Recognition as 2017 College of Distinction

Published: January 17, 2017 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Students with T-bird signInnovative application of high impact educational practices at Southern Utah University earned the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. SUU is the only public university in Utah named with this prestigious designation.

With world-class experiential learning, unique undergraduate research opportunities and a personalized learning environment, SUU students earn college credit along with valuable life experience and transferable skills. True to the University's core vision, SUU faculty, staff and administrators enable students to honor thought in all its finest forms, achieve excellence in their chosen field, and create positive change in the world.

“We’re so happy to award Southern Utah University for developing skills relevant to graduates’ lives,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction. “High student engagement in college is one of the keys to a successful undergraduate education. With an increasing emphasis on hands-on learning techniques, Colleges of Distinction applauds SUU for practicing methodologies that prepare students for their futures.”

“I am pleased to learn that Southern Utah University has been recognized as a College of Distinction,” said SUU Provost Dr. Brad Cook. “This distinction for SUU continues to add validation for our efforts to offer the best public educational experience possible.”

Schools must demonstrate results across the Four Distinctions—Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. High school counselors and educators make nominations, and each school is evaluated on key indicators including student engagement, student empowerment, and curricular innovation. Colleges that have distinguished themselves in each of the Four Distinctions and that have demonstrated dedication to enriching student outcomes through innovative learning opportunities are then invited to join Colleges of Distinction.

The annual process to select the nation’s Colleges of Distinction also includes a review of each institution’s freshman experience, as well as its general education program, strategic plan, and alumni success and satisfaction measures.

“Colleges of Distinction is more than an annual ranking of colleges and universities. We only include colleges that offer every student a holistic and valuable experience,” said Schritter. “The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for serving their students and nurturing success. Like Southern Utah University, our member schools provide the affirming undergraduate experience every student deserves.”

“At SUU, we always strive to provide the very best high impact practices for our students and their futures through an engaged, career-oriented learning experience,” said Cook. “SUU will continue to distinguish itself as a premier higher education institution in the Intermountain West throughout the coming years.”

To view SUU’s profile or to find more information about the innovative learning experiences it offers, visit

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