Henderson named a top public regional university

Henderson State University has been named one of the top public regional universities in the south in the latest U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) rankings.

The university improved to No. 37 among the public universities in the south that focus on undergraduate education, up from No. 42 last year. In addition, Henderson State is once again listed among the top three public universities in the state who received a Tier I ranking (No. 91) among the south’s regional universities.

“We are pleased that Henderson has once again been recognized as an outstanding public university in the south,” said President Glen Jones. “Many of the students we serve are from the south and are looking for a high-quality and affordable educational experience. Our improved ranking demonstrates that we continue to be a top choice for our students and their families.”

Henderson State’s first-time freshmen class is one of the most academically prepared in recent history with average ACT scores of 21.9, topping state and national averages. Additionally, the high school grade point average for Henderson’s freshman class is 3.23.

“Henderson’s strategic plan, developed two years ago, is centered on student success,” Jones said. “Our campus has consistently demonstrated a deep concern for the personal and academic well-being of our students, as reflected in our commitment to make decisions that are always in their best interest.”

In 2015, new residence halls modernized student housing on the campus, and increased academic advising improved student retention. This academic year the university has enhanced its academic programs with several new degree programs including a bachelor of science in criminal justice, an online R.N. to B.S.N. program for nursing, minors in museum studies and public administration/public management, as well as several undergraduate certificates in business.

In addition to its latest USNWR ranking, Henderson State has been recognized several times in the past year (http://www.hsu.edu/Affordability/Rankings.html) for providing exceptional value and outstanding scholarships for students and families who choose the university. Among those evaluations of Henderson State’s offerings are the National Council on Teacher Quality’s best-in-Arkansas teacher preparation program, and the USNWR rank of fifth in the nation for the percentage of students who pursue an advanced degree within a year of attaining their undergraduate degrees.

To rank colleges (http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-us-news-calculated-the-rankings), USNWR first categorizes each school based on its mission (research university or liberal arts college, for example) and, in some cases, its location (North, South, Midwest and West). Once schools have been assigned a category, the organization gathers data from each college on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence, including retention, graduation and acceptance rates.