Thirteen Years As Oklahoma's Highest Rated College
August 18, 2006
For the 13th straight year, Oklahoma Baptist University is the state’s highest rated comprehensive college in the U.S.News & World Report annual rankings of “America’s Best Colleges.” OBU has made the news magazine's "top 10" in its category for 15 consecutive years.
In the 2007 rankings, released August 18, OBU is listed fifth among “Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s” for the western region. Linfield College, a private institution in McMinnville, Ore., was rated first in the 16-state region with a score of 100. OBU was one of five colleges clustered within a two-point span, filling the next four slots in the ranking. Carroll College (Mont.) and The Master’s College and Seminary (Calif.) tied for second, followed by Brigham Young University-Hawaii in third. OBU and Texas Lutheran University tied for fifth. OBU had been listed #2 in the West for the five previous years.
“The continued 'top 10' ranking is welcome news at the start of a new academic year,” said OBU President Mark Brister. “While it is solely an external affirmation of OBU’s educational product, it is a reminder that our graduation rate, our small class sizes, and the academic accomplishments of our incoming students are very strong.”
“Our faculty members are committed to classroom instruction in a distinctively Christian setting,” said Brister. “They are to be commended for helping OBU maintain a reputation for quality liberal arts education.
“This is a collective effort, involving students, faculty, staff and administrators, to provide quality liberal arts education that is distinctively Christian. It is very nice, indeed, to receive external recognition for things that are a natural part of who we are,” said Dr. Debbie Blue, OBU interim senior vice president for academic affairs.
The 2007 rankings will appear in the August 28 edition of U.S.News & World Report, which will be available on newsstands Monday, August 21. The annual U.S. News “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook will be released the same day.
OBU has been listed among the magazine’s top 10 colleges in the West for 15 years in a row, and for 17 of the past 18 years.
The only other Oklahoma institution listed in the Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s category Top 10 was Oklahoma Christian University, ranked tenth. Oklahoma Wesleyan University was ranked 12th.
The U.S. News rankings for comprehensive colleges-bachelor’s are based on six categories: peer assessment (25 percent), graduation and retention rates (25 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), and alumni giving (five percent.) Among the top 10 schools in the region, OBU tied for fourth in “peer assessment” of the institution’s overall quality, tied for third in average graduation rate, and was third in the percentage of incoming freshmen who place in the top 25 percent of their high school class. In the group, OBU tied with Linfield for the highest percentage of faculty members who are full-time educators, with each school reporting 85 percent.
The magazine describes Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s as institutions which “focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs – in the liberal arts, which account for fewer than half of their bachelor’s degrees; and in professional fields such as business, nursing, and education.” The magazine rated 320 comprehensive colleges, ranked within four regions: North, South, Midwest, and West.
OBU consists of five academic schools – the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, the Paul Dickinson School of Business and the School of Nursing. OBU offers 78 academic areas of study, with 10 degree programs. The University has a 15-to-1 student/faculty ratio.
In addition to the U.S. News ranking for 2007, OBU also was one of 150 institutions listed as “America’s Best College Values” in a report released in April by The Princeton Review.