HU stands out in U.S. News' Social Mobility, Undergraduate Teaching

Heidelberg University has climbed in U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of Social Mobility at No. 19 in the Midwest Regional Universities category. In the 2023 rankings released Monday, Heidelberg is also ranked No. 8 in Best Undergraduate Teaching in the same region.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Social Mobility category measures how well colleges and universities graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants. Social Mobility rankings are based on two factors: Graduation rates of Pell-awarded students and graduate rate performance comparing the six-year graduation rate of Pell recipients with non-Pell recipients.

“Heidelberg continues to prioritize affordability by investing in opportunities for our students to succeed as they pursue their higher education goals,” said Dr. Tony Bourne, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing.

Priority on teaching

The Best Undergraduate Teaching ranking is a tangible example of the strong commitment to undergraduate education demonstrated by Heidelberg’s faculty. College presidents, provosts and administrators participated in this annual U.S. News peer assessment, which makes a strong statement about the ongoing high quality of classroom instruction at Heidelberg.

The rankings – especially related to teaching – are useful to prospective students because they rate the strength of an institution’s academic programs, providing key information when selecting a college, Tony said.

“By focusing on program quality and student learning, our faculty are giving our graduates an opportunity to succeed in careers and graduate programs. Students are prepared for the challenges they face and can feel confident they were given every advantage of academic support from faculty,” he added.

Heidelberg’s retooled Owen Center for Teaching and Learning is a centralized location for services and resources for student success and faculty instruction. Under the direction of Dr. Courtney DeMayo Pugno, the center provides individual and group tutoring, disability accommodation assistance, time management and study skills coaching. Through career management advising, workshops, and network-focused events, the Owen Center prepares students to explore and establish connections for post-graduate goal attainment.

Heidelberg continues to prioritize academic programs that lead to the best employment opportunities, including expanded internship and career placement opportunities. The university takes a holistic approach to enrollment, offering test-optional admission and scholarships. Only students who feel their test scores improve their application need to submit their ACT or SAT results. Students also can take advantage of Heidelberg’s Fixed Tuition Guarantee and its Four-Year Graduation Guarantee.

Additionally, Heidelberg has increased its academic scholarships with opportunities including a Rural Post-Secondary and Economic Development (RPSED) grant that creates a clear pathway for students from rural communities to pursue a college degree at Heidelberg. The grant provides greater access to College Credit Plus courses for rural students, followed by admission to a community college and ultimately, matriculation to Heidelberg to complete their four-year degree.

Scholarship assistance, along with grants and other financial aid opportunities, help students bridge the gap between their family’s resources and the cost of attending college, Tony explained.

Additional rankings

U.S. News also gave Heidelberg high marks in the top tier among Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and listed the university as a Best Value school in the same region.

For this year’s rankings, U.S. News placed Heidelberg into the Regional Universities category, rather than Regional Colleges. Regional Universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and provide graduate education at the master’s level. Conversely, Regional Colleges focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. The category includes some institutions where only a small number of degrees awarded are at the bachelor’s level.

Heidelberg offers the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Music degree options, along with master’s degree programs in athletic training, business administration and counseling.


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