best in class

Annual report ranks Houston university as the best in Texas

Rice University ranks in the top 10 universities in the country, per this new report. Photo courtesy of Rice University

There's something to be said for consistency. In a new report card from Niche.com, Rice University retains its No. 7 ranking among the best colleges in the U.S. and its No. 1 ranking among the best colleges in Texas.

Niche.com, which helps students and parents pick schools, relies on data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Education to compile its annual rankings, as well as reviews and ratings from current students, alumni, and parents.

Here are the top 10 schools in Niche.com's ranking of the country's best colleges:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. Yale University
  5. Princeton University
  6. Duke University
  7. Rice University
  8. Brown University
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. Dartmouth College

Only two of the top 10 schools — Rice and Stanford — are west of the Mississippi River.

In this year's ranking, Niche.com de-emphasized the importance of SAT and ACT scores by 50 percent. In making that decision, Niche.com cited socioeconomic and racial disparities perpetuated by standardized tests, challenges making appointments for in-person tests due to COVID-19, and a rising number of institutions adopting test-optional policies.

"Our team recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as new variants such as the delta variant arise, will continue to have an outsize impact on the college admissions process this year," Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche.com, says in an August 16 news release. "We wanted to make sure our 2022 rankings reflect the current reality."

Rice is no stranger to accolades like the Niche.com ranking. It appears at No. 16 on U.S. News & World Report's most recent list of the top national universities, and at No. 16 in the most recent The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings of top U.S. colleges. In both cases, Rice is the top-rated school in Texas.

On Niche.com's national list, the highest-ranked Texas school behind Rice is the University of Texas at Austin (No. 52). Meanwhile, UT holds the No. 14 spot nationally among the best colleges for student life, making it the top Texas school in that category.

Among nationally ranked schools, UT Austin is followed in Texas' top 10 by:

  • Texas A&M University in College Station, No. 80
  • Southern Methodist University in Dallas, No. 88
  • Trinity University in San Antonio, No. 96
  • Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, No. 115
  • Baylor University in Waco, No. 145
  • LeTourneau University in Longview, No. 162
  • Texas Tech University in Lubbock, No. 168
  • University of Texas at Dallas, No. 209

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

Shortages in health care staffing are growing. Here's what this Houston expert has to say about the state of the labor market within the industry. Photo via Getty Images

Long before COVID-19 became a part of our new normal, the concerns around shortages in health care staffing were present.

To put this in real terms, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the latest projection of employment through the end of this decade is an increase of nearly 12 million jobs. A fourth of those — 3.3 million to be exact — are expected to go towards health care and social assistance roles.

Before the pandemic, the concerns centered around managing a growing retired population and a slowing in higher education nurse enrollment. Then amid the growing shortage concerns surrounding the support for aging baby boomers, we were all thrusted into a pandemic.

The stressors on health care professional staffing have doubled down and what the increased shortage has shown us is the need to intervene and change the traditional hiring practices. Speed to place a nurse on assignment doesn’t just ensure productivity — it is a matter of life or death.

Over the past several years, the evolution of technology has drastically changed how health care facilities operate and interact with their employees as well as patients. There was a point in time where the structure in health care staffing was rigid without flexibility or varieties of employment type. Conversations around travel positions, per diem, and permanent are all now commonplace as the recent shortages caused us to normalize the discussion around role type and use of technology to influence speed to hire.

This whole evolution was put to test when April 2020 came, and the initial brunt of the pandemic was in full swing. The entire world was in panic mode. During these quarantine times, we were in a state of a health care emergency with thousands of patients seeking health care. Unfortunately, hospitals could not keep up with this demand with their existing nurse professionals, and became severely overloaded and dangerous. Due to this the United States saw unprecedented labor shortages, impacting a large number of nurses and health care workers as it pertains to both their physical and mental health.

What we are seeing now is a period classified as the “The Great Rethinking,” where nurses and health care workers alike are speaking up for what they believe in and deserve. Salary transparency and flexibility are just the tip of the iceberg for this movement.

SkillGigs is unique in that we are giving the power back to registered nurses and health care professionals, while meeting the demand created by the pandemic. Our team has been fortunate to be a catalyst to direct the change in the future of work, and we look forward to continuing to innovate.

------

Bryan Groom is the division president of health care at Houston-based SkillGigs.

Trending News