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Education consulting company gives kudos to Cal U

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By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For the ninth consecutive year, California University of Pennsylvania was named one of the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review.

Officials at the California school announced this month that it earned praise for its education, facilities and small-town atmosphere.

The Princeton Review, a nationally recognized education services company, ranks colleges based on academic excellence and student opinions. Other factors include visits to schools and the opinions of independent college advisers.

The Princeton Review said it tries to present a mix of colleges in each region. It does not rank the colleges within those regional lists.

In student surveys, Cal U students praised the “good mix” of people at the university, which encourages classroom discussions. One student recalled meeting classmates from Brazil, Canada, and Europe as well as older, non-traditional students. That “unique blend of people,” the student said in a survey, makes Cal U “special.”

Other students praised the school's facilities and small-town setting not far from downtown Pittsburgh and the airport.

William Edmonds, dean of admissions, said he's “pleased” when an organization such as The Princeton Review recognizes the “high-quality educational experience available at Cal U.”

“This particular honor is especially meaningful because the selection is based on academic excellence, as well as comments from counselors and our students themselves,” Edmonds said in a statement. “The fact that California University has been named among The Princeton Review's ‘Best in the Northeast' for nine years in a row validates what we tell prospective students and their families — that a Cal U degree is a terrific value.”

Cal U spokeswoman Christine Kindl said in an email that the university is “very proud to be listed among the region's best universities.”

Educating students since 1852, Cal U currently enrolls 8,600 undergraduate and graduate students, providing more than 130 undergraduate majors/concentrations and 35 graduate program. It's a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

The Princeton Review's 226 “best Northeastern colleges” are spread from Pennsylvania to Vermont to Delaware. Nationally, 643 colleges — about 25 percent of the country's 2,500 four-year institutions — were named as best in their region this year, according to a Cal U news release.

Several other schools in the Pittsburgh region earned accolades as “best in the Northeast,” including Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Duquesne University, Seton Hill University, University of Pittsburgh and Washington & Jefferson College.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or

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