Student Engagement at Champlain College Earns National Recognition From ‘College of Distinction'

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Innovative learning opportunities at Champlain College have earned the school recognition among the nation's Colleges of Distinction.

Champlain students earned college credit and valuable life experience while participating in study abroad programs, as well as through service learning, internships and other new educational paradigms.

"Colleges of Distinction is delighted to honor Champlain College 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 Champlain for leading the way in the development of new methodologies that prepare students for the future."

This designation is the latest in a recent string of nationally recognized honors. Among the most recent honors:

  • Champlain College was named the #1 "Most Innovative School" in the North in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" 2016 ranking. The College held steady at #14 in the overall list of "Best Regional Colleges in the North." 
  • Champlain was #9 on the list of "Best College for Veterans," and one of six "A+ Schools for B Students in the North" according to U.S. News because Champlain offers a learning environment that rewards both spirit and hard work in a broad and engaged student body.
  • Champlain was included as one of 300 of the "best and most interesting schools" listed in the 2016 "Fiske Guide to Colleges," a leading college guidebook, highlighting colleges and universities in the United States, Canada,  and Great Britain.
  • Included in the 2016 edition of the Princeton Review's annual college guide, "The Best 380 Colleges," and the Princeton Review's Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition. 
  • Named #15 in the Princeton Review's Top Undergraduate Schools for Video Game Design. 
  • Two years ago, The Atlantic magazine described Champlain as the "Ideal College," in an article profiling the college and its programs.

"Champlain College is committed to being the finest small, professionally and globally focused college in the United States. We are honored to be recognized by Colleges of Distinction for our student engagement and learning opportunities that is keeping us strong in a competitive higher education environment. Our focus remains on ensuring our students success. We are proud of our 96 percent career success rate for students. We appreciate the inclusion in Colleges of Distinction and other publications that help to broaden the awareness of Champlain so that we can continue in our commitment to preparing students for work and life," said Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman.

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.

"We are very pleased that Colleges of Distinction has included Champlain College as one of the top colleges in the nation," noted Lisa Bunders, vice president of Enrollment Management at Champlain.

"Champlain is all about helping students find their academic and career passions and developing them to their highest potential and this recognizes that ongoing effort. Preparing students for the opportunities and challenges of an increasingly competitive world is not negotiable for us. When a student graduates from Champlain College, they can be confident that they are not only career-ready but also life-ready," she said.

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

To view Champlain 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 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

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit