Several local universities made U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 Best Colleges lists this year.
Mercer University was ranked ninth among the top “Regional Universities in the South” making the top 10 in that category for the 13th consecutive year. The university was also ranked seventh in the magazine’s “Great Schools, Great Prices” category, taking into account the academic quality of the school and net cost of attendance for students getting need-based aid. The Mercer School of Engineering was also listed among the top 50 undergraduate engineering programs in the U.S.
Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville was 12th in the “Top Public Schools among Regional Universities in the South” and 36th of the “Top Regional Universities in the South.”
Fort Valley State University was ranked ninth of the “Top Public Schools among Regional Colleges in the South,” 31st among “Historically Black Colleges and Universities” and 58th of the top “Regional Colleges in the South.”
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Macon students named National Merit semifinalists
Six students from Macon schools have been named semifinalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.
The students are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide who will compete for about 8,300 National Merit scholarships, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The semifinalists were among the highest-scoring students who entered the program based on their scores on the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Semifinalists, who make up less than 1 percent of high school seniors, must have an outstanding academic record through high school, receive an endorsement and recommendation by their high school principals and earn qualifying SAT scores to qualify as finalists, in addition to a scholarship application.
The local semifinalists are:
Covenant Academy: Julie E. Thomas;
First Presbyterian Day School: Jonathan B. Easter, James C. Watwood;
Mount de Sales Academy: Matthew R. Alibozek, Keith E. Johnson, Brandon P. Read.
Georgia College named a ‘College of Distinction’
Georgia College & State University is one of four “Colleges of Distinction” in the state -- and the only Georgia public university on the list.
Schools with the title are noted for student engagement, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes, according to the Colleges of Distinction website. The university is among 200 around the nation given the recognition.
“Georgia College’s recognition among ‘Colleges of Distinction’ is one indicator of the university’s strong commitment to our public liberal arts mission,” Georgia College interim President Stas Preczewski said in a news release. “The recognition reflects our engaging academic programs delivered by an accomplished faculty to coincide with students’ success in completing their degree programs.”
Georgia College has received other national accolades in recent months, including recognition from The Princeton Review as “A Best in the Southeast” university.
Houston County elementary a blue ribbon school
Shirley Hills Elementary School in Houston County was one of seven Georgia public schools named 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools on Thursday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“These seven schools are to be commended for their outstanding student performance,” John Barge, state school superintendent, stated in a news release. “I am thrilled that the students, teachers and staff of these schools were recognized on a national level for excellence. These awards are just another example of some of the great things happening in our schools.”
The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools award distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap. About 300 schools were given the designation this year.
Honored along with the Houston County elementary school were schools in Forsyth County, Fulton County, White County, Fayette County, Cobb County and he towns of Calhoun and Trion.
Two Georgia private schools also were awarded this year.
Compiled by Telegraph staff Andrea Castillo and Caryn Grant.