Name: Jennifer Burt
SUU Thunderbirds have two more points of pride as they arrive on campus this fall in the growing reputation of an SUU education.
Just days from the official start of the new school year, the campus is proud to announce its placement in the nation’s top collegiate rankings as a member of The Princeton Review’s Best Colleges listing for the western region and as one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Universities.
Most recently, SUU was listed in the top tier of all regional universities in the West in the 2011 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News Media Group.
According to a news release from U.S. News, “The 2011 Best Colleges package provides the most thorough examination of how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence.”
Primarily evaluating the institution’s academic excellence, these rankings gratify SUU Provost Brad Cook who has worked tirelessly with college deans and department chairs to identify and augment the very academic qualities that set SUU apart as something distinctly valuable.
Just one week earlier, SUU officials were also notified of the University’s placement on The Princeton Review’s Best in the West list as one of just 120 western institutions recommended in its "2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region" rankings.
In the profile on Southern Utah University, The Princeton Review surveyed current and former students in its evaluation of the University’s academics, student life and overall campus morale, particularly noting that “the ‘typical T-bird’ has an eagerness for learning, a passion for involvement and a contagious friendliness that combine to put other students at ease.”
In fact, on a scale of one to 100, SUU was given a 97 for Quality of Life within the SUU experience.
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Stephen Allen, who works closely with prospective students, sees such recognition as significant because it recognizes the student experience in its entirety.
Allen explains, “The gains made by SUU in areas such student retention and the percentage of full-time faculty with terminal degrees along with SUU's hallmark of small classes and personalized attention have earned the University this recognition".
It is that holistic approach to evaluating the University’s success that officials have made a priority, recognizing that the college experience is incomplete without the learning and wisdom gained from real life experiences well beyond the walls of a classroom.
Says SUU President Michael Benson, “Our public/private message continues to gain traction as students from all over choose SUU for its quality programs, the value of its degree and the chance to enjoy all the University community has to offer.”
Cook, who provides chief oversight of the University’s academics, adds “The national recognition of SUU's value, uniqueness and quality should be of little surprise to those who know it well, and it will only get better over time. It is gratifying to know that others outside of the state are acknowledging those facts.” He adds, “It’s an exciting time to be at Southern Utah University.”
Indeed, the educational and extracurricular opportunities that comprise the SUU Experience are something both valuable and unique.
Recognition from the nation’s top academic ranking entities only validate what the SUU campus already knows: it truly is a great time to be a Thunderbird.
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