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U.S. News & World Report: Spelman College No. 1 HBCU, Top 10 for Social Mobility and

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ATLANTA, Sept. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Spelman College earned several top spots on the U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best Colleges list.

For the 15th consecutive year, Spelman earned the distinction of being the No.1 historically Black college or university in the country and ranked No. 54 on the list of Best National Liberal Arts institutions, up from No. 57 in 2020.

In addition, the College placed No. 4 on the list of Top Performers in Social Mobility, for the second year in a row, two places up from its debut on the list at No. 6 in 2020.

“The recognition that our undergraduate teaching and academic innovation contribute to the social mobility of our graduates is important as we strengthen programs and develop new initiatives that provide students with the competitive advantage they need to be successful in this 21st century environment,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.

Additional rankings include No.7 on the list of Most Innovative Schools, No. 9 on the list of Learning Communities, No. 21 on the list of Service Learning and No. 33 on the list for Study Abroad.

“Student success is a critical measure of college outcomes. We appreciate U.S. News & World Report’s recognition of Spelman’s ability to have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of our students,” said Dr. Campbell.

Spelman College received more than 11,000 applications for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. The number represents the highest application pool in the College’s 140-year history, and a 20 percent increase over last year.

“The increased interest in Spelman is a testament to the College’s reputation of graduating Black women with a competitive edge who rise to leadership roles across industries and impact positive change in their communities,” said Dr. Campbell. “Our admissions team has done an excellent job of sharing our stellar outcomes with prospective students from across the nation. We are excited that these bright young minds are seizing the opportunity to experience our unique liberal arts education by applying to Spelman.”

The overall academic profile of applicants to Spelman remained consistent over previous years, with an average GPA of a 3.8 and an average SAT score of 1203 for those that chose to have their scores reviewed. The College also saw a four percent  increase in applications from Georgia natives.

Spelman U.S. News & World Report Rankings at a Glance

The National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking focuses almost exclusively on those institutions that offer an undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the arts and sciences. Spelman’s wide range of liberal arts disciplines include outstanding programs in STEM, the humanities and the arts, including new programs in documentary filmmaking, curatorial studies, art history and photography.

No. 4 – Social Mobility

Entrepreneurship is  often  considered  a vehicle for upward social mobility. Through new programs like the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, established in partnership with the Black Economic Alliance Foundation, and located on the campuses of Spelman and Morehouse, the CBE will serve as an incubator for high-potential, Black owned start-ups and wealth generators.  

This year Spelman also announced a new partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad to make the development of entrepreneurial skills more accessible to students in the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Developed with support from United Negro College Fund Inc., the largest scholarship provider for students of color, Blackstone LaunchPad’s expansion to Spelman, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta is the latest step in the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s commitment to increase career mobility for a more diverse set of students through entrepreneurship training and skill-building.

No. 24 – Undergraduate Teaching

Spelman’s faculty are receiving significant grants, publishing valuable research and receiving recognition for innovative best practices.

Spelman College recently named Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., professor and division chair for the arts, and Julie Dash, distinguished professor of documentary filmmaking in the Department of Art & Visual Culture, inaugural Diana King Endowed Professors in Film and Filmmaking, Television and Related Media. The endowed professorships are made possible by a $7.5 million gift from The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, which will also support endowed scholarships.

No. 7  – Most Innovative Schools

Spelman continues to develop innovative initiatives in terms of curriculum, faculty, students and campus life.

The forthcoming Center for Innovation and the Arts will be the home for Spelman’s Innovation Lab and provide a “front porch” for the community. The facility will cluster together, for the first time in one building, bringing Spelman’s numerous arts departments, now scattered across the campus, into a vibrant community of innovators, collaborators, artists, musicians and scientists.

This year the College also announced the renovation of its Rockefeller Fine Arts building.  In honor of their lifetime of achievements, Spelman will name a renovated theater, lobby, dressing rooms and supporting areas the LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson Performing Arts Center. Located in the John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts Building, the updated arts center is being made possible by a lead gift from the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation along with generous donations from Richardson Jackson and Jackson, Bank of America and David Rockefeller Jr.

No. 21 – Service Learning

Through service-learning programs students move beyond the classroom to become active participants in their learning and develop civic knowledge and skills.

SpelReads, a literacy program supported by the Bonner Office of Civic Engagement, has successfully improved the reading assessment scores of the students in  Atlanta Public Schools. 

The highly effective one-on-one literacy tutoring provides k-12 students with the capacity to overcome the learning challenges created by COVID-19 and achieve academic success through hands-on support, and the use of  digital literacy tools.

No. 33  –  Study Abroad

Spelman students have extended their learning experience beyond the campus classroom through study abroad. Through the Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education, Spelman students engage with many cultures of the world to widen their socio-economic and political horizons in an increasingly complex and interdependent global society.

About Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country’s leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math…

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