Georgian Court University donated more than 60,000 hours of community service hours last year, including time spent at Ocean County Hunger Relief’s thrift shop, pictured here.
Lakewood, N.J., November 10, 2015—Innovative learning opportunities at Georgian Court University grew in 2014–2015, earning the school recognition among the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.
Georgian Court University students earned college credit and valuable life experience while participating in study abroad programs in more than a dozen countries, as well as through 60,000+ hours of service learning, and participation in learning communities, internships, and other new educational paradigms.
“Colleges of Distinction is delighted to honor Georgian Court University for its success in expanding programming by developing competencies relevant to graduates’ lives,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction, which also recognized GCU as a Catholic College of Distinction. “Active engagement is well recognized as a key to ensuring that undergraduates get the most out of their educations, and it has a proven correlation with on-time graduation as well.
“Students increasingly demand access to hands-on learning, and Colleges of Distinction congratulates Georgian Court for leading the way in the development of methodologies that prepare students for the future,” he said.
Making the List
Schools must demonstrate results across 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 area and that have demonstrated dedication to enriching student outcomes through innovative learning opportunities are invited to join Colleges of Distinction.
Georgian Court University distinguished itself by offering students a wealth of opportunities to complete research on their own and alongside faculty, including biology students’ research abroad visit to Costa Rica in April.
In addition, GCU aggressively promotes internship opportunities with a network of regional employers and non-profit organizations; study abroad and international learning opportunities in cities such as London and Bhutan; and living and learning communities, which offer students shared experiences around themes like International Cultures, Outdoor Adventures, Gateway to the Arts and Sustainability. Last year, the university also reported more than 60,000 hours of volunteer service to the community, giving students a chance to gain knowledge and skills in real life settings. In many majors, service experience also makes students more competitive in the job market.
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. The honor comes on the heels of other accolades GCU has received since July when Money named GCU among the Top 50 Schools that Add the Most Value. In addition, The Economist recently recognized Georgian Court as a value-added institution.
Increasingly, organizations outside of higher education are looking beyond the traditional rankings to offer the public a different perspective on what matters most.
“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 Mr. Schritter. “The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for nurturing and serving their students across every measure. Like Georgian Court University, our member schools provide the affirming undergraduate experience every student deserves.”
To view Georgian Court University’s profile or to find more information about the innovative learning experiences it offers, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and an historic, special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,300 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 30+ undergraduate majors and 10 graduate programs. The main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also serves students at New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.