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Archive for the tag “direct entry nursing”

Hood College

Hood College (visited 11/9/18)

Hood chapel

The Chapel

Every year, Hood holds “May Madness,” a fun end-of the year festival on campus (with food, games, crab feast, prizes)… and every year, it takes place in April (despite its name).

This is a quintessentially pretty campus full of brick buildings. Relatively compact, “it’ll take you about 10 minutes to get across campus if you’re dragging your feet,” said one of the reps. Even the artsy downtown area of Frederick is accessible, sitting 3 blocks from campus. Frederick is like an extension of campus. Students do a lot of service; the hospital allows some parking in their garage; students and staff have a garden to donate food to local places. “There’s a real shop-local mentality here.” Lots of guest speakers like Bill Nye and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar come to the art center, and students get discounted tickets for the diversity series to hear people like Lavern Cox and LeVar Burton.

Hood quad 4Started as a women’s college (it was the counterpart to the all-male Mercersburg Academy), it went fully coed by 2003; male commuter students were allowed to enroll in classes in the early 70s. Starting in 2019, there will be a 3-year residency requirement (it’s now 2 years) once the new dorm goes opens in fall of 2019. The students who move off campus often live in apartments within a few blocks of campus. On-campus food is great! There’s a lot of variety and the dining room is spacious. Freshmen get “All you can eat” swipes for the dining hall which is helpful if they just want to grab a coffee or piece of fruit. “It helps them figure out how much they’re really going to eat without them feeling like they have to use-it-or-lose-it,” said a rep.

Hood Pergola 1

The interior of the Pergola which benches, bird feeders, and the poles that you shouldn’t “split”!

The campus is split roughly into academic and residential sides. Theirs is a gorgeous wisteria-covered Pergola in the residential quad; it marks the physical center of campus. Tradition says that students can’t “split the poles” – if they’re walking with friends, they have to walk on the same side rather than split apart to go around the poles. If they do, it’s said that they will not be friends after graduation. There is also a large Chapel on campus dating back to when Hood was affiliated with the Reformed Church, but they are no longer religiously affiliated. The chaplain, however, is active and well loved on campus, doing lots of interfaith work, holding “get-to-know-you” activities, meditation, and generally supporting the whole campus. “She’s here to help figure out who students want to be. Programming is very student focused and intended to pull people together when things happen.

Hood fountain 2There are all the typical majors you would expect at a small liberal arts school with 1400 undergrads, but they do offer interesting interdisciplinary things and accelerated programs – although one rep said, “I’d love to see us develop some “buzz” majors like forensics.

  • They are rolling out more concentrations in business. Many students start with Sports Management until they realize how competitive it is. It’s not unusual to see several of the athletes (who make up almost 50% of the student body!) think about this major at some point.
  • Hood quad 2Nursing is direct-entry with 32 spots, so they recommend applicants use the Early deadline. They’re looking to double that but they need more space. This is a full 4-year program but they’ll take some transfers as room allows; however, 3 years is the least amount of time they can complete this in. Campus is right next to Frederick Memorial Hospital making clinicals easy and accessible.
  • They have a new 5-year BA/MBA, bringing their dual-degree programs to 4 along with an Environmental Bio, Info Tech, and Psych/Counseling. They’re planning on adding more such as a CS/Cyber-security. Students interested in this have to apply to the program during sophomore year and maintain certain GPA requirements.
  • Some of their interdisciplinary programs include Art & Archaeology (with Archeo, Art Education, or Art History concentrations), Coastal Studies, Criminology & Deliquency, and Public History.
  • Students who major in a language must either study abroad or living in one of the Language houses where students agree to speak the target language while in the house and at least 1 native speaker lives there. These are currently housed in duplexes on the edge of campus, but they will be moved into wings of the new dorm building. These students often double major or will minor in Global Studies. Many go on to teach or work in Embassies.

Hood 1There seems to be a large global/world focus among the student body. Hood is the most racially diverse private school in the state. Last year’s incoming class had 51% of students self-identifying themselves as underrepresented students. “It helps that we have scholarships for high-achieving underrepresented students,” said a rep. The President is a big proponent of diversity, and they have a new Director of Inclusion. “There was a bit of kick-back because he’s white, but he’s been great. He’s gay and very involved in community,” said a rep. Currently, only 3-4% of the students are international, but the new VP for enrollment has a plan to expand that.

