Guide cites two UCCS grade programs as national leaders

Two graduate-level programs at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are among the nation’s best, according to the editors of U.S. News and World Report.

In the 2010 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools, scheduled for publication in the May 2009 issue of U.S. News and World Report, the graduate-level nursing program offered by the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences and a graduate-level public affairs program offered at the university were recognized based on the magazine’s analysis of programs at colleges from across the nation.

The master’s of nursing program at UCCS was ranked 72 nationally, tied with 22 other public and private colleges and universities including programs offered at Baylor University, Brigham Young University, Georgia State University, San Diego State University and the University of Delaware. The nursing program at the University of Colorado Denver, ranked 15. The two CU programs are the only graduate nursing programs in Colorado ranked by U.S. News.

The top public affairs schools ranking included the School of Public Affairs which offers courses at the University of Colorado Denver, UCCS and in Grand Junction. The program ranked 32 nationally and tied with three other schools including programs offered at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Kentucky.

“We are proud of this recognition of two of our programs and the opportunity to draw attention to the work of faculty and staff over many years,” Jenenne Nelson, dean, Graduate School said.

Nancy Smith, dean, Beth-El College of Nursing, said the ranking reflected the university’s commitment to students as well as its unique efforts that allow students to pursue advanced degrees. The college offers an accelerated nursing program, on-line courses, and recently established a cooperative effort with Lamar Community College that allows students in Lamar to complete degrees at UCCS.

“The demand for nurses is high,” Smith said. “But the demand must be met with nurses who possess outstanding academic and personal skills. This recognition shows that we are meeting the highest standards.”

Terry Schwartz, associate dean, School of Public Affairs said the ranking showed the respect earned by graduates who have entered professions as varied as state, federal, and municipal government, non-profit management and both health and environmental policy management.

“Graduates of the School of Public Affairs demonstrate daily the quality of the program as they apply classroom principles to challenges that face their organizations,” Schwartz said. “Recognition by U.S. News and by other academic leaders validates what our graduates and currently enrolled students already know.”

A total of 28 CU programs were recognized by the magazine including programs in medicine, law, physics and chemistry.

The annual rankings are based on expert opinion about program quality or a combination of expert opinion and statistical indicators. The magazine assessed more than 1,200 programs nationwide and surveyed some 11,000 academic and professional experts in fall 2008. U.S. News and World Report will publish ranking highlights in its May edition, available on newsstands April 28. The rankings will be available at

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