U.S. News & World Report has released its 2015 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings, and the University of Montevallo is once again ranked as the No. 1 public master’s-level university in Alabama, a distinction it has held each year since 2008.
According to the 2015 rankings, released Sept. 9, 2014, Montevallo is again listed as the 15th best public university in the South in its division and 37th overall in the South, up 22 spots from its 2007 ranking. Schools in 12 states make up the South geographic region.
Montevallo earned high marks for academic reputation, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, entering freshmen test scores, small class sizes and low student-faculty ratio.
“We are proud that Montevallo has again been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top universities in the Southeast,” stated UM President John W. Stewart III. “It is especially gratifying to be recognized for the intimate, teaching-centered experience we offer. This is one measure of validation that our precious mission has endured and remains strong. Our faculty and staff work hard every day to keep tuition costs within reach of our families and to ensure that a Montevallo education remains as valuable, timely and substantive as ever.”
For the third consecutive year, the University of Montevallo has been named a College of Distinction. Montevallo is the only public university in Alabama to receive this recognition for 2014-2015.
Founded in 1999, Colleges of Distinction is a web-based guide for high school juniors and seniors seeking a school that is nationally recognized and highly recommended by professionals in the field of education. Colleges and universities are nominated for participation by high school counselors and must excel in four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
The methodology to select a school includes both qualitative and quantitative information. Interviews are conducted with college admission experts, faculty and staff at each accepted college, administrators at other colleges and high school counselors. Also considered are graduation rates, classroom size and other statistics that reflect the four distinctions.
“Montevallo was selected for providing an innovative, teacher-centered undergraduate education with a strong record of preparing its graduates for real-world success,” stated Colleges of Distinction Founder Wes Creel in a letter noting UM’s inclusion for 2014-2015.
In order to engage students, the University of Montevallo offers a variety of learning experiences such as undergraduate research, study abroad and study away, internships and more. Learning is frequently “hands-on,” and faculty work with students to develop not only as scholars, but also as responsible and productive citizens.
Graduates of Colleges of Distinction are recognized both by graduate schools and employers as being well prepared for the next step in their careers, and placement records are high. Alumni also tend to remain engaged long after graduation.
“We are very pleased to be included in this prestigious ranking,” stated UM President John W. Stewart III. “In their deliberations, Colleges of Distinction assigns tremendous weight to the enterprise of teaching and learning. Many of the institutions they include are elite, private colleges. As Alabama’s public liberal-arts university, Montevallo stands as a unique model for quality and affordability in higher education, offering a small, private-college experience for the cost of a state institution.”
The University of Montevallo has welcomed a new registrar, Daniel Strickland, formerly assistant university registrar at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He assumed his new duties Aug. 4.
Strickland holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA, both from Spring Hill College in Mobile.
Prior to his time at UA, Strickland had served as assistant registrar at Spring Hill College where he also taught courses in management science and business statistics.
“I’m very pleased to join the Montevallo family and am happy to once again be working in a small liberal arts setting,” Strickland said. “As registrar, my primary focus will be to provide quality and efficient service to students, faculty and the entire campus community.”
Suzanne Ozment, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Montevallo, stated, “Daniel Strickland brings to UM nearly a decade of relevant higher education experience as well as a keen appreciation for the mission and values of a small liberal arts college.”
|Students in the Summer Harvest class at UM stayed busy with projects ranging from planting to building a labyrinth to making scarecrows to protect their planting efforts.|
During the summer, raised bed garden plots were built at the Montevallo Housing Authority (MHA) (also known as Crow Village) thanks to a grant secured by Hollie Cost, director of UM’s Service Learning Program. Residents will soon be able to grow some of their own food, helping them to become more self-sufficient. The MHA plans to partner with UM Service Learning and the Montevallo High School FFA program to help residents take full advantage of this opportunity, as well as to provide an avenue for the different community groups to interact.
During the month of July, UM’s Summer Harvest Class picked and donated 650 pounds of produce, making a grand total of 930 pounds of donated food for 2014, as of Aug. 1.
Montevallo’s continued focus on sustainability is evident through our many green initiatives, including UM’s Environmental Studies program, Green Fund, our two community gardens and the bike-sharing program.