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Neag Ranked No. 32 education school in country

By Loumarie Rodriguez
On March 28, 2012

The graduate program Neag School of Education recently rose to the 32nd best school of the nation, according to the latest results from the U.S. News & Report.

This new ranking has pushed the Neag School to the No. 1 spot for public graduate schools in the northeast and No. 22 for all public graduate schools in the country. With these new rankings it has placed UConn's Neag School in the top 11.5 percent of all graduate schools that were surveyed by U.S News & World Report.

According to the press release, Dean Thomas DeFranco of the Neag School believes the school's positive reputation is due to its work with public schools in Connecticut and across the country. There were also higher rankings in specialty programs such as elementary teacher education to No. 14 in the nation, the secondary teacher education currently at No. 17 in the nation and educational psychology ranked at No. 22 in the country.

"We are not interested in maintaining rankings but to move up in it," DeFranco said. "The good work that goes on between faculty and students is what gives us the national reputation and help us move forward."

The rankings provide a sense of how well the school is doing and how well they are doing overall compared to other schools according to DeFranco. The rankings look at the quality of faculty, staff and students alike which has provided the school with a positive national reputation.

"I could not be more excited about being part of such a fantastic teacher education program," said Abby Esposito, a 4th-semester social studies and secondary history major. "I knew Neag was the best from when I applied, and I know this is where I need to be to fully prepare myself for my teaching career. Neag will bring out my full potential as a future educator, no doubt about it."

Another key point stressed in the Neag School is "active learning." Professors provide students with models of "active learning." Students leave the school knowing how to engage and teach students by using this method.

"I think it was one of the reasons why I decided to come here (Neag)," said graduate student Stephanie Murana, studying school counseling. "It's recognizable and it gives graduate students an edge."

The Neag School began its rise to prominence between 1999 and 2000 when Ray Neag gave a generous gift to the school to help begin the transformation which helped bring in more scholars to the program. Students apply to the five-year program in their sophomore year and begin the Neag program their junior year. After completing the five years they will receive their masters and certificate for teaching.

"I believe this school has a great combination of focus on undergrad teaching education program and a great training on graduate students for research," said graduate Professor Christopher Rhoads. "We are a point in pride and it's encouraging to hear this (rankings) and we'll continue to do better."

"I'm very proud of the ratings but I'm more proud of the work of the faculty, students, and staff because of their scholarship and research they have provided a great national reputation," DeFranco said. "I am proud of the students and the highly effective impact they will have on the academic performance on children once they leave the Neag School."


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