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SHU Ranked #4 Most Innovative School in the North, According to U.S. News & World Report

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University was ranked one of the most innovative universities as well as one of the best universities in the North, according to U.S. News & World Report’s newly released guidebook, Best Colleges 2018.

“As one of the fastest growing Catholic universities in the nation, we are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News & World ReportPrinceton Review and many others for the educational excellence we provide,” said SHU President John J. Petillo.

Besides being named one of the best universities in the North, SHU also was one of four schools in the North to be recognized as an innovative school. For the past three years, U.S. News asks academics participating in its peer assessment survey to name institutions they think are the most innovative for its Most Innovative Schools listing. According to U.S. News, college presidents, provosts and admissions deans nominate 10 colleges they think are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. U.S. News said the ranking is based on the responses to the question.

“Being considered one of the most innovative universities is a result of our mission and careful strategic planning,” Petillo said.

In recent years, the University significantly grew its graduate programs to include more than 29 options, including three doctoral programs, and launched a School of Computing, which includes courses and programs in computer engineering and cybersecurity. The University also bought the 150-acre Great River Golf Course and is in the process of acquiring St. Vincent’s College, allowing more opportunities for students. The acreage of Sacred Heart has more than doubled in recent years due to the acquisitions of the former Jewish Senior Services site, and the General Electric corporate headquarters in Fairfield, the University’s new West Campus, which will be an innovation hub. SHU also will open its new $65 million Center for Healthcare Education later this month.

This year, SHU enrolled 1,420 first-year students. The new class constitutes the largest and most academically talented group in SHU history, surpassing records set by the previous four freshman classes. Chosen from a pool of nearly 10,000 applicants, the new freshmen distinguish themselves according to several factors:

  • The class has an average high school GPA of 3.5
  • More than 200 freshmen are National Honor Society members
  • They come from 10 countries and 24 states, ranging from California to Maine
  • Four hundred freshmen intend to participate in service learning programs this year
  • More than 200 freshmen plan to participate in performing arts programs
  • Nearly 92 percent of the freshmen live on campus.

The University also welcomed 145 transfer students and 47 part-time students in August, an 88 percent increase in part-time enrollment over last year.

Sacred Heart has earned recognition as well from the Princeton Review, which recently ranked the University one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and included SHU in its Best 382 Colleges guidebook. It also placed SHU on its lists for “Best College Theater” and “Most Engaged in Community Service,” each of which comprises only 20 schools from around the country.

http://www.sacredheart.edu/aboutshu/news/newsstories/2016/december/standard--poors-upgrades-sacred-heart-university-to-a-rating-.html

Standard & Poor’s Upgrades Sacred Heart University to A Rating

Standard & Poor’s has raised Sacred Heart University’s long-term rating to A from BBB+.

“In the midst of all the other exciting news of Sacred Heart’s extraordinary successes comes this news of a jump of two steps in our rating,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “S&P’s report noted our growing enrollment and diverse geographic footprint as reasons for our success.”

“Enrollment continued to grow into fall 2016 as the university expands both its undergraduate and graduate programs,” S&P’s report said.

In recent years, the University’s student population has grown to 5,400 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate students. That growth has also led to physical growth that is unprecedented in the University’s 54-year history.

Within the last two years, the University has completed and outgrown its Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center and finished its Jorge Bergoglio residence hall. The former houses the Jack Welch College of Business and School of Communication & Media Arts, and is a unique, world-class facility offering unparalleled resources for students, including media production studios, trading floor and interactive laboratories designed to advance the skills and knowledge needed for the global marketplace. The latter houses more than 200 sophomore students in two-bedroom (four-person) pods with a shared bathroom. Other amenities include a multipurpose fitness facility, a video game room for fun, classes and competitive video game club activities and lounges and conference rooms for socialization and learning outside the classroom.

Currently under construction is the University’s Center for Healthcare Education, Upper Quad Residential Village and a new building for WSHU Public Radio and the University’s Department of Public Safety. The Center for Healthcare Education will house the Colleges of Health Professions and Nursing and will offer students state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom facilities; enhanced athletic training, human performance and motion analysis labs; a life and sport analysis clinic; and a multipurpose amphitheater.

The Upper Quad, which was the former home of Jewish Senior Services, will eventually house approximately 750 students in an apartment-like setting and will offer dining options, including a Jersey-style old-fashioned diner.

The new radio station building will have two full studios and four editing suites, on-air-equipped control room studios and a large community room. The upper level will provide offices for the station’s production managers and engineers, administrative offices, a conference room and a roof deck for breakout space and fundraisers. The building also will become the new home for SHU’s Public Safety department, featuring a high-tech communication and dispatch center and many other amenities that will enhance the department’s service needs, responsibilities and requirements.

In addition, Sacred Heart last year purchased the 150-acre Great River Golf Course on the Housatonic River in Milford/Orange. Located just 11 miles away from SHU’s main campus, Great River Golf Club is a signature Tommy Fazio-designed facility that is now home to SHU’s men’s and women’s D-1 golf teams and will be the future home of a new hospitality program. The course, which garnered significant awards after it opened in 2001, retains its number four position in Golf Magazine’s 2016-2017 listing of the “Best Golf Courses You Can Play in Connecticut.”

Later this week, Sacred Heart will take ownership of the former GE global headquarters, which sits on 66 acres less than a mile from the University’s main campus in Fairfield. This transformational acquisition includes about 550,000 square feet for current and future use and enough space to meet the University’s needs for the foreseeable future. The University plans to use the site as an innovation campus, including providing incubator space that would allow students, in conjunction with investors and area businesses, to develop their creative ideas for new products and programs.

“We are pleased with the increase in our financial resources and all that has allowed us to do for our students,” said Michael Kinney, senior vice president for Finance & Administration at Sacred Heart. “To have S&P validate our strong financial profile with this rating increase is very gratifying.”

Only three private colleges in Connecticut (Yale, Wesleyan and Trinity) have an A rating or higher from Standard & Poor’s.