When it comes to providing excellent cuisine, stellar health services, and overall quality of life, Washington State University Pullman ranks among the best campuses in the nation, according to a new ranking released by The Princeton Review.
Of the 388 colleges and universities included in The Princeton Review The Best 388 Colleges, WSU ranks #6 for Best Student Support and Counseling Services, #13 for Best Health Services, #24 for Best Campus Food, and #8 for Best quality of life.
The book, which is not affiliated with Princeton University, is published annually to help students find the colleges that best suit their wants and needs and is based on a survey of 160,000 students across the country.
As a founding member of the American College Health Association (ACHA) with a centuries-long commitment to serving students, WSU is worthy of its top 25 health rankings, said Joel Schwartzkopf, assistant vice chancellor for health. and student welfare to student affairs. .
In recent years, Cougar Health Services has significantly expanded its mental health services to meet growing student demand, and WSU is preparing to launch a new system-wide suite of digital mental health services.
“…we want to continue to be a campus that students consider a premier experience for their education, both in the classroom and outside.”
Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Health and Welfare for Student Affairs
Washington State University
“I think we often talk about the whole student experience as part of what makes a campus appealing to a student, but it shows how much a university’s health and wellness services are important to students in their choice of study location,” Schwartzkopf said. . “I think the rankings are important because we want to continue to be a campus that students consider a premier experience for their education, both in the classroom and outside.”
A big part of the students’ out-of-class experience is sharing meals together. Adam Koerner, senior associate director of WSU Dining Services, said his team is working to provide students with new options such as fresh and organic foods in The Market in Global Scholars Hall and gluten-free and allergy-free foods in dining centers. , as well as fun places to eat such as Freshens at Chinook Student Center. Food Services even offers a mini-meal plan for students, faculty, and staff who live off-campus.
“Breaking the top 25 in the leaderboard is pretty exciting,” Koerner said. “It gives legitimacy to the work we do and shows our staff and student employees that their work matters and that students recognize it.
Give students a voice
Koerner and Schwartzkopf attribute much of the success in their fields to the feedback they receive from students. Cougar Health Services regularly participates in the National College Health Assessment and plans to relaunch an ACHA-administered survey to measure real-time student feedback on WSU medical services.
“We’ll use this data to make sure we continue to make improvements to our services — the kind of improvements that I hope will keep us at the top of Princeton’s rankings for years to come,” Schwartzkopf said.
For foodservices, students play a key advisory role in helping staff create inclusive menus and environments in all dining venues.
“I appreciate being able to eat pho – a traditional Vietnamese soup – from time to time in Southside,” said Eunica Calara, a computer science student from Hawaii. “I like the different cultural cuisines they cook for the students.”
Several other student support services have made the Princeton Review Top 25 rankings, including popularity of intramural sports (#11) and Greek life (#14), as well as active WSU student government (#23).
Committed to equity and inclusion
WSU Pullman also receives national accolades for its work to make communities safer and more welcoming for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff.
Campus Pride, a well-known resource for LGBTQ+ leadership development, inclusion, and advocacy in higher education, recently included WSU in its annual Best of the Best LGBTQ+ friendly campuses in the United States program.
Of the 40 recognized colleges, WSU and the University of Colorado are the only Pac-12 schools to make the list, and WSU is the only institution in Washington.
“This recognition is especially important for prospective students,” said Matthew Jeffries, director of campus climate and community building at student affairs. “Although we are in a rural area, we are deeply committed to our values of equity and inclusion.”