Student Engagement at Woodbury University Earns National Recognition as College of Distinction

National Guide to Colleges Highlights Innovative Learning Opportunities at Top Schools

Innovative learning opportunities at Woodbury University grew in 2014–2015, earning the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.

Woodbury students earned college credit and valuable life experience through Woodbury’s unique WISE Program, which develops compelling educational experiences in five areas –undergraduate research, study away, civic engagement, leadership, and internships – that are equally accessible to all students. “WISE fosters transformative experiences that develop graduates with strong professional identities, applicable to the emerging local and global communities,” said Randy Stauffer, Woodbury’s Interim Provost and the lead on the university’s WISE initiative.

“Colleges of Distinction is delighted to honor Woodbury 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 Woodbury 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,” said Schritter. “We identify colleges that offer every student an educationally rewarding experience. The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for nurturing and serving their students across every measure. Like Woodbury University, our member schools provide the affirming undergraduate experience every student deserves.”

To view Woodbury’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

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California.  It offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and College of Transdisciplinarity, along with a Master of Arts in Media for Social Justice, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Interior Architecture (MIA), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Leadership.  The San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees, as well as an MSArch degree with concentrations in Real Estate Development and Landscape + Urbanism.  DesignIntelligence has ranked the Interior Architecture BFA #2 in the West. Woodbury ranks 15th among the nation’s “25 Colleges That Add the Most Value,” according to Money Magazine. Visit for more information.


Media Contact:
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
(323) 469-3397