Aug. 18, 2010 COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
WTAMU Earns Top Tier Ranking in America's Best Colleges List
CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University has earned a spot in the coveted top tier of the Best Regional Public Universities-West category in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges. WTAMU ranked 30th in Regional Public Universities to mark its first-time appearance on the prestigious list.
Every year U.S. News and World Report gathers information on colleges and universities across the United States to compile the annual best college list. The 572 regional universities are split into four regions, and colleges and universities within those regions are ranked on graduation retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. Texas is one of the 15 states included in the West Region, and WTAMU joins such Texas universities as Texas State University—San Marcos, Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, University of Texas—San Antonio, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M International University and University of Texas—Tyler on the Regional Public Universities listing. A sampling of regional universities on the list includes California State Polytechnic University—Pomona, California State University—Fullerton, San Jose State University, Boise State University and Weber State University.
For the 2011 top tier listing, WTAMU has shown improvement in four of the six indicators used to determine ranking. Since 2007, WTAMU has consistently moved up in the rankings and saw one-year improvements in the graduation retention rate (from 83 to 80), faculty resources (98 to 92), financial resources (66 to 63) and alumni giving (81 to 77).
Reaching top tier status has been a major goal of Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien since his inauguration as WTAMU’s president in 2006. An objective in the University’s five-year plan for 2006-2011 was to reach Tier 2 status in the U.S. News and World Report rankings by 2011. Achieving top tier status in 2010 is a milestone accomplishment for the University and for O’Brien.
“When I first arrived, I was continually told that WT was a gem in the rough. I knew that to be true,” O’Brien said. “What we needed to do at that time was establish a plan to polish the gem and then provide the resources to carry out the plan. Through the involvement of the entire University community, we have been executing that plan and fruits of our efforts are coming to bear. The entire WT community is to be applauded for this accomplishment.”
West Texas A&M University is a member of The Texas A&M University System and the primary source for higher education, research and service for the Texas Panhandle region. The University offers a doctoral program in agriculture, 45 master’s degree programs and 60 baccalaureate degree programs to a growing population of approximately 7,700 students.