Newsweek’s 2011 College Rankings put MTSU fifth among U.S. schools that are health-minded and “inclined to healthier pursuits.”
Its top five U.S. health-conscious institutions of higher learning, according to rankings released this week, are Harvard University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, Princeton University and MTSU.
MTSU was the only Tennessee university on this 25-member list.
“Since Student Health Services was able to expand in its current space, we’ve been able to increase a lot of the programs and services we offer for students,” said Lisa Schrader, director of health promotion at MTSU. “Not only have we added a campus pharmacy, X-ray services and travel medicine, we’ve also been able to add an entire health-promotion area that reaches thousands of students who would never come to Health Services otherwise. We’ve been able to do late-night programming where we give people a fun and safe environment to socialize and not have to worry about drugs and alcohol being involved.
“We’re able to post campus observances like National Nutrition Month and the Great American Smokeout, and we’re able to play a key role in University seminar classes so that first-year students are able to get reliable health information the very first semester they set foot on our campus.
“The latest news is our tobacco-free campus initiative, which goes into effect in January. Everyone here is thrilled about this policy, and we see this as being something that’s going to have a long-term impact on the health of our students in years to come. It is definitely a step in the right direction at MTSU in being proactive in our students’ health,” Schrader said.
This is the second year Newsweek ranked U.S. universities, drawing its information from sources including the National Center for Education Statistics, the College Board, the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, the Sustainable Endowment Institute and a data partnership with the Washington Monthly.
Newsweek considered five factors in its rankings: sexual health, drug scene, physical activity, campus food and student health care.
The magazine classified the best schools in 25 different categories, noting its philosophy that colleges aren’t “one size fits all” and that different schools are best for different students. Among the considerations for determining rankings in each niche were graduation outcomes, the magazine said, “as well as the quality of life and education during college.”
— Tom Tozer (Thomas.Tozer@mtsu.edu)