Colleges of Distinction takes a qualitative approach to evaluating colleges and universities. Their mission is not to judge colleges’ performance on objective criteria, but to offer substantive guidance to prospective students looking for the best college to suit their particular needs.
“Our selection as one of the newest Colleges of Distinction validates our campus community’s efforts to create an open, inclusive and academically rigorous climate at SUNY New Paltz,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management L. David Eaton. “We are fast gaining recognition as one of the hardest schools to get into in all of New York State, and this latest honor illustrates many of the reasons why: the dedication of our faculty, the many successes of our alumni, our cutting-edge facilities, and the high-caliber performance, in and out of the classroom, of our diverse student body.”
In order to join the ranks of the Colleges of Distinction, SUNY New Paltz demonstrated strong performance across four categories – Great Teaching, Engaged Students, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes – which together help paint a picture of what kinds of learning experiences, faculty collaborations and lifetime outcomes students can expect when they enroll.
The “Engaged Students” feature, for instance, may include quantitative data about student retention and graduation rate, but also features detailed descriptions of the breadth of opportunities available to New Paltz students, such as study abroad, undergraduate research, internships and student clubs.
This more qualitative evaluation fills a need for prospects and families and can be a useful comparative tool, especially when used in tandem with more quantitative metrics and rankings systems.
The Colleges of Distinction profile for SUNY New Paltz is published online and will be included in the upcoming printed guidebook, which is used by high school students, guidance counselors and families nationwide.
SUNY New Paltz is nationally ranked among the nation’s top public colleges by a variety of highly regarded publications. Most recently, Kiplinger’s recognized New Paltz on its list of “Best College Values”; the U.S. News and World Report declared New Paltz No. 5 among all public regional universities in the North region; the Business Journals placed New Paltz among America’s top 75 public colleges and universities; Forbes magazine named New Paltz on its list of the best colleges and universities in the nation; and Princeton Review had New Paltz on its list of “Best Colleges: Region by Region,” as well as on its list of the Greenest colleges in the U.S.