U departments decorated with high rankings

by Kelly Hildebrandt

The University’s Department of Educational Psychology ranks seventh nationally, according to an annual study conducted by U.S. News and World Report.
Within the department, which dropped from a third-place ranking last year, counseling ranked number one nationally, while special education ranked third.
The report came out earlier this week and ranks about 200 accredited universities around the country. Last year’s rankings were much the same around the University.
“My hat’s off to the faculty,” said Susan Hupp, chairwoman of educational psychology. “They work really hard with the community which we collaborate with.”
Overall, the College of Education and Human Development, which educational psychology is a part of, ranked tenth — one step up from last year’s report.
“It represents a very strong showing to be among the top 10,” said Steve Yussen, dean of the college of education. He added the ranking is a reflection of a strong faculty and research record.
Yussen said that although they’ve ranked highly for the past couple of years, they don’t take it for granted and continue to strive to retain the best faculty and graduate students possible.
Since the University as a whole is recognized as a strong research institution, Hupp said this draws leaders in the field of educational psychology as faculty members, which in turn creates qualified students.
“As long as we maintain this level of quality, then people want to be here,” Hupp said.
Although the Department of Psychology is only studied biennially, last year it ranked ninth in the country. Within the department, developmental psychology ranked first while clinical psychology came in second.
The psychology department has been in the top 10 for the past five decades, said Eugene Borgida, chairman of the psychology department. However, he adds that he puts more stock into other ranking systems, such as the National Research Counsil.
Borgida said the U.S. News and World Report rankings are questionable because the organization relies partly on reputation. Although this helps the University, some universities that don’t have famous faculty members might still be good schools while not having high reputations.
When ranking the schools, U.S. News and World Report considers placement rates after graduation, starting salaries, undergraduate grade point averages and admission test scores as well as academic reputation.
Among other schools which were ranked, the Carlson School of Management ranked 26th, the Law School ranked 18th and the engineering departments ranked 20th overall, holding steady with last year’s report.