Adrian College (visited 1/31/15)
I had high hopes for Adrian; I had heard the name and knew the basics so I was curious to find out more. I was a little concerned about the retention rate; unfortunately my visit didn’t entirely alleviate my fears in that realm. However, I really liked the students I spoke to, the people in the admission office, and the campus. Athletes, B to B+ students, and students who will get involved and who want small classes will thrive at Adrian.
My tour guide was surprised at how much he loved Adrian. “I really had wanted to go to Notre Dame but didn’t get in. I got into Michigan, had put down my deposit, had a roommate picked out – but then came back here to visit. I changed my mind that day and deposited.” His parents both went to Adrian and were thrilled that he chose to go – and he got a legacy scholarship which helps! People he knows who have left did so for a variety of reasons: some wanted to be closer to home, one joined the army, some thought college wasn’t for them. A lot of football players were recruited from Florida and hated the winters in Michigan.
The campus is nice, even in the middle of winter. Every year, they hold a Creativity Awards contest. The winner gets $10,000 to improve campus. So far winners included a large mural outside the student center, bike racks/bike share, International Walkway with things written in multiple languages, etc. “During the year, there’s something like 1000 flower baskets,” said the tour guide. “I wish you could see it then. All the art on campus is student-created. They have an extensive art program with a dance studio, photo labs, pre-architecture, and Interior Design. One studio has 90 styles of lighting for the architecture students! Music is also big here, and the city of Adrian has a symphony that uses the college’s theater.
The oldest building on campus, once a stop on the Underground Railroad, is a three-story stone building now used as the theatre. They do a great job refurbishing buildings for updated purposes. The student center is the old gym. They spectator boxes are now study boxes that are open 24/7. The Salon in the basement advertises “nails, hair, and tanning.” The Starbucks in the first floor takes flex bucks.
About 20% of the students go Greek. “There are a lot of Greeks in Admissions. They tend to be most involved in campus life. They love the school.”
Almost 2/3 of the students are athletes and there’s a lot of support for the teams. There was a cheer competition in the gym as we went through around 10am on a Saturday. Several girls had pulled exercise bikes over outside the glass doors to watch as they worked out. Adrian’s hockey rink is the only one in the area, so community teams use it as well. A Community Team was using it that morning. 200 Adrian students play hockey on one of 6 teams (4 men, 2 women). They have DI club teams for both men and women; varsity is DIII. They also have synchronized skating and figure skating. Hope is the big rival. They’re quadrupling the size of the weight room (it’s currently tiny).
The tour guide’s largest class was 30 in his Intro to Sociology class. Smallest were 6 (Freshman Writing) and 3 (upper level Econ). “They’re getting rid of the Econ major, so I’m taking a lot of upper level classes and individucal studies so I can finish before they phase it out.” He took Kitchen Chemistry – they did a lot of baking to experiment with how different things influenced the outcome; they ate an fruit that blocked most taste receptors and ate different foods before and after to test this; worked with yeast, etc. He loved his Movies and Culture class in which they discussed social aspects of films starting back in the 30s.
There are lots of housing options. The freshman dorms are traditional style and old. “I think they’re the same buildings my parents lived in when they were here.” However, after first year, students can live in dorms, apartments, one of 24 theme houses (which can be as small as 4 students), themed houses, fraternities, etc. There are also plenty of flexible meal options. One style is Block Style (students get a certain number of swipes per semester which can be used back-to-back if they want to swipe in a guest). Another style is the 14- or 18-meal-per-week (which can be used once every 4 hours). “The quality of the food is fine but it gets boring.”
This started as a Methodist school but is now loosely affiliated at best. My tour guide was a Methodist and will go downtown to services; Catholic students often go over to Siena Heights University which is a few miles down the road. There’s a non-denominational service on Wednesdays in which a religion student will give the sermon. Students can bring lunch to chapel.
Their Accounting and Business program is strong with 11 concentrations to choose from including Event & Facilities Management, Health Care Management, Sports Management, and Fashion Merchandising. The Director of Entrepreneurship brought Dominos and Little Ceasars pizza to Israel before he started to teach. Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Art History are also worth noting.
The college offers several Internal Masters (open only to Adrian students). Several students will use the Athletic Training and Industrial Chemistry Masters as a gateway to Med School. 98% of students get placed in med schools or in to the health field upon graduation.