Kentucky State University officials have worked feverishly over the last year to propel the institution to greater heights. New benchmarks indicate the effort is shifting the institution forward.

“Kentucky State University is committed to providing exceptional workforce-ready postsecondary educational opportunities for the Commonwealth and the region,” Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II said. “We are in the middle of campus-wide transitions in several core areas that will continue to yield benefits for the University and the Commonwealth.”

In the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Kentucky State University leaped into the top-25 of the historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) category. Ranked 22nd, the University climbed 16 spots from last year, when it ranked 38th.

Kentucky State is now the 12th-highest ranked public HBCU on the list, rising from 21st last year.

According to the U.S. News methodology, the publication surveys administrators at the nation’s HBCUs, asking the president, provost and admissions dean at each to rate the academic quality of all other HBCUs with which they are familiar.

“In addition to the two most recent years of survey results reflected in the peer assessment score, the rankings in this file are based on nearly all the same ranking indicators as those used in ranking the regional universities,” according to the U.S. News methodology.

Indicators include graduation and retention rates, social mobility, high school class standing, admission test scores, the strength of faculty and more.

Kentucky State also rose in the best regional colleges in the South category, improving to 30thfrom 33rd last year.

Kentucky was also named one of the top four top public schools among regional colleges in the South.