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Albertus Magnus College

albertus-signAlbertus Magnus College (visited 10/12/16)

albertus-field

One of the sports fields, a popular place during evenings games

Albertus is a small school built on a hillside in a residential part of New Haven. This is a quiet, safe neighborhood (so much so that there are no blue lights; students are given an emergency tab for their keychains. No one was able to tell me a time that it was actually used for anything other than accidentally sitting on it when it was in a pocket). The admissions rep said, “If you’re looking to be a person instead of a number, this is the place to do it.” Students looking for a highly personalized, small environment would do well here, particularly if they’re looking to play sports. Over half the student body (55%) play on one of the 7 men’s and 8 women’s teams (right now, women’s swimming and golf are club level, not varsity. They’re looking to add Field Hockey next year, and hopefully these will be Varsity in the next couple years). Basketball and baseball draw a crowd, as will anything played on their turf field, particularly in the evenings.

albertus-dorm

The only dorm that looks like a dorm

There are only 500 day-population students (basically traditional-aged college students); there are 1000 in the evening population who have to be 22 years or older. This is still a regional school with many students coming from CT, NYC, NJ, and MA with a few random other states represented (often these students come for the sports). About 290 students live on campus with space available for another 100. It’s a historical campus, so most dorms look like old houses. Mostly it’s not a suitcase school because of the athletes.

albertus-library

The original building, now the library

Campus is close enough to downtown to take advantage of all that it offers. Students particularly enjoy the city-run events on the Downtown Green. From a stop on campus, students can take the Yale shuttle for free which takes them around town; this is well utilized. On-campus events are mostly organized by the Student Activity Board which runs weekly events, large annual events such as Spring Formal and Fall Fling, and off-campus trips to apple orchards in the fall, NYC, and Boston.

albertus-statue

One of the academic buildings

This is a religiously affiliated college in the Dominican heritage: the mission is about balanced education and to give students a safe space to grow, to discover who they are, and to be able to search for truth, whatever that means for them. As part of their core requirements, all students take a religion and a philosophy class; there isn’t any other religious requirement. Sisters live on campus, and the interim President is a Sister. There’s a deacon on campus, as well.

Like most small schools, faculty are involved, caring, and get high marks from students. “We have the best faculty! I’m a master’s student, and they are so supportive and that carries over into day population. They’ll email students if you aren’t in class to find out what’s going on.” Some of the academic programs that the admissions rep wanted to highlight included:

  • Business Management: in addition to the Management concentration, they just added one in entrepreneurship and are talking about a ThinkTank lab.
  • Digital Media is new
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology with concentrations in general psych, child development, counseling and mental health, and art therapy
  • Art Therapy can be done either under art or psych. Students can continue on to complete a Masters in Art Therapy; this is 1 of only 30 institutions in the county to offer this Masters. It’s competitive and students have to apply; 15 students are accepted each year; maybe 5 of them come from Albertus. Students coming from the undergraduate program have no edge over those coming from outside; they have to have the art background to get in.
  • Finance with concentrations in Corporate Finance or Personal Finance Management

albertus-1Students are well prepared for the job market: during their time at Alburtus, they create an e-portfolio and add anything dealing their major, job preparation (including a resume), etc into it. Almost all students (90%) complete an internship as an undergrad. High numbers also participate in one of 22 study-abroad programs which is done in conjunction with Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. Service Learning trips are also popular; students will build homes in Jamaica, renovate buildings in Montreal, etc.

© 2016

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI (visited 9/17/14)

Quad with the Indianapolis skyline in the background

Quad with the Indianapolis skyline in the background

I was expecting not to be impressed with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, but it surprised me and is an absolute gem of a college. Located a very walkable mile from the downtown area of Indianapolis, this urban college is still very much a campus surrounded by a lot of opportunity. “It’s the best of both worlds,” said one student. The school opened in 1969 “and has been under construction ever since,” said my tour guide. “There are so many opportunities, and the school is really invested in keeping up with the times and what students are looking for in terms of their education.”

One of the nicest things about this university is that students complete exactly the same programs and degrees as they would find at either IU or Purdue, including the highly ranked Kelley Business School at Indiana or the engineering at Purdue. My tour guide will graduate this year with a double major in Bio (her degree will be granted by Purdue) and Spanish (granted by IU) with minors in Chem and Psych (granted by Purdue) – and she can walk in both schools’ ceremonies if she wants. She said that one of the major advantages of attending IUPUI is not only being able to combine things, but that the students have all the resources of downtown at their disposal, including a huge array of internships. My tour guide is currently shadowing a doctor and doing stem-cell research. A friend of hers is interning with the mayor. Others have done work with the police, in business, with the sports teams (including the Colts).

Campus Center

Campus Center

The Campus Center is an amazing 4-story glass building and is really the hub of campus. There’s food, student offices, entertainment, the post office, study spaces, and much more, including the health center. “I’ve had to use it a couple times and loved the care I got there.” Lots of clubs have offices or meet in this building. There are over 300 organizations available for students, and Greek Life is growing. My tour guide has started a Donate a Holiday club which collects presents, packages them up, and gets them to people who might otherwise not have anything for the holidays.

With over 200 majors to choose from, students really can do anything here. There are a few worth pointing out:

  • They have the only accredited art school in the state, including art therapy.
  • They offer a BS and MS in Motorsports Engineering; the master’s is the only one in North America. The students in this program beat Purdue in their own race!
  • Some of the more specialized/unusual majors are:

Other notable programs, opportunities, and facts include:

One of the many walkways on campus

One of the many walkways on campus

Confucius Institute

Confucius Institute

  • A Confucius Institute. This offers language classes and activities surrounding Buddhist and Chinese culture. There’s also a Zen Garden on campus.
  • The Scholarship Office. They are nationally ranked for their scholarship opportunities. A male accidentally applied for a Single Mother scholarship – and got it because no one else applied for it!
  • The Honors College provides an $8000 scholarship, a study abroad stipend, and housing that comes with a stocked kitchen! Students need a 3.75 and 1250 SAT to get in when they first start, or they can apply to get in once on campus if they have a 3.5.
  • 71% of the campus is connected by walkways or tunnels.
  • The have one of the fastest pools in the country. I asked what made it so fast and she said it had something to do with the way water was circulated through the system. They have a lot of banners up of swimmers who swam a personal best in that pool. Michael Phelps was up for a long time until he beat his own record in Beijing.
  • They have some of the best job rates around, ranking #2 in Indiana.
  • IUPUI is highly rated for the diversity on campus. The tour guide said that the level of diversity was one thing that really surprised her when she arrived on campus.
Library with a rooftop garden

Library with a rooftop garden

IUPUI has 30,000 students, but only 2,000 live on campus. There are 2 freshman dorms, including the Tower which had been a 4-star hotel. The New England Patriots stayed there when Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl. As the tour guide said, “If it’s good enough for Tom Brady . . ..” There are also the Riverwalk apartments, townhomes, and other options with more being added. She raved about the food. The breakfast bar is open until 11 pm; that’s a big hit with the students.

Students can have cars; parking costs $135 per semester. They do have a parking garage. However, a lot of students take advantage of public transportation which is convenient because of its location in the city.

© 2014

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