Hood mainMerit scholarships are a percentage of tuition so they go up when tuition goes up. Five full tuition scholarships are awarded each year. Students accepted into the honors program awards an extra $2000. The admissions staff recommends qualified students to the Director of the program who makes the final decisions. In this case, the writing submitted by students becomes highly important because there are no exams; classes are all taught seminar style, more than the rest of the classes. Honors students are expected to complete a service component including working a semester at a non-profit aligned with the major.

© 2018

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West Chester University of PA

West Chester University(visited 11/13/18)

The Ram mascot in front of the main library. 

I didn’t expect WCU’s main quad to be so beautiful – there are old stone buildings surrounding most of it (there is one glaring exception withfairly hideous ‘70s architecture). Many of the buildings, including Recitation Hall, date back to (or soon after) the university’s 1871 founding. With an undergrad enrollment of just under 14,500 students (total enrollment of 17,500),WCU is the 4th largest college in the Philly metro area and the largest of the 14 PA state-system schools (which doesn’t include Penn State,Temple, or Pitt).

The Frederick Douglass statue in front of one of the oldest buildings on the quad

Campus (ranked as 37th safest in the nation) is a 10-minute walk from downtown West Chester where there are lots of restaurants, shops, etc. It’s been named one of the best college towns in America and as Best Town where grads stay after college. They’re only 30 miles from Philly: “Ideally, it’s 45 minutes, but realistically an hour,” said the rep. Amtrak and SEPTA aren’t far from campus, and they provide shuttle to the Exton train station. They also now run shuttles to shopping centers even though much is walkable off campus.

All classes are taught by faculty, not TAs. They have a 67.3% 6-year graduation rate (almost 10 points above the national average). They offer 120 undergrad majors across 5 colleges plus Exploratory Studies and a School of Music.

  • All Business majors are pre-business: they have to satisfy pre-reqs because of accreditation. Transferring between majors is fairly easy as long as you’ve met the GPA requirements. A new business building went up in 2017, making it the newest on campus. They have a variety of options including Urban and Environmental Planning.
  • Arts and Humanities includes fine arts.
  • College of Sciences and Math:
    • Multiple accelerated programs are available.
    • Overthe past 35 years, 95% of pre-med students who receive Pre-Medical Committee Support got placed into med schools.
    • Two students each year are granted scholarships through the PA Space Grant program.
  • Health Sciences:
    • Nursing is probably their most popular major within this school. Currently, students do their pre-reqs on the main campus and will shuttle to Exton for classes in the major. This will be moved back onto the Main Campus by Fall 2020.
    • Exercise Sciences include concentrations in pre-chiropractic, Pre-OT, and Pre-PT. They have articulation agreements with places like NY Chiropractic College and Arcadia University for the graduate programs.
  • Honors College is by invitation; students are considered after acceptance to WCU. In the past, a 1350/3.5 GPA would put them in initial consideration.
  • The School of Music allows for multiple concentrations including Music History, Composition, Performance, Theory, and even Elective Studies outside the School.
The planetarium

The university is split between North (main) and South Campuses, located about 1.5 miles apart. “It’s definitely walkable, although most people don’t want to.” South campus has all the athletic fields where the DII teams practice and play (there is a fitness center on North campus), dorms, and currently houses the Health Sciences academics. Shuttles run between campuses every 5 minutes, 20 hours a day (basically corresponding to library hours). They have a Philly campus for a few majors (Social Work, Business Management) mostly for adult students or upperclassmen who need to finish up amajor.

Some of the dorms on North Campus

About 90% of freshmen are on campus, usually housed on North Campus; most students don’t want to live on campus after that. There areseveral large (8+ story) dorms on North Campus which mostly are traditional andsuite style. South Campus has traditional dorms and apartments. The food here is fairly good with several options including dining halls, a food court, PODs (like airport kiosks), and food trucks: “we take those very seriously here… Imay have had that for lunch today!”

