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SMSU Named a College of Distinction for 2023-2024

Published Monday, July 17, 2023

Colleges of Distinction, 2023-2024
Colleges of Distinction, 2023-2024

SMSU recognized for excellence in hands-on learning and student success.

Marshall, Minn.— Southwest Minnesota State University has been named a College of Distinction for the 2023-2024 academic year, marking its commitment to providing a high-quality undergraduate education that focuses on hands-on learning, strong student-faculty relationships, a vibrant campus life, and successful outcomes.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Colleges of Distinction for this honor,” said SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya. “SMSU strives to create an inclusive and student-centered environment that helps students make the most of their educational experience. Colleges of Distinction takes into consideration the overall excellence of SMSU, which makes the honor so meaningful.”

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. As a College of Distinction, SMSU has shown excellence in each of these areas, providing its students with a well-rounded, practical education that prepares them for successful careers and lives.

“We believe that engaged students are successful students,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer at Colleges of Distinction.” And SMSU’s dedication to experiential learning shows us that each of its students has the opportunity to play an active role in their education.”

To be named a College of Distinction, SMSU demonstrated excellence in undergraduate education in such factors as student engagement, teaching excellence, outcomes-based learning, and community involvement. This evaluation process differs from those of popular college rankings publications, whose formulas grade institutions based on things like faculty salaries, endowment size, and peer opinion.

”We don’t rank our schools,” said Schritter. “Every student has individual needs and flourishes in a specific environment. We prefer to focus on the innovative ways that colleges all around the country are providing an enriching undergraduate experience.” SMSU’s inclusion as a College of Distinction is a testament to the way it caters to its own students’ potential and goals, helping them achieve success in unique ways that cannot be ranked against others.

Schritter continued, "We are deeply inspired by how SMSU immerses students in their academic pursuits, fostering a welcoming community that provides unwavering support throughout their college years and beyond."

To view SMSU’s profile or to find more information about the programs it offers, visit

About Colleges of Distinction
Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools with a dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit

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