Old Dominion University’s Darden College of Education was recently recognized as one of the best graduate schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The college was ranked number 65 out of 235 total programs after a survey by more than 13,000 academic professionals on March 12.All the graduate programs in the nation were rated on peer assessment scores, superintendent scores, student selectivity, mean GRE scores, student-to-faculty ratios, percent of faculty with awards and many other categories.The categories that made ODU stand out were external grant funding and average funding per faculty member. The Darden College of Education funded $33.7 million for research in 2012, averaging $366,200 per faculty member.The ranking came as no surprise to Sharon Judge, associate dean of graduate studies and assessment at the college.“All of our graduate teacher education programs are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and their Specialized Professional Associations. U.S. News and World Report recognized the work of the education college’s graduate program in counseling as eighteenth in the nation in 2012,” she said.Even with so much commendation, the professionals at the college have been working to grow and expand its programs to give students the best environment possible. Judge felt the hard work and recognition would help the program grow even more. Judge said she hopes the college continues to be highly ranked, attract high quality students and engage is research and grant work to tackle the major issues facing communities, schools, clinics and businesses.