Two students work in robotics lab

Update: Undergraduate engineering program jumps in U.S. News rankings

Usually those in the U.S. News & World Report ranks have to wait a year to see whether their standing changes.

For the Case School of Engineering, the move came in a matter of hours.

Originally listed as tied with six other institutions for 41st in the nation this year, its undergraduate program actually landed four slots higher—at 37th—in the magazine’s annual “Best Colleges” ranking released publicly Tuesday.

“We’re enthused to learn that the Case School of Engineering undergraduate rankings improved this year,” Dean Jeffrey L. Duerk said after learning the new ranking. “Faculty and staff have been working incredibly hard to show the impact of our efforts and innovations.”

U.S. News & World Report traditionally shares the rankings in the advance with members of the media and select leaders at each university and college. When the new rankings went live Tuesday on U.S. News’ website, however, Case Western Reserve’s engineering program had jumped from the 40s to the 30s. Other schools also were in different positions in Tuesday’s public posting than they had been in the embargoed information.

Puzzled, Director of Institutional Research Jean Gubbins contacted the magazine; U.S. News confirmed that the online lists included the correct rankings, and that the rankings released earlier also had been fixed.

“We’ve always placed an incredible value on delivering a high-quality education to our students, and in the last few years, we’ve been focused on integrating opportunities for active, hands-on experiences,” Duerk said. ”Students interested in engineering can now begin solving real problems, designing and prototyping starting the first semester of their first year.”

In particular, Duerk cited recruitment of energetic new faculty, expansion of engineering-focused study abroad programs, and revitalized teaching labs. In addition, the opening of the first three floors of the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] last fall dramatically increased the space and equipment available for student makers, inventors and entrepreneurs compared to a pilot space that had been one-tenth of the 50,000 square feet the innovation space will fill when all floors are complete.

The university’s ranking, 37th, did not change, nor did the Weatherhead School of Management’s undergraduate business program, at 38th. While the magazine calculates an entire institution’s standing based on 15 factors, the engineering and business rankings come solely from surveys of deans and senior faculty within the respective disciplines.

“While our work for our students is the most important thing,” Duerk said, “we also realize that we need to let our peers know the kind of quality education we are delivering. So we are taking more opportunities to engage them in conversations and share our successes with them.”