April 13, 2006

Workforce education earns national ranking

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Graduate education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale gained national recognition in U.S. News & World Report's annual guide to the country's best graduate schools.

The Department of Workforce Education and Development in the College of Education and Human Services ranked as one of the country's 10 top specialty programs.

Rankings from the weekly news magazine's 2007 "America's Best Graduate Schools" guide appear on the magazine's Web site at www.usnews.com and in the April 10 issue.

"Workforce education is very deserving of recognition and we are obviously pleased with the ranking," John M. Dunn, provost and vice chancellor, said. "The quality of SIUC's faculty and staff in this and many other programs is commendable."

SIUC's workforce education department ranked with such schools as The Ohio State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M University in vocational and technical education.

U.S. News specialty ratings in education come from nominations by education school deans and deans of graduate studies, who can name up to 10 programs in each of 10 categories. The guide lists those with the most votes.

John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and dean of the graduate school, said that because education specialty nominations originate with deans from across the country, they serve as a good indication of the excellent reputation enjoyed by the workforce education department and the excellent work of its faculty and graduate students.

"I am very proud that the program has achieved this recognition," he said. "Southern@150 targets such excellence campus wide, and this program can be a model for others to follow."

Overall data for this year's graduate school guide came from surveys conducted last fall of more than 1,200 programs and approximately 9,600 academics and other professionals.

Achieving excellence in graduate and professional programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.