Posted: June 29, 2012
Central Washington University has been named a 2012-2013 College of Distinction by the Colleges of Distinction college guide. The national recognition is based on the university “continuing to provide students with the highest level of undergraduate education as evidenced by your commitment to the Four Distinctions: Student Engagement, Great Teaching, Vibrant Communities, and Successful Outcomes.”
Colleges and universities earning Colleges of Distinction acknowledgement are nationally recognized by education professionals as excellent schools that are strongly focused on teaching undergraduates, a quality that CWU President James L. Gaudino sets CWU apart from other institutions.
“Students at Central get small classes taught by professors passionate about teaching,” said Gaudino, adding that CWU professors are recruited and rewarded for their commitment to teaching. “We are committed to student success first and foremost, and it shows in the achievements of our undergraduates.”
Colleges of distinction must also demonstrate a wide variety of innovative learning experiences, with active campuses offering many opportunities for personal development, and highly valued by graduate schools and employers for outstanding preparation of students. Gaudino said that the latest example is Anne Egger, professor of geological sciences and science education, who received the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction from Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Egger is the first Washington scientist to receive the award.
In order to earn the College of Distinction designation, a university must be nominated by a high school or college counselor. The nominated schools are then reviewed based on a mix of qualitative and quantitative information.
The qualitative information comes from the nominated institution’s staff and faculty, along with feedback from college admission experts, administrators, and other college and high school counselors across the country. In addition, publication representatives visit each nominated institution to get feel for student engagement and teaching quality. The quantitative analysis is based on graduation rates, classroom size, and other key statistics.
The stated goal of Colleges of Distinction is to provide students, parents, and counselors with information about higher educational institutions that excel in what really matters, including success of its graduates, quality of teaching, innovative programs, and campus atmosphere.
Nationally, CWU has the 12th best six-year graduation rate among fifty comparable institutions, as determined by College Results Online.