The U.S. News & World Report (USNWP) has once again, placed SUNY New Paltz among the top universities in the Northern region this year.
In the category for “Top Public Regional Universities” SUNY New Paltz ranked at No. 10, No. 41 in the category for “Best Regional Universities North Rankings”, No. 60 for “Best Value Schools” and No. 22 for “Best Colleges for Veterans.” SUNY New Paltz also earned a spot among the “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.”
The report has “earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its leaders by focusing on health, personal finance, education, travel, cars, news and opinion.” The USNWP website also offers tools along with their college rankings; one tool allows users to compare colleges side by side, and the other is called the “College Compass” which grants access to all of the U.S News best colleges ranking data. The college comparison, “College Compass”, and periodical college rankings help users thoroughly explore their options for college.
According to vice president for enrollment management, L. David Eaton the rankings are based on factors like the universities’ graduation rates, retention rates, and the academic performance of current students. He claims that the “high value of a New Paltz education” along with the academic achievements of students are the most significant aspects of SUNY New Paltz that influenced the rankings. Eaton states “the academic preparation of our students and the extraordinary level of academic success that our students achieve are among the most influential characteristics that drive such recognition.”
Eaton went on to explain that the recognition of SUNY New Paltz promotes a positive reputation for the college.
“This third-party validation emphasizes that our academic standards remain as high as ever, and points to the college’s growing reputation as a premier public institution in the northeast,” Eaton said.
New Paltz’s engineering program also ranked at No. 134 out of 205 other universities. For a college to appear on the U.S News & World Report’s ranking for “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” the school must have an undergraduate engineering program accredited by ABET.
The chair of SUNY New Paltz’s engineering department, Dr Julio Gonzalez attributes the program’s success in the rankings to what he calls the “right distribution of tasks” and his faculty.
“What I’ve done as the chair, I don’t want to take any credit other than inspiring many faculty to work together,” Gonzalez said. “They come to the open house, they do their presentations of their work and we have many young professors; very energetic doing a lot of research with undergraduates. I think the credit goes to them.”
He mentioned professors like Kevin Shanley, Jared Nelson and Reena Dahle who, according to Gonzalez received an award from SUNY for her distinguished work in helping undergraduates conduct research projects.
Dr. Gonzalez said his goal for the engineering program is to teach students how to study independently so they then can learn in the fast-paced learning environment of graduate schools.
“Once students learn how to study by themselves then its okay,” Gonzalez said. “If you graduate and know how to study by yourself you have a free mind, you can learn from textbooks, you can learn from peers, at work; that’s exactly what our aim is.”