“It is an honor for Kennesaw State to be recognized once again for the excellence of our first-year program,” KSU president Daniel S. Papp said in a news release. “The latest U.S.News rankings are an affirmation that Kenne-saw State is gaining national prominence in very significant ways.”
KSU was one of only 18 colleges recognized by U.S. News for its work with first-year students, along with top-tier institutions such as Stanford, Purdue, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Notre Dame — down from 23 last year. KSU was the only university in Georgia recognized in this category. The top schools were selected from nominations submitted by college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students and deans of admissions from more than 1,500 schools.
KSU’s first-year program combines special curricular and extracurricular offerings to foster first-year students’ successful transition to college. Students may take a first-year seminar on successful transitions, global learning, community service or leadership development. They also may opt to be part of a themed learning community of students with whom they take classes, study and participate in activities. All first-year students read a “common reader” and attend lectures and discussions about the book. They participate together in an annual convocation and induction ceremony. All of these initiatives are housed in KSU’s Department of First-Year Programs, the only aca-demic department of its kind in the country.
Also in the 2012 rankings, KSU moved from 32nd to 27th among all public colleges and universities in the south, and jumped eight slots — from 69th to 61st — among all regional universities in the south.