 80 percent, up more than 5 percentage points from 2006. This has led to our largest on-campus enrollment in eight years, even as we continue to be highly selective and raise our admission standards."

Entrepreneurship ranked among nation's best

Ball State's nationally recognized entrepreneurship program was tied with St. Louis University for 13th place in this year's Best Colleges issue. Since 1999, U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked the program among the nation's best.

In the last year, the program transformed its student experience with an infusion of technological advancements through Military 2 Market (M2M), a partnership between Ball State, the Department of Defense and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), which operates a research-centered facility about 70 miles southwest of Indianapolis. Four new companies have been started by students in the last few months.

U.S. News & World Report featured M2M as first among 10 "College Classes That Impact the Outside World" earlier this year. The program was also highlighted in the August issue of the National Defense Industry Association's business and technology magazine, National Defense Magazine.

"We're very honored to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report again," said Michael Goldsby, executive director of Ball State's Entrepreneurship Center and the Stoops distinguished professor of entrepreneurship. "The ranking reflects the ongoing efforts we make at Ball State in preparing our students for the demands of the 21st century business world. We will continue to innovate in how we teach entrepreneurship at Ball State."