UConn’s Neag School of Education rose for the third consecutive year to No. 26 in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report Rankings.
Neag ranked No. 16 among public universities, and four of the school’s specialty programs were ranked among the top 20 private and public programs in the nation. In total, 376 schools were ranked.
Richard Schwab, Dean of Neag School of Education, said that the rankings validate his belief that Neag is a great school.
“To be in the top 20 public universities is a heck of an honor,” Schwab said. “The rankings aren’t perfect, but they at least take a look at important aspects of any program.”
The rankings were based on 10 criteria including selectivity rate, research activity and student-to-faculty ratio.
Neag’s Special Education, Educational Psychology, Secondary Teacher Education and Educational Administration and Supervision programs all ranked among the top 20 public and private programs in the U.S.
Schwab said he puts weight on the rankings, but there is a lot of work that the program does that is not considered in the rankings.
“Our programs do a tremendous amount of community outreach,” he said. “It is important to look at our research productivity and student selectivity, but we also have students in schools throughout the state who make a difference everyday.”
Neag students are required to teach in Connecticut schools as part of their education, but community outreach was not considered as part of U.S. News and World Report Rankings.
Jessica Stargardter, a fourth year Neag student and administrative assistant for the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, said the most important part of her education has been her experience as a teacher at L.W. Batchelder Elementary School in Hartford, Connecticut.
“Nothing compares to working in the classroom,” Stargardter said. “It is incredibly challenging but rewarding… I’ve learned more from actually teaching than anything.”
Stargardter is an elementary education student, a program within Neag’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
There are a number of academic programs within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Neag’s other two departments: educational psychology and educational leadership.
“I see our school as a symphony and we need every instrument, every department to play its part well and they do,” Schwab said. “[Neag’s success] is a combination of the people who do incredible research and our clinical faculty who do work in Hartford with our future teachers.”
Jon Hull is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.