No. 1 for 20 years!

March 11, 2014
Associate Professor Avner Segall and doctoral candidate Mark Helmsing teach a course for future teachers.

Associate Professor Avner Segall and doctoral candidate Mark Helmsing teach a course for future teachers.

For a solid two decades now, Michigan State University has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for both elementary and secondary education!

According to the latest graduate school rankings from U.S. News & World Report, released today, the MSU College of Education has been considered the best place to study elementary and secondary education since the rankings first started in 1995. At that time, Bill Clinton was serving his first term as president, Google was three years from reality and gas averaged $1.15 a gallon.

The college also has a long history of high rankings in other educational specialities–this year, a total of eight programs are in their respective top 10. Only two other education schools in the country can match that.

Dean Donald E. Heller said the rankings are a reflection of internationally respected faculty members and highly accomplished doctoral students who are helping transform K-12 education and teacher training through their research and classroom collaboration.

“The research conducted by our faculty and doctoral students is recognized for the impact it is having on education not just here in Michigan, but beyond the state’s borders and around the world,” Heller said. “We are proud of this (20-year) milestone, but even more proud of the strengths we have across many different areas in education.”

Here is the list of College of Education programs ranked:

Elementary education – #1

Secondary education – #1

Rehabilitation counseling – #2 (Ranked in 2011)

Curriculum and instruction – #4

Higher education administration – #5

Educational psychology – #6

Administration/supervision – #7

Education policy – #10

The College of Education ranks No. 15 overall in U.S. News’s 2015 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools. The overall college rankings reflect the quality of the curriculum, faculty, students and research within the college, as well as data from surveys of education deans and school superintendents nationwide. The individual program rankings are based on the survey of deans.

One stellar graduate student is Mark Helmsing, who left his job as a high school social studies teacher in 2009 to obtain his doctorate in the College of Education’s Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education program (which focuses on both elementary and secondary education).

Helmsing has two job offers from universities to be a tenure-track assistant professor after he finishes his dissertation this summer. He came to MSU to work with renowned professors including his advisor, Avner Segall, in the college’s Department of Teacher Education, and said the experience has been “transformative.”

During the past five years Helmsing has worked on a National Science Foundation research project exploring professional development for science teachers in New York City; participated in an education fellowship in Africa; published chapters in books and research papers in academic journals; taught multiple MSU courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and mentored future K-12 teachers during their required yearlong classroom internship.

“The high caliber of our teacher preparation programs has been a major talking point with university search committees when they vet my credentials and inquire about my experiences as MSU,” Helmsing said. “I don’t need to remind them that MSU is number one in elementary and secondary education – that fact is already well known.”


Visit for more information, and follow the conversation via the hashtag #1for20 on Twitter.

Check MSU News for information about graduate programs across campus.

In addition, the doctoral program in kinesiology at MSU, also offered within the College of Education, ranks #6 in the nation, according to a report from the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). Learn more.