A few traditions are worth mentioning that students talked about:

One of the main quad buildings
  • Banana Day! “It’s like a big festival day with games around campus. There are competitions to win a Banana T-shirt.” Last year, they won “Best Campus Tradition” because of this.
  • MLK Day: They pair up with the Frederick Douglass Institute (housed on campus) for events that day. Douglass gave his last public lecture on WCU’s campus in 1895.
  • Black and Latino Greek Council Step Show
  • Rams After Hours which happens every Friday night for food and entertainment.

There are multiple support programs at WCU. They have the well-established DUB-C Autism Program (or D-CAP) for students on the Spectrum. They provide a multitude of skill-development and social interaction supports for students needing these. They also have a Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC)

© 2018

Le Moyne College

Le Moyne College (visited 8/23/18)

LeMoyne statue

Statue of St. Ignatius

This is a small (just under 2,800 undergrads) liberal arts, Jesuit college in a residential section on the edge of Syracuse. It’s a quiet area, but Erie Blvd, a main drag full of restaurants and stores, is less than a mile away. Because of its Jesuit heritage, they stress the development of critical thinking and thinking outside the box; students who embrace this are likely to thrive there.

LeMoyne chalk 2Students who choose Le Moyne come because they don’t want a massive school. The Admissions Rep for my area told me that there’s a stronger sense of community here than anywhere else he has worked; he thinks it might be a Jesuit influence and the ingrained idea that people are important. “I got that sense the first time I visited.” At some large places, “you have world-renowned faculty who you may only see as a grad student and sometimes not even then. Here they want to teach the undergrads, and that comes through loud and clear.”

LeMoyne jesuit residence

The Jesuit Residence

The Jesuit influence is there, but “it’s not heavy-handed,” said the rep. There is a Jesuit Residence on campus and the priests are active. I spoke to several students before taking the tour; 2 of them said they were not looking for a Jesuit school at all; they chose this for other factors. About 60% of students self-identify as Catholic, “but there are all sorts of religions represented including Jewish, Muslim, and nothing at all.” There is no religious requirement other 1 class in religion or philosophy; there is one required community service trip usually during freshman orientation. The tour guide said that he was taking a class on Buddhism to fulfill his requirement. There is a beautiful chapel and masses are offered but never required. However, Mass on the Grass (usually at the beginning of the year) and the Blessing of the Brains (held before finals) are popular events to attend.

LeMoyne chapel 2

The Chapel

Most freshman live on campus, and dorms are fairly typical. They’re slowly renovating them. The most coveted dorm (for underclassmen) is on the top floor of the Business School which has beautiful rooms and AC. They used to alternate years between male and female, “but they guys messed that up,” said the tour guide. “I’m a little annoyed about that!” There are some townhouses and other specialty dorms for upperclassmen, but many also move off campus; there’s plenty of places for rent in the area and plenty of parking. No complaints from students about that. Food “is an 8, mostly because of the options,” said the tour guide.

LeMoyne quad 3

The Quad

Students are pretty happy with the social life on campus. Their sports teams are DII and are popular (participation and to watch). Shuttles run regularly around town to Wegmans (a favorite grocery store), Target/Walmart, and Destiny USA (a massive mall with ropes courses and more inside). There’s a pub on campus; students need to show their school ID and a license to get alcohol. Underage students can get free soda. A favorite tradition is “Dolphy Day” (their mascot is the Dolphin – an early symbol of Christianity). This is a day in the spring, usually late April, when classes get canceled. The actual day is a secret until it’s announced at midnight. The next day, students gather on the quad for barbecues, music, and more.

LeMoyne athletics 1One of the Academic programs that the Rep stressed was the Madden School of Business. “Programs are excellent, and the faculty are terrific,” which leads to a 98% job placement rate coming out of the program. They offer the typical/expected majors, but in addition to those, they also have also one of the top programs for Management Information Systems (ranked 18th in the country), Business Analytics, and HR Management. All students in the school complete at least 1 internships; several do 2-3. There are opportunities around the world, and they can take advantage of the Jesuit school network in India, Mexico, and other parts of the world.

LeMoyne Innovation labIn terms of performing arts, Theater is the only major in visual and performance arts. Minors in dance, visual arts, Arts Administration, and music are available. Auditions are not required for theater or any of the minors, but they are required to get a role in plays or in the music groups. They have several a capella groups: “My favorite is called ‘From Out of Nowhere’,” said the rep.

