Bradley’s New Carnegie Classification Explained – The Bradley Scout

Photo via Bradley’s press release.

Bradley progressed in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and is now grouped as a Doctoral/Professional University, previously classified as a Major Masters Institution.

“This elevation in classification recognizes our advances in offering graduate programs and puts us in direct competition with other leading nationally recognized institutions,” said the university’s president, Stephen Standigard, in a press release on February 15. “The competition is definitely higher in this arena, but the audience is also wider.

The Carnegie classification system is revised every three years, and in 2018 the category of doctoral students/professionals universities were created to reflect graduate programs in professional practice rather than simply research-oriented programs.

Carnegie receives data from what universities submit to the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to classify each institution into groups. The Carnegie Classification System includes six classifications that describe undergraduate and graduate programs. The doctoral/professional category falls under the Basic classification.

Establishments in this category must have awarded at least 30 doctorates in professional practice in at least two programs. In the 2020-21 academic year, Bradley awarded 67 doctorates and offers three programs: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Education.

This classification was based on graduates of physical therapy and nursing programs. The Ed.D. the program began seeing graduates in December 2021.

Jennifer Burge, director of institutional effectiveness, said the new classification recognizes the breadth of programs offered by the university.

“It could help Bradley if we started a new strategic planning process or if an individual college wanted to see more institutions that looked like Bradley,” Burge said.

Erik Dalmasso, director of the doctoral program in education, higher education administration, said the new classification has an impact on the ability to recruit students.

“It’s confirmation of what we believe to be true about the level and quality of our programs,” Dalmasso said. “Bradley has been expanding into doctoral programs over the past few years and we certainly believe in their power, but it’s nice to have further validation of that at a national level.”

Scott Estes, program director for the yet-to-be-launched superintendent program, added that the new classification allows them to share program quality as they consider adding new doctoral programs.

With this new ranking, Bradley will now compete nationally in the U.S. News Best Colleges Ranking rather than regionally.

Burge said this classification change strengthens the connection to the university’s foundation and mission.

“[Mrs. Bradley] wanted to prepare students for useful learning and ethics,” Burge said. “As we think about doctoral/professional programs, the three doctoral degrees we offer are very professional, which I think is consistent with who we are as an institution and links to Lydia Moss Bradley, the foundation of the institution and the types of programs we offer.”

This article is the first of two related articles. The next article will dive deeper into the PhD programs offered at Bradley.

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