Huntsville, Ala. ---- Among its peer institutions, Alabama A&M University is the highest ranked historically black college or university (HBCU) in the nation for social mobility according to the 2012 college rankings of the Washington Monthly magazine.
Among the nation’s universities classified as “master’s universities,” Alabama A&M University ranks 24th in the nation. Under the category for “master’s universities,” three other HBCUs make the top 100, North Carolina Central University ranks 26th; Fayetteville State University, also in North Carolina, places 76th, while Grambling State University in Louisiana ranks 85th.
Rather than using prestige, selectivity in admissions, and resources to rank institutions, the rankings ask the question, “What are colleges doing for the country?” The Washington Monthly rankings are based on three factors. The first is social mobility, which gives colleges credit for enrolling many low-income students and helping them earn degrees. The second recognizes research production, particularly at schools whose undergraduates go on to earn PhDs. Third, the magazine values a commitment to service.
“The rankings confirms and validates our commitment to access and opportunity and our effectiveness in graduating students,” says President Andrew Hugine.
In this year’s rankings (published in the September-October 2012 issue), according to the magazine’s editors, the social mobility measure that recognizes colleges with better-than-expected graduation rates also takes into account the cost of attending the institution. As a result, “Colleges that are both effective and inexpensive get the highest marks.”
“Our goal is to continue to provide a quality education at an affordable cost and this national ranking is a testament to what our students can expect,” says Dr. Hugine.
In their introductory essay, the editors draw a contrast between the Washington Monthly approach and those of other rankings. “Our national rankings are far more hospitable to what sometimes seems like an endangered species: accessible, affordable, high-quality public universities.”
The Washington monthly’s full report can be viewed at:
- Jerome Saintjones