Access to high-speed Internet is crucial to the academic success of today’s college students. Offering flexibility in how courses are delivered, high-speed Internet is a popular commodity on campuses to facilitate access to academic support services and networking among students and faculty.
The first-ever ranking of the U.S. News & World Report “Most Connected Colleges” is a measure of schools’ effectiveness in providing these online services. The University of Miami is ranked No. 4 on this list of top schools offering advanced Internet connections and online resources. This recognition reflects the UM Department of Information Technology’s commitment to providing, securing, and supporting technology resources that enable the University to achieve national and international distinction and leadership in academics, research, and clinical care.
“I’m extremely proud of my team at UM for consistently providing innovative, secure, and reliable technology solutions in support of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Steve Cawley, vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer. “Being named to the U.S. News & World Report “Most Connected Colleges” list is evidence of our team’s commitment to and enthusiasm about the future of this University.”
Factors considered in the Most Connected Colleges ranking include the percentage of housing units with free Wi-Fi, the highest Internet bandwidth available to undergraduates on campus, and the ability for students to perform online tasks such as submitting tuition payments through a centralized system.
“This recognition echoes our mission to create a campus that is conducive to a terrific learning environment regardless of campus location and a vibrant student life,” said Pat Whitely, UM vice president for student affairs. “The University community continues to provide a multitude of services that support student accessibility and enhanced learning.”
The ranking is computed entirely from school responses to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges statistical survey collected during the spring and summer of 2012. The survey included questions asking schools to report on their technological offerings during the 2011-2012 academic year. Based on this information, U.S. News computed a Connectivity Index for each school: the sum of all point values awarded to schools based on their responses to the technology questions. The higher a school’s Connectivity Index, the better its Most Connected rank.
U.S. News has published rankings for all schools scoring 50 or higher in their Connectivity Index to showcase the schools that are closest to achieving the highest level of connectivity possible. The University of Miami received a score of 72, along with recognition for providing 100 percent of its college housing facilities with Wi-Fi.
Altogether, 278 out of 1,471 schools that supplied connectivity data, or 19 percent, were ranked. The Most Connected Colleges numerical rankings were assigned in descending order of schools’ unrounded Connectivity Indexes. A perfect Connectivity Index score is 100, and the lowest possible score is 0.
For the fourth year in a row, UM ranked in the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges issue. UM is once again the highest-ranked school in Florida.