LeMoyne new science bldg

The new Science building addition

Health Sciences are particularly strong for a school this size, and they even have a cadaver lab. They have Direct Entry Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy, and Nursing programs as well as a 3+3 Physical Therapy program. PA requires a 1250 SAT; the application deadline is 1/15. They will interview by invitation only; students must have completed at least 10 shadowing hours at that point (and 50 total at point of entry). Nursing is done in conjunction with St. Joe’s School of Nursing in Syracuse, located about 2 miles away. Students complete pre-reqs and capstones on Le Moyne’s campus and the nursing-specific classes and clinicals at St. Joe’s. However, they live on Le Moyne’s campus all 4 years.

© 2018

Seattle University

Seattle University (visited 6/22/17)

Seattle atrium Chihuly

The Chihuly glass; the Bottom Line Cafe is to the right

“Students who come here are engaged and aware of the world and want to make an impact, as cliché and Jesuit as that sounds. This is further solidified when they get here,” said one of the reps. This idea of “lighting the world on fire” is even evident in the artwork around campus: hanging front and center in the Pigott Building Atrium is a Chihuly glass sculpture called “Accendo” which means “to ignite”. (Also in this atrium is The Bottom Line Café which highlights companies in Seattle).

Seattle chapel int

The interior of the chapel

This is one of the US’s 28 Jesuit universities. “We’re Catholic but incredibly inclusive. The core curriculum is centered around students thinking for themselves and how to articulate what’s important to them. We’re not telling them what to think.” Only 30% of the 4,700 undergrads self-identify as Catholic. Although never required, Mass is offered regularly in their modern, award-winning chapel. The walls are unfinished to symbolize that people’s journeys are never finished. Students do need to take 2 ethics/philosophy-based classes.

Seattle 7We asked people to characterize the type of student who would most benefit from Seattle University:

  • Someone who wants Seattle. It’s kind of an interesting place, very entrepreneurial. It’s young, alive, progressive, going someplace, dynamic. It’s been named one of 5 best for college education. The students here want urban but this type of urban.
  • Seattle library

    They’re looking for an intellectual challenge: they believe in a core curriculum that’s engaging and the foundation for a broad education. Our part is looking at how we challenge them to know what they think and why they think that

  • The professor-student relationship shows itself in independent study, research, etc. We’re particularly strong in science and engineering because of this environment and our long relationship with Boeing.
  • Seattle 2They want engagement with community and neighborhood. There’s a Community Youth Engagement Project covering 100 square blocks to the east of campus. There are 3 schools within this area, so students look at how work with education, support, language development, etc. Our students help those students graduate from high school.
  • This is the most diverse university in the state. It’s almost like an identity lab for the students. How do they bump up against The Other?

Seattle scienceAlthough in Capitol Hill in the heart of the city, Seattle U’s campus was intentionally designed to be an urban oasis and is a certified urban wildlife sanctuary. Students have the best of both worlds: they’re as close as they can be without being in Downtown. “This is the 8th most hipster neighborhood in the country – I don’t know if that’s a plus or minus! It’s an art and music hub.” It’s a 20-25 minute walk to the water and Pike Place. Professors expect Students to use the city as an extension of their curriculum; “it’s a common denominator.” Students get bus passes and tickets for off campus events.

Seattle dog park 2

The “Dog Park” … one of the quads

All classes are taught by professors despite a relatively large graduate student population. The tour guide’s largest class has been 25 students. He likes the quarter system: “students are more involved. If you don’t like something, it’s over quickly. If you love it, you can really delve in because you’re only taking a few classes at a time.”

Seattle fountain with dog

The fountain in one of the quads. Yes, that’s a dog playing in the fountain. It’s a very dog-friendly campus!

All academics are direct entry. Courses are inquiry based where students look at issues within that field.

