Colleges of Distinction has named SUNY Oswego to its 2016-17 top overall and top public colleges list for providing “an innovative, engaged experience that prepares students for successful careers, active citizenship and lifelong learning.”

As a College of Distinction, SUNY Oswego excels at four overarching distinctions: engagement, teaching, community and outcomes, according to Wes Creel, founder and president of the Austin-based higher education evaluation company.

“A truly great school must emphasize core competencies such as critical thinking, writing, oral communication, research and global perspectives. They must also offer dynamic, out-of-classroom learning, intensive study abroad programs and other experiential learning opportunities,” Creel wrote. “Colleges of Distinction’s goal is to find schools, such as SUNY Oswego, that provide these types of high-impact practices.”

The company focuses on high-performing colleges and universities that are “the perfect size to ensure that each student is seen as an important member of the community—academically and in the day-to-day life on campus.”

The Colleges of Distinction website offers a profile of SUNY Oswego——as a guide to prospective students and their parents, counselors and other educators. The profile, while including statistics, emphasizes “engaged students,” “great teachers,” “vibrant communities” and “successful outcomes.”

Under the engaged-students heading, the website points out the importance of community service and service learning at SUNY Oswego, noting the college’s prestigious Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement designation and its annual appearance on the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Other experiential-learning opportunities come in the form of study-abroad options in many countries around the world for a variety of durations, from a few days to a year, the Colleges of Distinction profile notes. Additionally, hundreds of students a year take advantage of internships and other on- and off-campus work experiences, such as Oswego’s first-in-SUNY multiple-major cooperative education program, launched five years ago.

Participation in SUNY Oswego academic life also transcends classroom boundaries: The annual Quest student research symposium, hands-on equipment in state-of-the-art labs and the living laboratory at Rice Creek Field Station, and an expansive student-involvement culture all build the college’s profile, the site noted.

“Students come to know and respect their professors and create strong bonds with them throughout their time at Oswego,” Colleges of Distinction said. “They will receive more individual attention and feel more comfortable expressing diverse ideas and opinions.”

SUNY Oswego’s student-success efforts, such as the First-Year Experience and award-winning Career Services initiatives, and its more than 85,000 alumni all bear witness to student outcomes, according to Colleges of Distinction.

Colleges of Distinction lists educational institutions, resources and college-search suggestions on its website,, and will release a print and digital guidebook in September on noteworthy institutions like SUNY Oswego.

For more information on SUNY Oswego, visit