U.S. News & World Report has named Stevens Institute of Technology to an exclusive list of the top 25 "Most Innovative Schools" in the nation in its just-released Best Colleges 2018 rankings.
Stevens' inclusion in the ranking is based on survey responses from college presidents, provosts and admissions deans of ranked national universities, who were asked to nominate up to ten colleges or universities that are making the most innovations in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and campus facilities. Stevens was top-of-mind for many of the university officials surveyed.
The ranking shines a spotlight on Stevens as one of a select number of schools "that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses," according to U.S. News. The recognition also underscores the remarkable changes taking place on campus as the university implements its ten-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., which charts a course for Stevens as a premier, student-centric, technological research university.
Expanded, leading-edge facilities and programs for a technological era
Innovation at Stevens extends from educational delivery and student experiences to the development of new teaching tools and research and learning facilities. Some recent highlights include:
- The new Hanlon Laboratory for Financial Analytics and Data Visualization, which provides leading-edge visualization technology to students and enables groundbreaking research in financial shocks, portfolio optimization, risk assessment and other critical areas of finance;
- A newly constructed Living Laboratory, which integrates multiple green roof setups and other green infrastructure to enable detailed studies of stormwater management and bioretention solutions in urban environments;
- The SCENE (Sensory Computation, Experimental Narrative Environments) Lab, where students and faculty create and test virtual reality applications and music technology; and
- The ABS Engineering Center, where students and faculty collaborate on design projects that range from robotics to building materials, maritime craft and green technology.
- The introduction of a Virtual Learning Environment, a software delivery and collaboration platform that reduces costs and increases student access to the latest technological applications;
- Required first-year coursework in entrepreneurial thinking;
- An IDEaS (Innovation Design & Entrepreneurship at Stevens) program that integrates design coursework and "maker" culture, supported by a new lab outfitted with multiple 3D printers and other fabrication equipment;
- The development and deployment of Gradarius, the world’s first calculus-learning software to give step-by-step feedback, manage homework, and administer and grade quizzes for instructors — one that has helped yield marked improvements in student retention, grades and retention of calculus knowledge; and
- A continued focus on meaningful, collaborative and hands-on experiences for students such as the 2015 Solar Decathlon, in which Stevens took first place; the 2017 Solar Boat competition; and the university's renowned capstone senior design projects, displayed annually at its annual Innovation Expo.
The positive impact of Stevens' continuing culture of innovation is evident in metrics ranging from strong (and improving) student retention and graduation rates to the stellar student outcomes Stevens has become known for. Additional information about Stevens’ remarkable progress can be found in the university's Five-Year Progress Report.
Leaders of other national universities also lauded Stevens’ focus on student success, as evidenced by Stevens’ inclusion in a separate U.S. News select listing of universities that provide undergraduates with stellar or notable faculty-guided research opportunities and creative projects. Stevens was also recently included in The Princeton Review’s 2017 guide, “Colleges that Create Futures: 50 Schools that Launch Careers By Going Beyond the Classroom.”
Stevens ranked #69 overall in U.S. News' newly-released National Universities rankings, up from #71 last year and #88 in 2011, making Stevens the second fastest-rising college in the nation among the top 100 national universities. Improvements have been made across nearly all metrics collected by U.S. News — including enrollment selectivity, student success, financial profile, alumni engagement and peer assessment — over the past six years since President Nariman Farvardin took office.