CESS now among top 60 graduate schools in the nation and No. 6 in New England

The College of Education and Social Services (CESS) jumped nine positions in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings and is now among the top 60 nationally.

The new rankings, based on survey responses from 256 of the 379 institutions that grant doctoral degrees in education, places UVM at No. 57 overall, putting it among the top public schools in the Northeast, and No. 6 in New England for both public and private institutions. CESS was ranked No. 66 last year and No. 67 in 2015.

Harvard tops the annual list that uses 10 criteria to determine its rankings with research activity and peer reputation given the most weight. CESS Dean Scott Thomas, a leading international scholar and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Higher Education, the oldest and most distinguished journal in higher education, has been encouraging renewed commitment to external communication and faculty research since he became dean on July 1, 2016.

"These rankings do provide an indication of the College's performance on a number of dimensions," said Thomas, who followed current Associate Dean Cindy Gerstl-Pepin after she served as interim dean for one year. "The largest components in the rankings are peer assessments of a college's scholarly impact and the assessments of those who employ our alumni. Being ranked so highly in our region is a testament to the outstanding work of our faculty and alumni. Our research profile continues to strengthen along with our extramural grant support and I expect we will continue to see very favorable rankings in the years ahead."

Other key metrics used to determine rankings included standardized test scores, student-faculty ratios, grade-point averages of incoming students, faculty resources, and the aforementioned assessment scores by education school deans and superintendents of K-12 school districts. “The University of Vermont ranked highly for the mean verbal GRE score and student-faculty ratio,” said Kenneth Hines, data analyst for U.S. News & World Report. 

CESS has 39 full-time faculty members on staff with a 10:1 ratio of full-time equivalent doctoral students to full-time faculty, according to the publication. It offers master’s degrees in the following areas: counseling; curriculum and instruction; early childhood and special education; educational leadership; higher education and student affairs administration; interdisciplinary studies; middle level education, secondary education; social work; and special education. Ph.D and Ed.D degrees are also offered in educational leadership and policy studies.