UM moves up ranks in “America’s Best Colleges”

The University of Montevallo has spread its reputation to the national level, receiving distinction as one of the country’s best colleges.

The university received top rankings in the state and the region in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 “America’s Best Colleges” report released Aug. 17.

The university was once again named the top public master’s-level university in Alabama, said Cynthia Shackelford, director of public relations for the university.

The university’s master’s program was also listed in the top 20 in the South.

UM was ranked the 15th best public university in the South, moving up from last year’s ranking of 16.

“We were very pleased to learn that the University of Montevallo had moved up in the rankings in the 2011 edition,” said Dr. Terry Roberson, provost and vice president for academic affairs at UM.

The rankings were based on the university’s high marks for academic reputation, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, entering freshmen test scores and class rank, small class sizes and low student-faculty ratio.

The report found that in 2009, 0.4 percent of the university’s classes had more than 50 students and 52.4 percent had less than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate was 74.2 percent.

Shackelford said the rankings speak to the hard work of the whole university.

“We are grateful to our faculty, staff, students and alumni for helping us attain these recognitions,” Roberson said.