Brevard College Moves up in U.S. News and World Report Rankings: Top 5 Innovative Colleges, Top 25 Regional Colleges, Top 2 Undergraduate Teaching

Brevard College students walking past bell tower

The U.S. News and World Report ranked Brevard College No. 5 in Most Innovative Schools, No. 2 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, and moved up from No. 24 to No. 21 Regional Colleges in the South. The rankings, determined by a peer assessment survey, asked college presidents, provosts and admissions deans to nominate schools with strengths in undergraduate teaching.

According to U.S. News and World Report, “Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence” and “the rankings for Best Undergraduate Teaching focus on schools where faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner.”

The teacher-student relationship holds a significant place in the undergraduate academic experience. Brevard College focuses on experiential learning, which builds strong relationships among students and their teachers.

“This ranking is just confirmation of the outstanding experiential education that we offer our students here at Brevard College,” says Dr. Scott Sheffield, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “Our faculty are second to none when it comes to undergraduate teaching using the experiential model.”

Brevard College’s classrooms are student-centric and problem-based, using content to tackle important issues rather than just deliver information. Brevard College professors develop learning goals and expectations for their content, then encourage students to ask questions and challenge their assumptions. Through individual or group work, students experience, reflect, conceptualize and apply their newly discovered knowledge and insights. 

This experiential learning process opens doors for students and faculty to learn more about one another, creating robust teacher-student relationships and improving student success. Strong relationships foster curiosity and engagement and ignite a passion for learning. 

Jennifer Kafsky, Chair of the Division of Experiential Education and Director of Teaching and Learning says, “Processing these learning experiences within the supportive learning environment help students to build collaboration skills, challenge their critical thinking skills, link theory and practice, and develop a deep understanding of course content. “

The Best Undergraduate Teaching ranking reinforces Brevard College’s dedication to experiential liberal arts education and supports the faculty’s commitment to experiential teaching. 

“We are grateful for our creative and talented faculty who are dedicated to facilitating innovative, experiential pedagogies within their classrooms,” says Kafsky. “They collaborate with community partners to create direct, authentic, and meaningful experiences connected to the course curriculum. With this background, students develop knowledge, skills, and values that they can take into their future endeavors and make positive contributions in their communities.”