CULLOWHEE, NC – The latest U.S. News & World Report guide to “America’s Best Colleges” ranks Western Carolina University 10th among public universities in the South that offer master’s degrees.
The list in which WCU is ranked includes higher education institutions that offer a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and that tend to attract most of their students from surrounding states. It is the first time WCU has made the U.S. News top 10 list of southern public master’s institutions.
“Western Carolina has moved steadily up the rankings over the past few years, and we are glad to see that trend continue again this year,” said WCU Chancellor John Bardo. “In recent years, our College of Education and Allied Professions has received two major national honors, and our academic programs in business administration, project management, criminal justice and entrepreneurship have earned high national rankings, so it is obvious that our rising academic quality is becoming known nationally.
“Also, earlier this year, our Pride of the Mountains Marching Band was named recipient of the Sudler Trophy, the ‘Heisman Trophy’ of university marching bands. We think there are plenty of signs that good things are happening in Cullowhee,” Bardo said.
Still, Bardo cautioned prospective students against putting too much stock in rankings when they are making the important decision about where to go to college. “After students narrow down their list of prospective colleges to a handful, they should visit the various campuses to get a feel about which one is right for them,” he said.
Bardo said high school graduates who decide they want to become WCU Catamounts can expect to find some of the nation’s best teachers and researchers, representing a wide variety of academic programs, when they enter the classrooms. Among the faculty are Ron Rash and Robert Conley, two of the nation’s top fiction writers; Nancy Helm-Estabrooks, an internationally recognized expert in the field of adult neurological communication disorders; Rob Young, one of the nation’s most-sought-after experts on coastal issues and hurricane impacts; and John Williams, one of only 60 board-certified forensic anthropologists in North America.
WCU representatives will hold informational programs across the state in September to help shed some light on the college admission process for students and their families. The stops include Concord, Sept. 14; Durham, Sept. 15; Raleigh, Sept. 16; and Greensboro, Sept. 17. In addition, Open House sessions will be held on the Cullowhee campus on Oct. 3, Nov. 14, Feb. 17 and April 17.