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La Sierra University Ranked No. 1 in Nation Again for Diverse Environment by Wall Street Journal

The category considers the diversity of faculty, student body, numbers of international students, and numbers of in-need students receiving financial aid through the federal Pell Grant.

La Sierra University is ranked No. 1 in the nation for its diverse environment by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education annual college ranking.

La Sierra University is ranked No. 1 in the nation for its diverse environment by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education annual college ranking. Photo courtesy of La Sierra University.

For the third time in five years, La Sierra University is ranked No. 1 in the nation for its diverse environment by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education annual college ranking

La Sierra topped the “Environment” category for the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) College Ranking 2021, which was released September 17. The category considers the diversity of the faculty, student body, numbers of international students, and numbers of in-need students receiving financial aid through the federal Pell Grant.

The Journal notes La Sierra’s undergraduate makeup as 48 percent Hispanic, 17 percent Asian, 12 percent white, and 7 percent Black, with 12.2 percent of students from other countries. About half receive Pell Grant aid.

“Our university’s No. 1 national ranking for its diverse and inclusive environment is great news for our campus. We are privileged to daily enjoy and learn from our interaction with people from all walks of life. Our collective and individual lives are richer for it,” said Joy Fehr, president of La Sierra University. “Across our campus, we strive continually to listen and to act in supporting our students and furthering our understanding.”

Environment is one of four categories in which 797 colleges and universities around the country were ranked for the 2021 guide by the media conglomerate and their partner organization, London-based Times Higher Education. The ranking also evaluates schools for “Resources, Engagement and Outcomes,” which respectively apply scores for such qualities as amount spent on teaching per student, ratio of students to faculty, numbers of published scholarly research papers; student engagement and interaction with teachers and students; and graduation rate, debt after graduation, and academic reputation.

Other sources for the ranking include public data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System), the College Scorecard, and Federal Student Aid.

La Sierra’s placement in the 2021 ranking is the third time since 2017 it has landed at the top of the list nationally for its diverse environment. The institution also ranked first nationally for its environment in the WSJ/THE rankings for 2017 and 2018. It ranked second in the nation for the same category in both the 2019 and 2020 rankings.

“Most recently, and in light of the ongoing and important national focus on systemic racism, we have engaged a group of students in helping to strengthen our ongoing commitment to ensuring equity, particularly for our Black students,” said Fehr. “We have implemented a quarterly masterclass on diversity, provided diversity-themed presentations and workshops for our faculty colloquium this fall, and offer ongoing education and insights through the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion.”

“These are just a sampling of the myriad ways our university is invested in both celebrating our diversity and growing as an institution and as individuals,” Fehr added.

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About La Sierra University

La Sierra University, a Christian Seventh-day Adventist institution nationally acclaimed for its diverse campus and its service to others, offers a transformational experience that lasts a lifetime. “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.

The 150-acre campus provides more than 120 bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees for 2,200 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.