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Catawba College Earns National Recognition as College of Distinction

July 12, 2017

Category: Academics, Alumni, Events, Students

co-distinction.pngNational guide to colleges highlights innovative learning opportunities at top schools

Innovative application of high impact educational practices at Catawba College earned the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.

Through Catawba College’s membership in the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), Catawba students can earn college credit and valuable life experience while participating in over 40 different semester or summer study abroad programs. The College also provides opportunities for students to take course work with shorter opportunities to travel abroad with their faculty and classmates over fall or spring break.

Catawba also offers a rich First-Year Experience that includes a summer retreat and a semester-long seminar. Both of these provide new students with an opportunity for a shared experience and a new social network that help ease the transition to college. It is during the First-Year Seminar that Catawba students begin to enhance their skills as critical thinkers, analytical problem-solvers, team players, strong writers and confident communicators.

“We’re so happy to award Catawba College for developing skills relevant to graduates’ lives,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction. “High student engagement in college is one of the keys to a successful undergraduate education. With an increasing emphasis on hands-on learning techniques, Colleges of Distinction applauds Catawba College for practicing methodologies that prepare students for their futures.”

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 is more than an annual ranking of colleges and universities. We only include colleges that offer every student a holistic and valuable experience,” said Schritter. “The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for serving their students and nurturing success. Like Catawba College, our member schools provide the affirming undergraduate experience every student deserves.”

To view Catawba College’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 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 resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, visit


Direct media inquiries to: Tonia Black-Gold, Communications Officer,, 704-637-4393

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