  • Students can build their own majors through the Matteo Ricci College.
  • Pre-major (Med, Vet, etc) advisors meet often with the students and work with them to reflect “in that very Jesuit way” about what calls them to this profession. What does it mean to pursue this degree? Which program is better for them? What does it really mean to be in the health field, etc?
  • Seattle engoHonors programs were recently expanded to have themes (intellectual traditions, innovation, law & society) meant to help students find a cohort with similar interests. They apply to the programs when they apply to the university.
  • Nursing majors must declare this on the application. Once they’re in, they’re guaranteed the spot assuming they continue to meet the minimum requirements. The average accepted HS GPA is a 3.85 with a B or better in bio/chem/math. They average a 1360 SAT/29ACT with a minimum 570/24 math score.
  • Science/Engineering: the average accepted GPA is 3.72 with a B or better in science and math. The average accepted SAT/ACT scores are 1272/28 with a minimum 570/24 on the math. A few more unusual programs include:
  • They offer a 6-year accelerated business and law degree: Students need a 3.5 GPA with an SAT/ACT math score of 620/27. They completely their undergrad business degree in 3 years and then do the regular 3-year law degree.
  • Their Environmental Studies degree has 4 specialization tracks: Ecological Systems, Environmental Education and Communication, Politics/Policy/Justice, and Urban Sustainability.
  • Criminal Justice Majors can specialize in Administration of Justice, Criminology and Criminal Justice Theory, Forensic Psychology (BA or BS) or Forensic Science (BA or BS).

Seattle dorms

Some of the dorms

All freshmen and sophomores live on campus. It’s available after that, but students have the choice to move off. Thos who do usually they live within a 6 block radius and stay involved on campus. Almost 70% of students come from out-of-state so this is not a suitcase school. Signature Events that the community rallies around include:

  • Christmas Tree Lighting including live reindeer
  • Homecoming usually during January/February to correspond to basketball season
  • Dance marathon: This year will be the 11th They’ve retained their record as the largest Miracle Network DM on the west coast.
  • Luau: 500 guests from campus and community
  • Sports: SeattleU is DI. Basketball and soccer are big.

Seattle fields

Some of the sports fields

The Sullivan Leadership Award is the only extra (non-merit) scholarship that a first-year student can apply for. This is a 4-year full ride. Last year they had 350 applicants for 9 available awards. “This is really a ‘You don’t know until you try’ situation,” said the Rep. They look at the whole student, specifically leadership and how they apply that in a unique way; “we want students who are authentic in their leadership so we look at how they have applied and could apply that to the world around them. It’s not about the numbers.” Each year, the cohort looks different. Students interested must apply (both to the university and for the Sullivan) by the EA deadline. If they get past the first round, they’re invited to campus to interview.

© 2017

Queens University of Charlotte

Queens University of Charlotte (visited 3/30/17)

Queens quad 3“We get kids who might fly under the radar, but we get the stand-outs, as well,” said a rep. “Maybe they haven’t blossomed yet. Students get a lot of opportunities here.” A parent told one of the reps (who relayed the story): “my daughter will become a leader for life here. I think the reality of Queens is ahead of its reputation.”

Queens hammock 2Queens plays up the idea of ‘Yes, AND’ – students can do several things without having to choose. Students have the best of both worlds: a small school (about 1500 undergrads) located 2 miles from the heart of Charlotte, a major city. Students complete meaningful internships and community service in whatever industry or service they’re interested in, during the school year, right down the road. Queens requires students to complete internships and will give credit for 2 of them, although students can do as many as they want.

Queens fountain 3The school is deliberate in its mission and how it gets manifested into the academics. General education requirements are organized in learning communities. “This is one of the most unique aspects of Queens,” said the Dean of University Programs. They’ve been implanting it for a couple years and getting data in now. It’s interdisciplinary, giving students skills needed for the workplace and understanding who they are as learners.

  • Queens CS LCThe 4 years are organized progressively: Explore, Express, Engage, and Synthesis. Students are presented with complex problems, must integrate learning, build communication fluency, link global and local contexts, and understand the well-being of communities.
  • Students engage in a core issue from multiple perspectives, taking 2 courses from 4+ options within a theme. Assignments cross both perspectives. There’s intentional group work at every level; teachers work together to model what they want students to do. Themes might include:
    • The New South: Politics of the New South (PoliSci), Lit & Film of the New South (Languages), Intro to Stats, New South (Math), Landscape of Identity (English) — How is place and identity interwoven?
    • The Challenge of Global Migration: Fabric of a Nation: Refugees in the US (History), Politics of Responses to Global Migration (PoliSci), Economics of Immigration (Business), Creating Transcultural Identities (English)
    • Urban Jungle, Infections & Zombies, Quest for Identity, Familial Identities, Human Journey, Art of Storytelling, Challenges for Journeys, Culture & Media, Global Migration, Gender, Image-making
    • Pursuit of Happiness: The Happiness Project, The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-Being, Six Questions of Socrates, Peace is Every Step

