U.S. News ranks USC Rossier among top 10 education schools

March 19, 2018

Represents school’s highest position ever in publication’s national survey

By Ross Brenneman and Matthew C. Stevens

In the annual rankings of graduate schools by U.S. News and World Report, USC Rossier is listed as the 10th best graduate school of education in the country, the publication announced Tuesday.

This marks USC Rossier’s first time in the top 10 since U.S. News began publishing rankings of schools of education in 1994.

“While recognition in this year’s list certainly represents a milestone worthy of celebration,” said USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher, “our ranking is also symbolic of a trajectory we have been on for many years and one that we will continue to chart well into the future. The unwavering commitment of our faculty, staff and students to advancing educational equity is testimony to the collective impact we are making as a school.”

The rankings take into account factors related to student selectivity, peer assessment and school resources, including categories like faculty honors and awards and research money.

Ongoing grant-supported research

The new rankings are based on data gathered from the 2016–17 academic year. Among the highlights in grant-funded research during that period were a pair of awards totaling $750,000 from the Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation to support research on an equity-minded instructional and assessment model created by the Center for Urban Education.

Meanwhile, the Pullias Center for Higher Education continued work funded by two ongoing grants: A First in the World Grant from the U.S. Department of Education supports “Mission: Admission,” which uses gaming technology to increase the number of students applying to college and for financial aid. And a six-year study funded by the Buffett Foundation focuses on the transition to college and success for low-income students in living/learning communities.

Other external support for that year included the launch of the Joan Herman and Richard Rasiej Mathematics Initiative, which seeks to improve the mathematics knowledge and teaching effectiveness of current teachers in K–5 classrooms.

Individual recognitions and collective impact

The education specialty rankings from U.S. News also reflect a range of research interests and academic programs at USC Rossier. In higher education administration, USC Rossier is ranked seventh for the second year in a row. In administration and supervision, the school is ranked 14th; in educational psychology, 15th; and in education policy, 18th. These specialties are based on rankings of 267 graduate schools of education in the U.S.

Those category rankings follow on the heels of major faculty honors and collective achievements.

Estela Mara Bensimon, director of CUE, became only the fourth USC Rossier faculty member to be elected to the National Academy of Education. She also received the 2017 Social Justice in Education Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Morgan Polikoff, an associate professor of education, received the 2017 Early Career Award from AERA, and the Aspen Institute appointed Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a professor of education, psychology and neuroscience, to its Council of Distinguished Scientists.

USC Rossier’s research centers expanded from three to six with the launch of the Center for Human-Applied Reasoning and the Internet of Things (CHARIOT) in November 2016; the Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice (CEISJ) in February 2017; and the USC Race and Equity Center in July 2017.

The school is building on these strengths in the current academic year, with the addition of several new faculty members, the launch of four more centers, new research grants and an increase in enrollment numbers paired with greater selectivity. USC Rossier also announced a new mission statement in November 2017, reinforcing a commitment to equity across all of its programs and initiatives.