Cal Lutheran ranked one of the best universities in the West

For the 21st consecutive year, California Lutheran University was honored by being ranked among the top regional universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report.

Out of 87 regional universities in the West, Cal Lutheran is ranked 16th. When asked why Cal Lutheran continuously retains its high ratings from U.S. News and similar publications, many look first to the university’s intimate class sizes, which allow for a more enriched educational experience.

“Cal Lutheran’s commitment to small class sizes, our Four-to-Finish guarantee and the support that we provide to students through graduation are factors that contributed to our U.S. News and World Report ranking,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Leanne Neilson said.

Once the regionally accredited schools are categorized by their mission, the publication gathers data from each school on as many as 16 factors of academic excellence.

Although there are an overwhelming range of variables that go into putting together a cohesive and comprehensive report such as this, U.S. News has a list of major components that determine the review.

According to Neilson, the rankings are determined using a number of measures, including freshmen to sophomore retention rates, six-year graduation rates, student SAT and ACT scores, class sizes and alumni giving.

Engaging students on an individual basis is something faculty and students alike take pride in. Cal Lutheran boasts it’s 16-to-1 student-faculty ratio, not to mention classes with fewer than 20 students increasing to 59 percent according to the university website.

“Here at CLU you actually get to know your professors, they have a genuine interest in your education,” Director of Undergraduate Admission Michael Elgarico said. “Some schools around the country exactly mimic that approach, whereas here you can take control of your experience and customize it in a way that you can be really engaged.”

Along with its excellent general rating, Cal Lutheran was also ranked 14th among regional western universities for veterans. The university has a place in this ranking every year since it began in 2012.

“Cal Lutheran has appeared in the U.S. News Best Colleges for veterans for a few reasons,” Veteran Coordinator, Jenn Zimmerman said. “The first being, we accept and process the GI Bill for our students. The second reason is we are a Yellow Ribbon University. That means for students who are using their Post 9/11 GI Bill will have all of their tuition and fees paid for.”

Zimmerman said there are currently 113 students using their GI Bill benefits on campus.

“It is crucial to the success of student veterans to have a place where they can feel comfortable making the transition out of the military and into college,” Zimmerman said.

Zimerman said it’s important to have higher education programs for veterans.

“By having mentors on campus veteran students are more likely to graduate. The end goal is to be there for them while they are focusing on their studies. When veterans are successful, society as a whole gets better,” Zimmerman said.

Along with U.S. News, Cal Lutheran also made the lists of other prominent publications including Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges, PayScale’s College Salary Report and Washington Monthly’s Master Universities.

Almost 4,200 students get access to undergraduate and graduate programs through its College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Education and School of Management.

Sahal Farah
Staff Writer
Published September 23rd, 2015