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Student Engagement at CBU Earns National Recognition as College of Distinction

National guide to colleges highlights innovative learning opportunities at top schools

MEMPHIS — Innovative learning opportunities at Christian Brothers University (CBU) grew in 2014–2015, earning the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.

CBU students earned college credit and valuable life experience while participating in study abroad programs, as well as through service learning, learning communities, internships, and other new educational paradigms.

“CBU’s inclusion among the Colleges of Distinction affirms the great strides and innovations we’ve made and continue to make,” said Dr. John Smarrelli, CBU President. “Their criteria for selection is actually the hallmark of a CBU education and an affirmation of our mission: students who are engaged not only in their studies but also their community, and top-notch professors who make learning an engrossing and hands-on experience that provides the skills to make our graduates valuable in the workplace and successful in graduate and professional schools.”

“Colleges of Distinction is delighted to honor Christian Brothers University for its success in expanding programming by developing competencies relevant to graduates’ lives,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction. “Active engagement is well recognized as a key to ensuring that undergraduates get the most out of their educations, and it has proven correlation with on-time graduation as well. Students increasingly demand access to hands-on learning, and Colleges of Distinction congratulates CBU for leading the way in the development of new methodologies that prepare students for the future.”

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 provides more than just a ranking or a tally of test scores. We identify colleges that offer every student an educationally rewarding experience,” said Schritter. “The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for nurturing and serving their students across every measure. Like CBU, our member schools provide the affirming undergraduate experience every student deserves.”

Aside from its national selection, CBU is also designated as a Tennessee College of Distinction and a Catholic College of Distinction. To view CBU’s profile or to find more information about the innovative learning experiences it offers, visit

About Colleges of Distinction
Since 1999, the Colleges of Distinction website and e-guidebook have recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. The member schools in the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience. provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and more for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, visit

Posted by Cory Dugan at 3:58 PM