Champlain Named ‘Most Innovative School' in North By US News 2016 ‘America's Best Colleges'

Champlain College welcomes the incoming Class of 2019 on Aiken Green.

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Champlain College has been named the #1 "Most Innovative School" in the North in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" 2016 ranking released today. The College held steady at #14 in the overall list of "Best Regional Colleges in the North." 

Other accolades from the well-known magazine's rankings include Champlain being cited as #9 on the list of "Best College for Veterans," and one of six "A+ Schools for B Students in the North" because Champlain offers a learning environment that rewards both spirit and hard work in a broad and engaged student body.

"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 U.S. News as one of the top 15 colleges in the region and as the only College in the North named to the ‘Most Innovative School' list. While we are pleased to be holding strong in a competitive environment our focus remains on ensuring our students success. We are proud of our 96 percent career success rate for students. It's icing on the cake that these rankings 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.

Ranking"The Most Innovative School" designation came from a peer assessment survey in spring 2015 that was sent to college presidents, provosts and admissions deans who were asked to nominate up to 10 colleges or universities in their ranking category that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities, according to Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News. A school had to receive at least seven nominations to be listed in this new category. Champlain was the only qualifying college in the North region, he noted.

Champlain's #9 ranking in the "Best College for Veterans" out of 33 schools, reflects the commitment to participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

Laackman noted that Champlain continues to gain notice in national college guides. This year the Burlington-based college joined 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.

Champlain College continued its strong showing in the 2016 edition of the Princeton Review's annual college guide, "The Best 380 Colleges," published in August, and is included in the Princeton Review's Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition; and was 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.

"We are very pleased that U.S. News, Fiske, and the Princeton Review, among others, continue to include Champlain College as one of the top colleges in the nation," noted Catherine O'Rourke, 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.

U.S.News's new rankings looks at 363 colleges in four regional categories of institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and professional fields. The regional ranking includes all colleges in New England, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

"Champlain's position in the ranking reflects well upon our commitment to an educational paradigm that focuses on the whole student experience-professional education, core liberal arts, life skills and financial sophistication," said Champlain College Provost and Chief Academic Officer Laurie Quinn.

"We endeavor to be a leader in educating today's students to become skilled practitioners, effective professionals and engaged global citizens. Preparing students for the working world is at the heart of what we do extremely well and these college rankings reflect our commitment to that goal," Laackman added.

US NEWS The U.S. News & World Report 2016 "America's Best Colleges" represents a comprehensive look at how more than 1,400 accredited four-year colleges compare on a set of 15 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance.

Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience and more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Champlain students can study abroad at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland.

College officials agree that rankings are one way for students to learn about a school. "More importantly, we have found that prospective students are able to make the best decisions about their educational choices after visiting the campus, talking with faculty, meeting other students, touring the facilities and using that knowledge to determine if a school is the right fit for their interests and career choices," said Chris Perlongo, director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Champlain College will hold two fall Open Houses for high school seniors, juniors and transfer students on Saturday, Sept. 19 and Oct. 24, with an information program designed for prospective students and their families with student-led campus tours and opportunities to meet with faculty and current students. For more information about Champlain College and to arrange a campus visit, go to

The new edition of the U.S. News & World Report's "2016 Best Colleges" book is available online today and will be on newsstands later this month. More details are available at
See Champlain College's US News page at

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