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Bethune-Cookman University Ranked in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 edition of America's Best Colleges

August 22, 2008

U.S. News & World Report has named Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the South, according to rankings published in the 2009 edition of America"™s Best Colleges. This is the first time since 2001 that B-CU has appeared in America'€™s Best Colleges numerical rankings.

In the category "Best Baccalaureate Colleges, Southern Region," Bethune-Cookman University ranks in the top tier of schools —€“ those numerically ranked from 1 to 48. This category rates institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of programs in both liberal arts and professional fields. B-CU is also ranked in the top tier of America's Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

In keeping with its commitment to academic excellence, B-CU has one of the highest percentages of full-time faculty (94%) of any institution ranked in the Best Baccalaureate College, Southern Region category. B-CU also boasts a strong faculty: student ratio of 17:1 and has a majority of classes (51%) with fewer than 20 students. The institution"™s 71% freshman retention rate points to the success of its Freshman College initiative which provides coordinated support and advisement to first-year students.

"œI am very proud of all members of the B-CU family who have worked so hard to make this institution one of the best in the South,"€� commented President Trudie Kibbe Reed. "€œRecognition by U.S. News & World Report is one of many indications that B-CU is making great strides in sustaining our founder's legacy of faith, scholarship and service."€�

Most recently, B-CU has received national recognition for its strong science programs. This month, the institution was awarded a $223,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the purchase of robotics equipment to outfit its Robotics and Embedded Systems Research Laboratory. And, B-CU has been named a member of a consortium of universities working in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration"™s (NOAA) Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC). As one of the nine participating institutions, B-CU students and faculty will participate in national environmental science research efforts, and the institution will receive $380,000 in grant funding.

In addition, B-CU has also received more than $ 4 million in federal funding to assist the University in its mission of providing higher education opportunities to minority students. More than $1 million will assist B-CU in implementing a Comprehensive Development Plan designed to improve the institution'€™s capacity to prepare students for careers in natural sciences, mathematics, computer science/information technology or engineering. The remaining $3 million will be used to support a number of programs including enhancement of teacher preparation/certification programs in order to qualify more candidates to teach in a public elementary or secondary schools in the state of Florida.

Office of Institutional Advancement

Liz Poston
PH: 386-481-2950

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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