Queens statueFavorite classes of students on the panel were:

  • Principles of Management (2 students chose this): “There were 25 people in it. The culture is great. It’s discussion based. People can say whatever they want without worrying about being judged. The professor, the CEO of Sun Alliance, created such a welcoming environment.”
  • Cognitive Psych: “ I love the prof. It was probably the hardest in terms of how strict she is and what she demands. It combined psych and bio which I love.”
  • Intro to Creative Writing: “The Professor was amazing! It opened my eyes to so many methods of writing that I hadn’t even heard of. Not everyone was a major, but we were a community. I was excited to go to class.”
  • Media Design and Art: “We travelled to Germany and Switzerland for 2 weeks.”

Queens stu cntr 1Some other special academic things to point out are:

  • They have a direct-entry Nursing program; applicants need a 24 ACT/1150 SAT and a 3.5 unweighted GPA across academic classes. As long as they maintain a minimum GPA in the program, they can continue. 98% pass the NCLEX on the 1st or 2nd
  • Study Abroad: They’re ranked 7th nationally for most students studying abroad through the John Belk International Program (J-BIP):
  • Faculty Led courses: students take on-campus courses with travel components.
  • Semester or year abroad
  • Summer Business and International Studies: 4 weeks in France or Shanghai
  • Language immersion programs.
  • They have 5 NC Professors of the Year (Chapel Hill has 7 and is a much larger school).
  • Queens labA few programs of note include:
  • Queens bell tower 2A couple of their majors are shifting focus:
    • Environmental Studies is becoming Sustainability Studies
    • Religion is becoming Interfaith Studies.

Queens moved to its current campus in 1914; it’s full of beautiful brick buildings and green spaces. They went coed in 1979 (and are still heavily female). Almost half of their students come from NC; 8 % are international (155 students from 50 countries). About 1/3 of students self-identify as multi-cultural. Students tend towards the liberal side, but it’s not an overly political campus.

Students have to live on campus until they earn 90 credits; 70% of students live in the dorms. Campus is fairly active, but “closer to the holidays when it’s cold, more people seem to go home on the weekends,” said one of the tour guides. The food is pretty good: there are fewer choices, maybe, but the quality is pretty high. “Parking isn’t great on campus. You have to circle a bit, but there’s a lot of street parking.” There’s good public transportation including a street car and light rail.

Queens RexFor a school this size, they have a surprisingly strong DII athletic program (the only 2 teams not on the NCAA roster are Rugby and Triathalon), and they have a “Threepeat” Swim Team National Championship team. “DII tends to be more regional as well as more personal with a community feel,” said the Athletic Director. “We have the academics of DIII and Athletics of DI.” The major sports complex is located a couple miles off campus; shuttles run back and forth all day. Field Hockey, Soccer, Softball, and tennis all practice and play here. “If you want to be nationally competitive, our facilities are top-notch.”

Queens athletic center

One student said that she would change the fan-base and school spirit: “It feels so small at the games. It’s hard to get people out to support the teams. It definitely doesn’t have that large-school DI feel.” Also, as DII teams, they’re not fully funded programs. All sports have a certain number of scholarships. They work with admissions to help spread these out with academic scholarships.

Admissions recalculates GPA of core classes and superscores both the ACT and SAT. Their most competitive scholarship is the full-tuition Presidential Award which requires an additional application. These students tend to have a 4.0 recalculated GPA and a 30 ACT. The numbers (GPA and scores) count for 40% of the decision; the rest are all the extras. Scholarship interviewers do not have access to the applicants’ grades: if they’re at the interview stage, they’ve already been vetted academically by Admissions.

© 2017

University of Evansville

University of Evansville (visited 11/15/16)

evansville-walkway-2Evansville is a surprising school; on the surface, it appears to be a low-key school, but they have amazing programs ranging from DI athletics to a highly selective theater department. “You have all sorts of people here. We all fit in. If you want a close-knit feel, this is it.”

