OBU has been named as a 2019-20 College of Distinction, a nationally prestigious designation for universities that demonstrate an innovative application of high impact educational practices.
The University was honored as a national College of Distinction, Oklahoma College of Distinction and a Christian College of Distinction. OBU also received recognition for three academic programs, being recognized as a Business College of Distinction, Education College of Distinction and Nursing College of Distinction. Additionally, the University was named a Career Development College of Distinction.
Since 2000, the Colleges of Distinction website and guidebook have recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for their excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. The member institutions of the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience by engaging students, hiring exceptional instructors, creating a vibrant community and preparing students for success outside of school.
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. OBU 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 first-year seminars, community-based learning programs, service-learning programs, diversity and global learning programs, intensive language programs, intensive writing courses, interdisciplinary programs, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, common intellectual experiences, capstone projects, study abroad programs and internships.
Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer for Colleges of Distinction, is thrilled to recognize OBU for its dedication to student success.
“We are so proud to see OBU walking the walk,” Schritter said. “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 OBU take 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,” Schritter said. “Instead, we value schools that embrace those differences. OBU 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.”
The College of Distinction’s field of study badges are true marks of honor in the world of higher education, representing programs that invest in student engagement within fields that demand innovative, critical thinking. This recognition acknowledges OBU’s commitment to prepare its students to take on the post-graduate world through an education that reaches beyond the basics.
“Student success is a given at OBU,” Schritter said. “All of its programs are backed with broad perspectives across the liberal arts. Every student is pushed to be inquisitive and active. And with such extensive experiential learning opportunities, it’s no wonder why OBU’s graduates feel expertly prepared by their professional education.”
The Education College of Distinction recognition demonstrates that the University graduates future educators who are not only knowledgeable, but also efficient mentors who provide empathetic support and utilize novel teaching methods. OBU’s teacher education program includes degrees in early childhood education, elementary education, English education, health and physical education, mathematics education, music education, science education, social sciences education and special education.
The Nursing College of Distinction award recognizes the excellence demonstrated in OBU’s College of Nursing, which trains its nursing students to take calculated action, even in high-pressure situations. OBU nursing students are challenged to remain curious and compassionate throughout their rigorous practice. Programs of study in nursing include a Bachelor of Science in nursing, an LPN to BSN program, and a Master of Science in Nursing.
The Business College of Distinction recognize OBU’s Paul Dickson College of Business as leaders in teaching students sound business practices in a globalized economy, the intricacies of modern business operations, effective communication skills and apt problem-solving strategies. OBU’s programs in accounting, computer science, finance, international business, management, marketing and social entrepreneurship keep their future leaders adaptable as they grow alongside their industry.
The University’s Career Development Office’s stellar track record in helping students secure employment led to OBU’s recognition as a Career Development College of Distinction. Schools awarded the Career Development badge have shown that they are well equipped to help their students graduate with confidence. Offering such resources as undergraduate and graduate assistance, IMB career assistance, free career assessment and resume assistance, OBU provides unparalleled support throughout every stage of career exploration, development and application.