GV's masters program ranks 30th in nation
By Alyssa Rettelle
Grand Valley State University was ranked 30th in the nation in the “Best Master’s Universities” category in Washington Monthly’s annual college report for its contribution to the public good. This is up two spots from last year’s report.
According to the report, the rankings are based on three criteria: civic engagement, research and social mobility. Gayle Davis, the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Grand Valley, is excited about the improved ranking.
“It is very gratifying to us to be acknowledged in this most recent way by Washington Monthly, in affirmation of our student-centered culture and mission,” she said. “We have strategically and judiciously allocated resources to all the specific areas mentioned in the rankings in order to fulfill our commitment to our students and our community.”
Corey Anton, a professor at GVSU, has taught several different Master’s courses during his 16 years at the university and said he has noticed the improvements over time.
“Not only has the university itself over the years implemented increasingly rigorous standards for graduate faculty, but the graduate student population seems a bit more robust, more international and just more high-power overall,” he said.
“Because Grand Valley has grown rather quickly over the last decade – bringing in amazingly talented and productive scholars – there are more and more people capable of graduate instruction. Also, there is more interest and demand in the area. My guess is that some of the new programs downtown likely had something to do with the gain in national attention.”
In the future, Anton expects the trend will continue.
“Many people realize that they will need a Master’s degree to advance in their employment,” he said. “Others simply want to continue to expand their horizons. Grand Valley is a special place and people who come here can sense it right away.”
GVSU ranked first in the nation in the community service subcategory, which factors in participation and hours served. Nazareth College, N.Y., Wheelock College, Mass., Keuka College, N.Y. and S. Arkansas University trailed close behind.
Thomas Haas, president of GVSU, appreciates Washington Monthly highlighting the school.
“Recognition by Washington Monthly through the criteria used represents our commitment to the communities and the positive outcomes where we serve,” he said. “In fact, one of my watchwords in keeping with our mission is service. Community for us stretches way beyond our campuses. Grand Valley students performed more than one million community service hours last year and the work continues.
“They clean up roadways and parks…they work with younger students who are struggling…and they volunteer at food banks and donation sites. I appreciate Washington Monthly magazine highlighting us first in the nation when it comes to community service, and overall rating of 30th in the nation.”
Additionally, GVSU took the 11th spot in the service staff, courses and financial aid support subcategory. Lesley University, Mass., Nazareth College, N.Y., Seattle University, Wash., Whitworth University, Wash. and Wheelock College, Mass. took first through fifth respectively.