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Bradley marked as distinct college

Bradley has been selected as one of 240 colleges to be included in the first edition of “Colleges of Distinction.”
The guidebook is designed to expose colleges that offer first-rate undergraduate educations but are often overlooked by other books that focus only on nationally known schools.
It uses four pillars to select schools – level of student engagement, vibrant communities, quality of teaching and successful outcomes.
The book is available on Amazon and it will hit Barnes and Noble and Borders in the end of December or beginning of January, CEO and President of Colleges of Distinction Wes Creel said.
Creel said spending a day touring campus and meeting with students, faculty and administration helped him decide Bradley should be included in the book.
“One of the things that I think makes Bradley stand out is that it’s a small, teaching-centered university,” he said. “It’s got some of the benefits of a larger institution, but the small ones as well. There’s not many schools like that in the country.”
He said Bradley has a larger course offering than most schools its size.
The book also takes each college’s surrounding community into consideration.
“Peoria’s a good size, but it’s not gigantic and it’s not a little rural town in the middle of nowhere,” Creel said.
“Colleges of Distinction”focuses on smaller universities. In addition to the four pillars, other important factors are class size, student-to-teacher ratio and student activities and organizations, he said.
“We believe that some students can be very successful at the larger state universities, but often smaller schools offer a better student-centered education,” Creel said.
Bradley is one of 12 colleges in Illinois included in the book. Others include Illinois Wesleyan, Millikin University and University of Loyola Chicago.
“Colleges of Distinction” has had a Web site since 2003, but Creel said he felt a need from high school students and counselors to publish a book. A new edition will be published next year and every other year following.