U.S. News and World Report Recognizes UA Little Rock for Social Mobility

UA Little Rock students hanging out on campus by Cooper Fountain. Photo by Ben Krain.

Several academic programs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have made the grade by earning a spot in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 Best College Rankings.

UA Little Rock’s top ranking came for #143 in Social Mobility – National Universities. The university has risen 48 spots since last year. U.S. News and World Report also previously ranked UA Little Rock as the top university in Arkansas for social mobility.

The ranking measures a university’s success in graduating economically disadvantaged students who are less likely to finish college.

“Helping our students advance involves offering more than excellent academic programming,” said Chancellor Christina Drale. “We have intentionally developed resources and expanded services to support students in the transition from classroom to career. Improving our ranking in social mobility reflects a concrete measure of our focused attention on student success.”

The social mobility indicator measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. Students receiving these grants typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000. The social mobility ranking was computed by assessing Pell Grant graduation rates and Pell Grant graduate rate performance.

At UA Little Rock, 39 percent of undergraduate students from the fall 2021 semester are Pell Grant recipients, and 55 percent of undergraduate students with known generation status are first-generation students. UA Little Rock’s student body is the most diverse of any college or university in Arkansas. About 45 percent of the student population reports to be in a minority population, two or more races, or international.

U.S. News rankings are widely recognized as symbols of excellence in higher education that are conferred by an unbiased trust agent. With more than 15 measures of academic quality, the U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges report provides data-driven information and guidance to help prospective students and their families understand their higher education options. 

UA Little Rock’s additional rankings in U.S. News and World Report 2022 Best College Rankings include:

  • Best Undergraduate Nursing #148
  • Best Undergraduate Business #212
  • Best Undergraduate Computer Science #252

The School of Nursing, the university’s largest undergraduate program, has a variety of well-respected undergraduate degree programs, including the Student to RN, Student to BSN, Online RN to BSN, and LPN/Paramedic to RN. The online RN to BSN program was ranked the best in the state this year for the second year in a row by RegisteredNursing.org.

Senior nursing students in the UA Little Rock School of Nursing prepare for transition to practice by participating in an Emergency Room simulation in the Center for Simulation Innovation.
Senior nursing students in the UA Little Rock School of Nursing prepare for transition to practice by participating in an Emergency Room simulation in the Center for Simulation Innovation. Photo by Ben Krain. 

“We are very proud of our faculty, staff, and students at UA Little Rock School of Nursing to gain recognition with U.S. News and World Report, a gold-standard in rankings,” said Dr. Sloan Davidson, director of the School of Nursing at UA Little Rock. “Many innovative learning opportunities are happening in the School of Nursing.”

The School of Business serves as a catalyst to advance education and economic development in the state of Arkansas. It is home to the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, the state’s lead Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, the State Farm Business Skills Lab, and the Kenneth Pat Wilson Center for Economic Education.

“We are honored to be recognized as a top undergraduate program in business,” said Dr. Robert Mitchell, director of the School of Business at UA Little Rock. “Our business graduates are well equipped to become excellent employees and help grow the Arkansas business industry to its potential.”

The Department of Computer Science, initially accredited in 1990 and the first Computer Science program accredited in the state, offers a minor in information insurance, a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an option that focuses on games,  a master’s degree in computer science, and a Ph.D. in computer and information science.

The department also welcomed its first cybersecurity majors this fall in a new bachelor’s degree program that prepares students for one of the fastest growing careers in the world.

“The department’s areas of opportunity for our students enable undergraduate students to participate in projects outside the classroom,” said Dr. Al Baker, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “These areas include cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality, data visualization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and mobile, smart systems, and software for IoT (Internet of Things). These opportunities in an ABET-accredited degree program make UA Little Rock an outstanding place to study computer science.”

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