U.S. News ranks PSU as "most innovative school"

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Portland State University among the “most innovative” national universities in its Best Colleges 2016 rankings. 

Portland State is the only Oregon campus on U.S. News’ first list of “schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses,” based on a survey of college administrators. 

“This ranking recognizes what we already know about PSU,” said President Wim Wiewel. “We're always looking for new and better ways to educate our students and serve the community." 

“It's an honor to be part of a list that includes Harvard, Stanford and some of the greatest universities in the world,” Wiewel added.

For the first time this year, U.S. News asked top academics to name campuses that are “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.” PSU tied at No. 16 with Clemson University in South Carolina, besting colleges such as California Institute of Technology, New York University and the University of California, Berkeley. 

PSU’s innovations include:

  • ReTHINK PSU, a push to help students stay on course and graduate sooner using innovative curriculum, community engagement and effective technology. Projects include creating a better mathematics lab, new online mentoring, targeted academic advising, flexible degrees for returning adults and redesigned student services. 
  • The Four-Year Degree Guarantee, a pledge that students who follow a degree path will graduate in four years — or they can finish for free.
  • The new Robertson Life Sciences Building on the South Waterfront, a state-of-the-art home for health and science programs that allows pre-health sciences undergrads from PSU to learn and study next to graduate students from Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University.
  • Expansion of the Urban Honors College to provide more intense research opportunities and academic challenges for highly motivated students.
  • BUILD EXITO, a partnership with OHSU and community colleges funded with a $24 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create career pathways in biomedical research for diverse students. 
  • The Institute for Sustainable Solutions, a center for sustainable research, curriculum, and community engagement at PSU, that administers a 10-year, $25 million challenge grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. 
  • The PSU Business Accelerator, Oregon's largest and most successful incubator, giving students hands-on experience in some of the Portland region's hottest start-up businesses.
  • Strategic Partnerships with key business and civic partners ranging from Intel to the City of Portland that provide rich learning, research and employment opportunities for PSU students and faculty. 
  • "Building a Better Student Experience," a project funded in part by grants from the Gates Foundation and Association of Public Land-grant Universities to enhance advising, develop a personalized student web portal and interactive degree maps, and better coordinate student services across campus.

U.S. News ranks colleges annually from indicators of academic excellence, including surveys of administrators at peer institutions, student retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. More information and full rankings are at www.usnews.com/colleges.