U.S. News ranks Kennesaw State’s first-year program among nation’s best

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First-year program makes list for ninth straight year KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 15, 2011) —…

Georgia (Sep 15, 2011)First-year program makes list for ninth straight year

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 15, 2011) — Kennesaw State University’s first-year program was recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the best in the country in its 2012 “Best Colleges” issue out this week. This marks the ninth consecutive year that KSU’s first-year program has been recognized in the prestigious annual college rankings.

“It is an honor for Kennesaw State to be recognized once again for the excellence of our first-year program,” said KSU President Daniel S. Papp. “The latest U.S.News rankings are an affirmation that Kennesaw State is gaining national prominence in very significant ways.”

KSU was one of only18 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.

“It is no surprise that KSU has been recognized as a national leader on this list every year since the category was established,” said Ralph Rascati, Kennesaw State’sassociate vice president for advising, retention and graduation initiatives and dean of University College.“From the very beginning, we designed a dynamic programto significantly enhance first-year students’ academic success, life skills, campus and community engagement, and foundation for global learning.”

KSU’s acclaimed first-year program combines special curricular and extracurricular offerings that foster first-year students’ successful transition to college. Students may take a first-year seminar focused 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 outside the classroom. 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 academic department of its kind in the country.

“The diminishing number of institutions that make the U.S.News list means that KSU is increasingly among 
a select few that provide nationally and internationally recognized programs for first-year students,” Rascati said. 

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.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 23,400 from 142 countries.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu