U.S. News and World Report Recognizes UA Little Rock for Undergraduate Education

U.S. News and World Report has recognized the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for being a top university in social mobility for its students as well as for its excellent academic programs in nursing, business, engineering, and computer science.

U.S. News and World Report has recognized the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for being a top university in social mobility for its students as well as for its excellent academic programs in nursing, business, engineering, and computer science.

UA Little Rock has once again been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a continued leader in social mobility Arkansas with a ranking of #197. The ranking measures a university’s success in graduating economically disadvantaged students who are less likely to finish college. UA Little Rock is committed to providing an affordable college education for its students with a focus on student success initiatives and a competitive scholarship portfolio.

“UA Little Rock continues to prioritize student success while simultaneously improving access to higher education,” said Dr. Cody Decker, vice chancellor for student affairs and chief data officer. “Given the increase in students choosing to enroll at UA Little Rock, the increase in student retention rates, and the decrease in the net price of attendance, it is no surprise that UA Little Rock has been recognized with this social mobility ranking.”

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.

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 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 academic rankings in U.S. News and World Report 2022-23 Best College Rankings include:

  • Best Undergraduate Engineering #184
  • Best Undergraduate Nursing #206
  • Best Undergraduate Business #219
  • Best Undergraduate Computer Science #234

The Department of Computer Science ranking is up 18 spots over last year. Initially accredited in 1990 and the first Computer Science program accredited in the state, the program offers a minor in information insurance, a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an option that focuses on games, a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, a master’s degree in computer science, and a Ph.D. in computer and information science. Students study a wide range of in-demand fields including cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality, data visualization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and mobile, smart systems, and software for Internet of Things.

While UA Little Rock began its first bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity last year, the university was already a proven leader in cybersecurity education and workforce development in the state. Earlier this year, UA Little Rock received a $1.96 million workforce development grant from the Arkansas Office of Skills Development to create the Cyber Learning Network, a consortium of seven University of Arkansas System campuses to expand and diversify workforce education in emergency cyber technologies throughout the state. The Cyber Learning Network began offering a new certificate of proficiency in cybersecurity fundamentals this fall with a second certificate program due to start in the spring 2023 semester.

“The undergraduate computer science programs again being recognized in the U.S. News and World Report rankings is a credit to the faculty and teaching staff in the Department of Computer Science,” said Dr. Albert Baker, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “The commitment and energy of these scholars to the nurturing of our student’s professional careers is leading to our continued success. Undergraduate students in the department have unique opportunities to participate in funded research and development projects. We are proud that our students are well-prepared to join the workforce in Arkansas and beyond.”

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 UA Little Rock School of Nursing continues the tradition of being a leader in nursing education in Arkansas,” said Dr. Sloan Davidson, director of the School of Nursing at UA Little Rock. “We are proud to be recognized again by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the best undergraduate nursing programs in the country.”

Joanna Hall, director of simulation and assistant professor of nursing, has recently become the first person at UA Little Rock to earn the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator certification. Hall leads the Center for Simulation Innovation, a 20-bed state-of-the-art simulation hospital offering simulation-based clinical learning experiences within a 9,500 square foot facility. The center ensures students graduate having experienced a variety of scenarios they will likely face in the nursing profession.

This July, UA Little Rock launched the new School of Engineering and Engineering Technology to bring together the university’s competitive engineering programs. The school includes the university’s programs in electronics and computer engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, mechanical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering.

“It is a great achievement for engineering programs at UA Little Rock to be ranked 184 out of so many qualified ABET-accredited engineering programs,” said Dr. Srikanth Pidugu, director of the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology. “This recognition demonstrates the commitment of the faculty to teaching, research, and service excellence and the high caliber of undergraduate students.  It is a fantastic accomplishment considering that the engineering programs started only a little over two decades back.”

The School of Business serves as a catalyst to advance education and economic development in the state of Arkansas.

“The UA Little Rock business program produces undergraduates with well-developed business acumen and refined technical skill sets which are in high demand in business,” said Dr. Robert Mitchell, director of the School of Business at UA Little Rock. “Over 85% of our graduates are employed upon graduation, and 85% of our alumni indicate their degree as a contributing factor in their career advancement. Business graduates indicate the required high impact experiential learning experience in their program of studies helps them make a smooth transition into the workforce.”

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