by Kevin Dicciani
For providing high-quality, hands-on learning in a vibrant and welcoming community, Chestnut Hill College has once again achieved national recognition as a “College of Distinction.”
This is the third consecutive year the College received the honor from Colleges of Distinction, an organization whose annual college guidebook identifies the nation’s top colleges and universities. For the first time, the organization officially recognized the College for its education and business programs. The College was also named for the third time as both a Catholic and a Pennsylvania College of Distinction.
“As an institution whose primary goals are based on student success and satisfaction, Chestnut Hill College confirms its honor as one of the renowned Colleges of Distinction,” said Tyson Schritter, the chief operating officer for Colleges of Distinction, which made the announcement on July 22. “Chestnut Hill College puts the student experience first, providing all the tools and opportunities they need to become lifelong learners who are ready to take on any challenge in today’s ever-evolving society.”
Around 400 schools made Colleges of Distinction’s 2019–2020 list of the nation’s top colleges and universities. To qualify, a school must have a strong focus on teaching undergraduates, a variety of innovative experiences, an active campus community with a wealth of opportunities for personal development, and the acknowledgment from graduate schools and employers that it successfully prepares students for the future. Additionally, schools must offer study abroad programs, service projects, and learning experiences that educate students in holistic ways that transcend the classroom.
Colleges of Distinction selects an institution for its list after carrying out extensive research and conducting interviews with professors, students, and alumni. In doing so, the organization learns about a school’s general education programs, strategic plan, student satisfaction, career development, retention efforts, and freshman experience. The list, published both in print and on its website, is used nationwide as a resource by students, families, and high school guidance counselors.
The organization’s process of selecting the nation’s top schools differs from the methods often employed by standard college guidebooks. While a majority of those publications choose institutions on the basis of endowments, historic reputation, and faculty salaries, Colleges of Distinction instead bases its selections on high-impact practices and student-centered programs that offer undergraduates hands-on educational experiences that expand upon their course of study. The organization cited the Academic Discovery Program as an example of the College’s commitment to providing students with resources that help them achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.
“Colleges of Distinction doesn’t rank schools, because we know that every student is different in what they need to best learn, grow, and succeed. Instead, we value schools that embrace those differences,” Schritter said. “That’s why it’s so encouraging to find Chestnut Hill College take such an innovative approach with its curriculum: Its high-impact educational practices ensure that the undergraduate experience is worthwhile and unique.”
For more information, please visit collegesofdistinction.com.