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Saint Francis University Maintains High U.S. News Rankings

In recent years, Saint Francis University has continued to enhance the areas of academics, athletics, facilities and student life.


Saint Francis University has moved up five places in the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2012” survey. The University now ranks 46th in the Tier I: North Regional Universities category, up from 51 in the last survey. The North Regional Universities category contains 183, mostly Masters I, private institutions. U.S. News ranks schools in 16 areas, which are weighted, to develop an overall score.

The increase in rank for Saint Francis can be attributed, in part, to a higher peer score (a quality score given to Saint Francis by peer schools). In five years, Saint Francis has moved up 29 places in the U.S. News rankings, from 75th in 2007-08 to 46th in 2011-12. In addition to the ranking, Saint Francis released statistics that show 98 percent of graduates of the university start graduate school or a job within nine months of graduation.

“This is more evidence of the great work our faculty and staff are doing in improving academic quality,” said the Rev. Gabriel J. Zeis, T.O.R., president of Saint Francis. “Our overall student profile has improved with higher SAT scores, more of our students having been in the top 25 percent of their high school class and more students applying for admissions to our University. We also have more classes that are smaller in size, which greatly enhances the learning environment for our students.”

In recent years, Saint Francis University has continued to enhance the areas of academics, athletics, facilities and student life. Saint Francis recently adopted a School-based system, establishing the School of Business, School of Health Sciences, School of Arts & Letters and School of Sciences. Establishing the four Schools is evidence of the University’s desire to advance the quality of academic programming and continue to develop new programs such as animal care and training, environmental engineering, and a truly unique minor in American Sign Language.

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Programming is just part of the equation. Bricks and mortar enhancements are on the horizon as well. Thanks in large part to a generous grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the University recently broke ground on a 70,000-square-foot science complex. Once completed, this building will be a flagship facility for science and technology programs on campus. It will house state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and research facilities (including an aquatic research facility), advanced chemical instrumentation and youth outreach areas, in addition to places for students and faculty to gather, study and learn.

Recent developments within the University’s NCAA Division I athletic program include the addition of a women’s bowling team, an emerging sport amongst the Northeast Conference, and the completion of a field house containing strength and conditioning facilities for varsity athletes, coaches offices and locker rooms. Most recently, the University was proud to announce that one of the institution’s longtime supporters has made a generous gift of $375,000 to support Red Flash athletics. Jack M. Calandra, a Cresson, Pa. businessman, and his wife, Genevieve, made the gift to enhance the facilities of the expanding Red Flash athletics program.

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The DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness provides conference space, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, an improved Student Health Center and rehabilitation space for the campus and local community. The DiSepio Institute works to maintain a mission of including the surrounding community in initiatives that will improve access to health and wellness programming. Students enrolled in academic majors such as physical therapy, physician assistant sciences, occupational therapy and exercise physiology will use the facility as clinical space.

To complement increased enrollment, Saint Francis University has added to the student life areas. The recent addition of an ice rink, Frisbee golf course, tubing park with rope tow, social fraternities and sororities and student lounge space have added to already impressive student life offerings.

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