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September 3, 2008

U.S. News gives Kings Point good grades

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, N.Y., ranks fourth overall among the 32 Best First Tier Baccalaureate College Programs in the Northern States, according to U.S. News & World Report's recently released 2009 edition of America's Best Colleges.

The U.S. News baccalaureate college survey takes into account such factors as freshman retention, graduation rate, class size and admissions selectivity in determining its rankings. The Northern States in the survey comprise Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

In the North college region, the USMMA also ranks second among public colleges; second in having the lowest freshman acceptance rate; and fourth in having the highest graduation rate. In addition, the USMMA is tied for 34th place nationally among the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs listed in Americas Best Colleges.

"The U.S. News ranking as most welcome, but not necessarily a surprise," says Vice Admiral Joseph D. Stewart, the Superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. "We have a very focused academic program, small class size, outstanding faculty and students who are interested in serving the Nation. We are dedicated to our mission of producing the finest merchant mariners possible."

U.S. News defines baccalaureate colleges as institutions focused on undergraduate education that offer a wide range of degree programs in the liberal arts or professional fields. The Academy offers bachelor's degrees in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering.

In the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs category, the Academy shares 34th place with California State University-Los Angeles, The Citadel, and The University of Michigan–Dearborn. The U.S. News engineering school rankings are based on a peer survey of engineering school deans and senior faculty.

The USMMA, located in Kings Point, Long Island, N.Y., trains young men and women from across the nation as licensed merchant marine officers. Graduates receive bachelor of science degrees, merchant mariners' licenses and military commissions. Some 67 percent of the Academy's Class of 2008, which graduated less than three months ago, is employed at sea as licensed merchant mariners. Another 23 percent of the class is serving on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, while 9 percent is involved in shoreside maritime professions.

The Academy is operated by the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.


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