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Western Pa. colleges, universities named to Colleges of Distinction list

Megan Tomasic
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Several Western Pennsylvania colleges and universities were named to the 2019-20 Colleges of Distinction list, which helps upcoming college students navigate schools across the country based on size, cost, location, academic offering and more.

Seton Hill University in Greensburg, California University of Pennsylvania in Washington County; Chatham, Duquesne, Point Park, Carlow universities in Pittsburgh; and Slippery Rock University in Butler County joined the list that is compiled based off four distinctions — engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

The guide, which was founded in 2000, performs interviews and research based on the freshman experience, general education programs, career development, strategic plan and student satisfaction before recommending a school. The site lists the number of undergraduate students at each school along with a male to female ratio, full-time to part-time ratio and college highlights.

According to a news release, Seton Hill was recognized for excellence exhibited in the classroom and incorporating high-impact practices in undergraduate education, including community-based and service-learning programs, alternative spring breaks, diversity and learning programs, capstone projects, study abroad programs and internships.

The Westmoreland County university was recognized in business, education and career development from Colleges of Distinction because of the university’s blend of liberal arts education, program-specific training and opportunities for real-world application.

“We are so proud to see Seton Hill University walking the walk,” Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer for Colleges of Distinction said in the release. “Colleges of Distinction knows that a truly valuable education can’t be measured by rank or reputation. Students learn and thrive best when they embrace hands-on learning in a vibrant, welcoming community.”

According to the Colleges of Distinction website, Cal U focuses on applied learning, which positions students of all ages and backgrounds for career success on campus and online. Chatham is focused on sustainability, health and wellness, business and communications and the arts and sciences while Duquesne uses the university core curriculum to incorporate liberal arts into each student’s undergraduate education.

Point Park focuses on bringing academic and professional work into the classroom, according to the website, Carlow specializes in a foundation of ethics and social justices to round out their liberal arts education and Slippery Rock combines academic instruction with applied learning opportunities.

College of Distinction, which is based in Austin, Texas, performs interviews and research based on the freshman experience, general education programs, career development, strategic plan and student satisfaction before picking a school. High school counselors and educators make nominations, and each school is evaluated on those key indicators.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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