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 (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 24 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 15th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit Spelman College.

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