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To show support and gratitude for health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers keeping communities safe during the COVID-19 emergency. Old Dominion University is illuminating its Education Building blue during May, as part of the national #LightItBlue campaign. Photo Chuck Thomas/ODU

Darden College rises up the ranks of US News Best Grad Schools for Education

By Mindy Ayala-Diaz

Old Dominion University and the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies has again been recognized as a top-tier institution in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Best Graduate Schools - Education Schools rankings released today. ODU moved up the ranks to be tied for 89th out of 274 schools of education around the country and one of only eleven in Virginia - a 30-place jump from the 2022 ranking.

The US News & World Report's rankings signify excellence across a variety of criteria, including quality of faculty, research, funding, enrollment, and job placement for graduates and alumni, which help potential students make informed decisions to choose the best institutions for their education. ODU's colleges and programs have a long history of high ranking in the annual reports, a direct reflection of the dedication and efforts of faculty and staff.

Interim dean of the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies said, "We are proud of the significant gains in our rankings over the past year and thrilled to be recognized for the impressive work in which our faculty and staff are engaged to prepare quality educators and advance the field of educator preparation," shared Tammi Dice, interim dean for the College. "Despite COVID, we have been able to add new teacher education degrees and concentrations and our enrollments are strong across all programs. We are deeply committed to working with our partner school divisions to address critical teacher shortages, diversify the teacher pipeline, and prepare culturally responsive educators. We are pleased to have these efforts acknowledged by U.S. News and World Report."

Graduate programs in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies boast a low doctoral student-faculty ratio of 1:6 and a total current graduate enrollment of more than 450 students. The Darden College of Education and Professional Studies has the highest graduate student enrollment at ODU.

"We are honored to receive this recognition," said Maggie Barber, associate dean for educator preparation and assessment. "Our rankings reflect our faculty's national and international reputation for their scholarship and grants, the strength of our graduate students, and the breadth and quality of our academic programs."

Of note is that the 2022 Virginia Teacher of the year was an alumni of ODU and a current graduate student with Darden College. Recently, the College was recognized by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) for its commitment to diversity throughout its teacher education programs.

Last year, U.S. News & World Report listed 20 of ODU's graduate programs and two colleges as among the best in the nation. The University has also been recognized as among the top 15% of U.S. colleges for overall diversity by College Factual.

To see the complete 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings for Education Schools, visit U.S. News & World Report.