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U.S. News: Moore School's International Business Program Retains Top Ranking

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COLUMBIA, SC – The same week that it welcomes its largest freshman class, the University of South Carolina is being recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 college guide for its outstanding programs that encourage student success and for having the nation’s top undergraduate international business program.

The Moore School’s undergraduate insurance program is ranked No. 10.

Also receiving high marks were the university’s four-year campuses in Aiken and Upstate, which were ranked No. 1 and No. 4, respectively, among the South’s best public regional colleges.

Among all national public universities, the university moved up three spots to 52nd.

The citations appear in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 “America’s Best Colleges Guide."

A section titled “A Strong Focus on Student Success” singles out the nation’s institutions with the best student-enrichment offerings and cites USC for having one of the nation’s best programs for First-Year Experience, Learning Communities and Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects. A feature article, titled “The Care and Feeding of Freshmen,” focuses on USC’s first-year programs.

USC has earned recognition for its Learning Communities and pioneering First-Year Experience previously in the U.S. News guide, but the accolade for Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects is new and particularly gratifying for President Harris Pastides, who launched the Magellan Scholars Program and the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2005 when he was USC’s vice president for research.

“It is always gratifying to be recognized, and we are proud of the strides our faculty and students continue to make to warrant inclusion on these prestigious lists,” he said. “We are especially pleased that our undergraduate research has been cited as a national leader.”

Pastides said the university’s record research funding – US$218.8 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 – enabled more undergraduates to engage in research opportunities.

“When we launched our Magellan Scholars Program in 2005, we announced our commitment to bolster this crucial aspect of the undergraduate experience,” he said. “Today’s ranking endorses our efforts to support undergraduate research as well as the quality and rigor of the research being performed.”

The Darla Moore School of Business’ undergraduate program in international business earned the No. 1 ranking for the 14th consecutive year, and the school itself held steady at the 42nd spot for overall business education nationally.

The international-business ranking comes at a time when the Moore School is finalizing its plans for a new building in the university’s research district, Innovista. The $90 million facility, which will be designed to be environmentally sustainable, is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy in May 2013.

USC Dean of Students Dennis Pruitt said the citations recognize coordinated integrated learning initiatives that have enhanced student success.

On Thursday (Aug. 19) approximately 4,400 freshmen will begin classes, and most will take the University 101 course, which is a key component of the First-Year Experience that helps students transition successfully to college life.

This year, 2,404 undergraduates will live in one of 15 living-and-learning communities on campus. These academically themed communities have become an integral part of the student experience, connecting undergraduates to the institution academically and socially. They include engineering and computing, journalism, music, Capstone Scholars, the S.C. Honors College, Magellan explorers and Healthy Carolina wellness community. The design of each community varies, but most include classes, interaction with faculty, service, enrichment programs and social events.

Since the Magellan Scholars Program and the Office of Undergraduate Research were created in 2005, the university has sought to enrich the undergraduate academic experience through faculty-student mentoring relationships and the integration of instruction with research, scholarship and creative activities. The program has provided research funding to more than 465 students to date and is one of many research-funding opportunities available to students through the office. Funded projects have encompassed the academic spectrum from the traditional areas of science, technology and medicine to music, art and theater.

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