Towson University, founded in 1866, is a metropolitan university with the goal of providing affordable high quality education in the sciences and liberal arts. It is the second largest institution of higher education in Maryland, and currently has over 21,000 students. Originating as a teachers college, Towson retains a strong focus on teaching, both in classrooms at Towson and in developing and improving teaching pedagogy. The quality of education imparted at the University is evidenced by the increasing recognition of Towson at the national level. In 2009 it was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the top 100 public colleges and universities. In their 2010 America’s Best Colleges issue, U.S. News and World Reports ranked Towson 8th among the best public Master’s institutions in the North. Finally, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine listed Towson as one of the top 100 best values in public universities for the 2008-2009 academic year.