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7-27-15 La Sierra University 8th in nation for value-added education

by Darla Tucker

Mary E. Wilson, chair of La Sierra University’s Department of Communication gives advice to La Sierra student Adrian 'Fif' Wilson. (Photo by Natan Vigna) 

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – La Sierra University, a 93-year-old institution whose mission centers around the holistic development of its students, saw its efforts recognized in a national ranking publicized last week by Money Magazine.
The university ranked eighth in the nation on a list of 50 universities and colleges lauded by the magazine for adding the most value to students’ education. “What’s impressive is when a college can help students do far better than you’d expect based on their academic and economic backgrounds and the mix of majors at their schools. These 50 schools do just that,” the magazine said.
In their specific analysis of La Sierra’s placement, the magazine noted the university’s six-year graduation rate of 59%, “which is 18 percentage points higher than comparable schools,” its 50 majors including the relatively recent additions of archaeology, criminal justice, environmental science, film production, neuroscience, and physics, and the high achievements of the university’s Enactus team which has won six national titles and two world cups. “Community service also plays a big role on campus, and students can take international mission trips,” the magazine commented.
La Sierra is the only Seventh-day Adventist institution on the top 50 list, and one of three recognized in the Inland Empire region. The University of California, Riverside placed 11th on the ranking and the University of La Verne placed 46th.
In addition, La Sierra ranked 216th on Money’s Best Colleges list of 736 higher education institutions around the country rated on the best value for tuition dollars. La Sierra was one of two Seventh-day Adventist universities to make the cut – Andrews University placed 367th on the ranking. Local faith-based institutions ranked by Money include the University of Redlands at 361, Azusa Pacific University which ranked 458th, Point Loma Nazarene University which came in at 516, Chapman University which placed 608th, Biola University which came in at 620, and California Baptist University which placed 656th.
“I am grateful for the manner in which the university family continues to encourage our development as a learning community. It is indeed a wonderful thing to see that our university is being recognized for our commitment to our core mission,” said La Sierra University President Randal Wisbey.
Retiring Associate Provost Barbara Favorito, who has held various positions at La Sierra since 1990, noted the care given by faculty and staff in helping students achieve their goals. “Faculty are always going the second mile in making sure the students have both the knowledge and the skills needed to learn and to grow. This individual attention is so important in our students’ success.” Additionally, La Sierra staff members take a personal interest in the wellbeing of the students with whom they come in contact, she said. 
The Money Magazine Best Colleges list can be accessed at this link: https://best-colleges.time.com/money/full-ranking#/list

The Money Magazine list of 50 colleges that add the most value can be accessed at this link: https://best-colleges.time.com/money/more-rankings/the-50-colleges-that-add-the-most-value#/list
La Sierra strives to nurture and develop its students through programs that include the Center for Student Academic Success which helps first-year and continuing students identify goals, strengthen study habits, plan careers, and manage money, and through the Career Services Center in the Zapara School of Business which offers individual career counseling, assessment and preparation including mock interviews and salary negotiation strategies. Additionally the business school’s Meet the Firms event links seniors with regional businesses, the university’s Writing Center helps students think and write clearly, recitation classes help students succeed in science courses, and students frequently benefit from mentoring provided by university professors.
The list of college rankings is the second edition for Money Magazine, which joins a rankings pool dominated by U.S. News & World Report. According to a July 13 column in the Washington Post, Money strives to provide the most relevant information desired by prospective students and their parents, such as graduation rate, net tuition price, and level of career preparedness offered. “Money tries to crack the code on answering the ROI question,” wrote contributor Jeffrey Selingo, “and of all the rankings out there, comes the closest.”
About La Sierra University
La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution nationally acclaimed for its diverse campus and its service to others, offers a transformational experience that lasts a lifetime.
U.S. News & World Report for six years named La Sierra University the most racially diverse university in the western United States. In December 2008 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching included La Sierra on its 2008 Community Engagement Classification lists consisting of 119 colleges and universities around the United States. La Sierra University achieved re-classification status in 2015. In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 the Corporation for National and Community Service announced La Sierra’s inclusion in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll awards. The awards include the prestigious 2013 Presidential Award, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The awards recognize La Sierra’s students for providing thousands of hours of service including international economic development projects by La Sierra’s World Cup-winning Enactus team, and community projects through La Sierra’s campus-wide, Service-Learning program.
The Seventh-day Adventist denomination established La Sierra University in 1922 on acreage formerly part of the Rancho La Sierra Mexican land grant. Today the institution provides more than 120 bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees for approximately 2,500 students. Programs are offered in the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business, the School of Education, the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School, the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Evening Adult Degree Program.
“To Seek, To Know, and To Serve” is the key to the mission that drives La Sierra University, with all areas of campus encouraging students to develop a deeper relationship with God.


North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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