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Bryant University

Bryant University (visited 4/30/19)

Bryant pondBryant pleasantly surprised me. The people are great, there’s a good vibe, and the campus is attractive with lots of green spaces and a pond (complete with fountain) in the middle. Buildings are new and well kept up, and facilities align with the current educational trends they’re making available for students. Almost ¼ of their population is first-gen, and they make a great deal of resources available to accommodate for an array of diversity, including a large interfaith center where Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish services are offered every weekend. They have a full-time priest and rabbi on campus, and they have a kosher kitchen available to students.

Bryant 3“This is not a static university,” said the VP for enrollment. The university is particularly known for its business program for good reason. Most programs are highly ranked, including International Business in the top 25. They have extensive options, including Marketing Analytics, Global Supply Chain Management, and Advertising & PR in addition to more traditional offerings in undergraduate business schools. “One area we’ve moved into is Data Science.”

Bryant 5“We also have strong pre-Health Sciences (they guarantee an interview at the PA school) and a strong college of Arts & Sciences.” Students can take an EMT class to satisfy their science requirement! They have an array of traditional majors/minors as well as more unusual ones such as Chinese, Applied Psych, and Biotechnology.

Bryant gate

The arch – like most schools, tradition says that students can’t walk through before graduation.

Students must have both a major and a minor chosen from different schools. This dynamic helps to round out skill sets “and is a key towards our 99% job placement rate,” said one rep. This is the 3rd highest job placement rate in the country. “College costs too much money to not have something at the end – and that something is a job.” One of the students told us that a lot of students will major in Business (its own school) and a minor in Economics, Actuarial Math, or Applied Stats (in Arts & Sciences). He said that that’s an easy way to “kind of work the system.”

Bryant 7All first-year students participate in the IDEA Program, a 3-day, 1-credit design-based program in which teams solve a real world problem. “It’s exciting. It’s exhausting. They work around the clock. Campus is buzzing.” Students learn how to observe people, how to identify what the issues are, identify a challenge (usually this is given to them), brainstorm multiple ways of looking at the problem, break down ways to solve it, set up an experiment to see if a solution would work, and finally present it to others. The go into malls, the zoo, classrooms, etc. Some of the projects included how to make malls more accessible, box stores more efficient, and a children’s museum more interactive.

Bryant quad 4Over half of Bryant students go abroad at some point for internships, a semester/year, or for a study-trip. They created a Sophomore international Experience, a 2-week study-travel trip, to help get “students’ feet wet” – and many of the students who do this will then elect to go abroad for a semester or year as juniors. Bryant runs a campus in China and offer opportunities in 65 other countries around the world.

Bryant 8All incoming students receive an HP Elitebook laptop, and then they trade that in for a new one as a junior (or they can buy out the old one and keep it).

Bryant indoor farmers market

One of the periodic Farmer’s Markets held in the Student Center

They’re still skewed more heavily male because of the business programs. During the admissions process, they’re looking that applicants have 4 years of math with 1 beyond Algebra 2 (they prefer pre-calc and calc). Students do not need to submit test scores – but if they don’t, they need to do 3 supplemental essay questions. To be eligible for the Honors Program, students should have a 1270 SAT and about a 3.6 GPA. There’s a very little bit of wiggle room, and students must interview if they’re on the bubble. They can sometimes come in on probation for a year: under this, they’ll take 1 class first semester, and if that goes well, they take another in the 2nd semester. At that point, if they meet the criteria, they move fully into the Honors Program without probation.

Bryant fountain 3Campus is active and the students we spoke to are happy with their experiences. Every weekend has at least one big event which ranges from a trip to a major league game or an on-campus event to help people get engaged in the community or beyond. There are 4 special big weekends a year: right after students return to campus from summer, then Fall-, Winter-, and Spring-fests. The majority of seniors live in 5-7 person townhouses, allowing for a bit more independence before leaving campus. Students seem happy enough with clubs and activities (including their a cappella group that was ranked #32 in the nation).

© 2019

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Morrisville State University (SUNY)

SUNY Morrisville (visited 7/24/15)

~Morrisville main plaza 2

School mascot

School mascot

Although this school sort of has the reputation as a “forgotten step-sibling” of the SUNY system, this is rapidly changing. The buildings are being renovated and new buildings are going up around the beautifully landscaped campus. This is a perfect school for students who are more of the hands-on types of learners; in fact, it ranks in the top 10 in the country for students who do internships. Classes are small, even for first-year students. “40 students would be a big class,” said the tour guide. Her largest class had 28 students; the smallest had 8.

Auto Tech building

Auto Tech building

~Morrisville academic quad

Academic quad

Morrisville is the first SUNY school to provide laptops to all its students back in 1998, and many of its programs require one as part of the curriculum. Majors include such areas as Applied Psychology, Renewable Energy Technology, Resort and Recreation Management, Journalism and Communication for Online Media, Dairy Tech, Automotive Management and/or Auto Tech, Equine Science, and several Info Tech specializations (Network Admin, Web Development, End-User Support, Electronic Marketing, Application Software Development). Design and architecture (including landscape architecture) has its own building, as does Auto Tech. That large structure with 12 auto bays sits on top of the hill overlooking much of campus. The Equine Center, which opened in 2011, is about 3 miles from the main campus and can house 40 horses.

~Morrisville dining 2

Dining hall

There’s a lot to do on campus. Movies are shown three times every weekend, there are plenty of clubs (the more unusual ones are the Casino Management Organization and the Pagan Alliance), and trips are offered most weekends. If 10 or more students want to go somewhere, they can request a van. Sports are popular (they’re DIII); they offer the usual sports plus Hunt Seat and Western Equestrian in the winter. They have an Ice Plex on campus with 2 full rinks. Their women’s hockey team is new this year. There are plenty of open skate times and students can use skates for free. Students do not automatically pay the $65 fee for the Fitness Center (located in the student center); they’re welcome to join if they want to use it. This is a nice change from so many schools that charge it regardless of interest.

One of the dorms

One of the dorms

~Morrisville dorm 3

Another dorm quad

Approximately 1800 students (of the 3200 undergrads) live on campus. Housing is grouped into 3 areas: Pond Quad, Iroquois Quad, and the Commons. Each dorm and area has its own “personality” or attraction. The Commons offer apartment style living and are some of the newest buildings. Fountain View Hall (in Pond Quad) is the 24-hour quiet dorm. Mohawk just got renovated and now has a full kitchen in it. Two more dorms are about to be renovated as well. Most dorms have suites (2 bedrooms and a main room), singles, and doubles. “Parking can be tricky since so many students commute,” said the tour guide, but all students can have cars, and their cars can be fixed for free by the auto tech students. They just pay for parts.

Another cool fact: all the milk served on campus comes from the campus dairy, and much of the produce is grown by the aquaculture students. “Breakfast is amazing!” There’s a make-your-own-waffle station with batters like apple cinnamon or blueberry. Omelets are great, too.

(c) 2015

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