Last year, the U.S. News & World Report ranked Drake as one of the top colleges of 2023.
U.S. News annually gathers data from colleges across the nation to provide a guide of statistics for students to look at when considering universities. The statistics examined include admissions data, graduation rates, faculty information, graduate indebtedness and social mobility.
“We calculated 10 distinct overall rankings where colleges and universities were grouped by their academic missions. For each ranking, the sum of weighted, normalized values across 17 indicators of academic quality determine each school’s overall score and, by extension, its overall rank,” according to the U.S. News and World Report website.
Among these rankings, Drake was tied at 66th in Best Undergraduate Teaching, tied at 68th for Most Innovative Schools and ranked 71st in Best Value Schools.
Overall, Drake was tied for 137th out of the 443 national universities being considered. This is similar to rankings in the past, with Drake tying at 136th in the 2022 rankings and placing 124th in the 2021 rankings.
Kevin Saunders, Drake’s director of institutional research and assessment, responds each year to the U.S. News survey, along with other close colleagues, by sharing Drake’s data with the U.S. News and reviewing the results on how to improve numbers like student graduation rates.
“These designations affirm Drake’s commitment to its mission and success in providing high quality learning experiences,” Saunders said. “In addition, they affirm the high value of a Drake education. Not only does Drake offer outstanding quality, but it does so in a way that attends to cost and access. We see this success reflected in other metrics such as our student accomplishment data or the salary earnings of alumni.”
Drake’s School of Education was given high praise with a 100% graduation rate.
“The School of Education’s biggest curriculum-related strength is our faculty,” said Dean of Drake’s School of Education Ryan Wise. “They couple expertise in the subject matter through their research with the practical experience of having taught in K-12 schools. Our faculty are both scholars and experienced practitioners who also have deep relationships with educators across the Des Moines metro area as well as statewide. These attributes are incredibly beneficial to our students.”
Although Drake is high in the rankings, faculty and others are always striving for improvement.
“We know that Drake continues to build on its success through new and expanded endeavors such as Bright College, the partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, Community Engaged Learning and Global Learning experiences,” Saunders said. “Campaign priorities, including Every Bulldog a Changemaker, University for All and Digital Proficiency Platform, provide additional examples of Drake demonstrating innovation.”
Although tied at 403rd place for Top Performers on Social Mobility, Sanders commented on Drake’s mission to put their students first and to create opportunity for everyone.
“Our institutional mission commits us to promoting student success. Drake continues to monitor areas of need related to student retention and graduation,” Saunders said. “While Drake’s overall performance is above national averages, we recognize areas of need to reduce discrepancies across student populations. Some current initiatives align with this need including restructuring of academic advising and the development of an improvement initiative that centers on promoting student success.”