California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks was designated one of the best small colleges in the United States in an annual U.S. News & World Report survey published this week.
The poll of “small comprehensive colleges” includes 167 American institutions with 1,500 to 2,500 students and wide-ranging educational programs; its findings are based on such data as student test scores and faculty salaries.
Whittier College was ranked 4th and Azusa Pacific University 25th to round out California’s top scorers. Cal Lutheran was 18th.
“We are delighted at Cal Lutheran with this kind of recognition both for its regional impact and for its national significance,” said Jerry H. Miller, the university’s president. “I believe that this is a recognition of our faculty strength, the creativity in our educational program and the responsiveness of our students.”
Miller, a theologian, also attributed the rating to the college’s high faculty to student ratio (1 to 15) and a “flagship” program that promotes writing and verbal communication skills.
“For a relatively young university, I think this is an accrual of progress and advancement that is now showing some real maturity and strength in our university,” he said of the 29-year-old school.
This is the first year that the magazine has included solely objective information in its ratings of small comprehensive colleges and regional liberal arts colleges, said Jean Sandlin, Cal Lutheran’s public information director.
Before, U.S. News and World Report based its ratings on surveys of college officials, a subjective category that it continues to mesh with objective data for its poll of national universities and national liberal arts colleges.