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

Campus Green Generic Image of Kennesaw Hall

University ranks fourth among up and coming regional universities in the South   KENNESAW, Ga…

Georgia (Sep 10, 2013)

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Sept. 10, 2013) — Kennesaw State University’s first-year experience program is among the best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 “Best Colleges” issue released today.
In addition, the University ranked fourth in the category of “Up-and-Comers” for Regional Universities in the South, which recognizes institutions who have made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.
“We are proud, once again, to be listed among the top universities recognized for their excellence in first-year experience programs and equally as pleased to be among the region’s top up-and-coming universities,” said Kennesaw State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs W. Ken Harmon. “More importantly, we are proud of what the recognition symbolizes — the dedication and commitment by the University’s faculty and staff to provide our students with a quality education.”
Kennesaw State’s first-year program, within University College’s Department of First-Year & Transition Studies, helps students transition from high school to college life, aiding retention rates and building a sense of community on campus. The first-year experience program is designed to give students the skills they need to succeed not only in college, but also in life. The program includes special curricular and extra-curricular activities. Students may enroll in one of several thematic first-year seminar courses or in a learning community. In seminar courses and in learning communities, students are encouraged to study together, establish friendships and sharpen their critical thinking skills and become globally engaged citizens. Only 16 schools were chosen from among thousands of colleges and universities for their work with first-year students.
“This recognition continues to highlight the importance of helping students make a successful transition into college life. Kennesaw State’s first-year seminars are academically rigorous courses developed to help students grow in four key areas: life skills, strategies for academic success, campus and community connections and foundations for global learning,” said Ralph J. Rascati, associate vice president for advising, retention and graduation initiatives and dean of University College. “As the only school in Georgia recognized in this category, we are proud to be among the caliber of institutions such as Stanford, UNC-Chapel Hill, Ohio State, and the University of South Carolina — long recognized as originators of the first-year experience concept — who also are determined to provide their students with the best possible experience.”
First-year programs are ranked as part of “Academic Programs to Look For.” This category lists schools that are outstanding examples of academic programs believed to lead to student success. Schools are selected based on nominations by college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students and deans of admissions.
“We are proud that through tremendous partnerships and collaborations across campus we have created outstanding in-class and out-of-class experiences to provide a seamless and holistic approach to the first year that maximizes the opportunities for students to succeed,” said Michael L. Sanseviro, dean of Student Success.
In addition, Kennesaw State was recognized as an “A+ School for B Students” in the publication’s annual report. This category highlights institutions that seek a broad and engaged student body.
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 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