University of Minnesota Rochester Championed as A College of Distinction

Authored By: Mamisoa Knutson 02/07/2020

Colleges of Distinction Header with campus badge

University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) has received national recognition for the integrity of its individualized and engaging education. As an institution whose primary goals are based on student success and satisfaction, UMR confirms its honor as one of the renowned Colleges of Distinction

This award is unique among popular college guide classifications, which typically rank schools on the basis of hollow or unclear numbers like the size of endowment, selectivity and faculty salaries. UMR instead earns its recognition for the excellence exhibited in the classroom, incorporating High-Impact Practices throughout every student’s undergraduate education. Such student-centered programs include Student Success Coaches assigned to every student for their four years at UMR who provide academic, career and life coaching, Learning Living Communities where students with similar interests live and learn together, and JustASK where faculty are available in student spaces for students to ask questions, get suggestions, talk about strategies and discover solutions. Students also participate in capstone experiences, internships across the community including at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, study away programs and undergraduate research.

“We are so proud to see University of Minnesota Rochester walking the walk,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “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. That’s why it’s so encouraging to find UMR taking such an innovative approach with its curriculum: its High-Impact Educational Practices ensure that the undergraduate experience is worthwhile and unique.”

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of detailed interviews and research for each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, career development, strategic plan, student satisfaction and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes. 

“Colleges of Distinction doesn’t rank schools because we know that every student is different in what they need to best learn, grow and succeed,” said Schritter. “Instead, we value schools that embrace those differences. UMR puts the student experience first, providing all the tools and opportunities they need to become lifelong learners who are ready to take on any challenge in today’s ever-evolving society.”