William Peace University Named a College of Distinction in 2021-2022 Cohort

July 8, 2021

College guide’s unique methodology continues to promote engagement over prestige.


William Peace University (WPU) has been recognized for its honorable commitment to engaged, immersive, hands-on education by Colleges of Distinction, a one-of-a kind guide for college-bound students. As an institution whose primary goals are based on student success and satisfaction, WPU claims its honor as one of the renowned Colleges of Distinction.

Colleges of Distinction’s long standing support for student-centered schools highlight those that traditional rankings often overlook. Founder Wes Creel created Colleges of Distinction to draw more attention to schools like WPU whose student-centered education prevails in applying theory to practice while fostering a dynamic learning community.

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools about each institution’s first-year experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, career development, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more and accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. These principles are all informed by the High-Impact Practices to prioritize the ways that institutions enable students to have a fulfilling, individualized college experience.

Every student has their own unique set of abilities, their own goals, and their own ideal settings in which they would thrive,” said Creel. “That’s why we don’t rank our schools. It’s about finding the best opportunities for each individual’s needs and desires. WPU’s inclusion is informed by the unique ways it commits to achieving success.”

Creel and his colleagues found that the most popular college rankings systems rely on metrics like peer reputation, size of endowment, and alumni salaries. They knew instead that the effective strategies for student satisfaction and outcomes were the kinds of engaging experiences found at William Peace University, such as immersive learning, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research and internships built into the curriculum.

Creel continued, “It’s inspiring to see WPU commit to the learning styles and community involvement that will best allow their students to succeed in and beyond their college years.

President Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D. shared, “This recognition of our approach to immersive learning, focus on student success, and our commitment to building community is a terrific honor and is the result of our incredible faculty and staff who keep students at the center of everything they do.”


About William Peace University (WPU):

Founded in 1857, William Peace University is a nationally ranked, award-winning educational institution. Located in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina, the University is proud to call one of the best cities in America its home.

About Colleges of Distinction

Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools throughout the U.S. for true excellence in higher education. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their dedicated focus on the undergraduate  experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for  students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.