This is a traditional, residential liberal arts college with additional professional options offering over 80 majors. The university is organized into 4 schools: Liberal Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Education & Health Sciences (the only division with Grad programs). They are currently starting several new programs:

Health sciences and pre-med are strong: they boast a 100% placement rate at Med School for the last 10 years). Many allied health programs are Direct Entry either for the undergrad program or for a spot in the graduate school (as long as benchmarks are met along the way). They’ll require an interview from some applicants (it can be by phone).

  • evansville-lab-2Nursing: They want someone who is passionate about the subject AND has a minimum skill set. They take about 25 students a year.
  • Physician Assistant (started last fall): This year, they brought in 20 direct-entry freshman on the PA path who will have a spot in the grad program.
  • Physical Therapy: This is a little more competitive than Nursing: applicants must have a minimum test score to get invited to interview for Direct Entry. Those selected will earn a spot in the DPT program. Students not accepted into DE can still come, do the program, and apply to the graduate school. The program averages about 70 students per year.
  • Baccalaureate to MD: This is an accelerated program only open to IN residents.

evansville-acad-bldg

The theater building

More than 1000 students audition annually for 40 spots in Evansville’s Theater program; this number includes students interested in behind-the-scenes work (costumes, tech, etc), requiring a portfolio review/interview instead of audition. They put on a musical every fall (but it’s not a Musical Theater program) and Shakespeare every spring along with 3-4 other productions. Tech students do everything from making their own wigs and make-up to sets and ticket sales. There are several well-known alumni including Rami Malek, Ron Glass, Kelli Giddish, Kelly Preston, and Jack McBrayer.

evansville-main-bldg

The main building

UE now offers a 5-part Guarantee:

  • 4-year graduation: UE will pay for additional time if students can’t graduate in time as long as they’re in good standing with the university (not failing things, have met regularly with the advisor, not changing major in senior year, etc).
  • No classes are taught by TAs.
  • Scholarship guarantee: all freshmen this year receive one. Most scholarships range from $10K-20K. Some are more (ie, National Merit finalists get full tuition).
  • Internship or Co-op experience. Co-ops are mostly offered to Engineering students (Toyota is a big place for co-ops; there’s a plant about 30 minutes up the road).

evansville-engo-projects

Several engineering projects

About 2/3 of classes have 20 students or fewer; 18 is the average. The largest class (Organic Chem) has 40. Some of the students’ favorite classes have been:

  • Organic Chem (2 students chose this!): “It can be scary, but as a Pre-med, it’s applicable. The prof is one of those teachers who makes something so complicated seem so easy. He’s really personable and puts students first. He’s just awesome.”
  • Business Law: “The professor makes the class. He’s a full-time lawyer and takes real-world cases and applies them to what we’re learning. He’s also really funny.”
  • Intro to Theater and Intro to Ancient Greek Philosophy: “These are so different from my major and I get a bit of a break. I didn’t know how great the theater program was until I saw it in action. The philosophy makes me think in a way that I don’t in my math and science classes. It challenges me in a way that I’m not in math.”
  • Spanish Conversation: “We had to read, write, and speak all the time. We got to write and act out plays. We’re terrible actors, but we got to display the skills we had.”

evansville-fountain-1

The fountain commemorating the basketball team that was killed in a plane crash in the ’70s

Last year, they saw a 4% increase in the freshman class with 3 enrollment records:

  • 540 new freshman including an increase of international students (71 started this fall, bringing it up to 15% of the population).
  • Domestic Diversity is up from 10% to 15%. They’ve set a new goal of 18%.
  • Retention has gone up to 89% with the class that started in fall 2015.

UE owns Harlaxton, a “castle” (Victorian Manor) located in an hour north of London. “It’s our version of Hogwarts,” one student said. “Do you like Hogwarts? How about Downton Abbey? No? Then you can’t go.” Almost 60% of undergrads will study there, either for a 5-week summer program or a full semester, with150-160 attending per semester including 16 senior nursing students doing clinical rotations. To be eligible, students must have a 2.0 GPA after finishing 2 semesters at UE. Classes are not held on Fridays to encourage travel. Some trips are built in, and others are offered at a reasonable cost. Everyone takes a British Studies class taught by a British UE faculty member. There’s no difference in cost to study there (but students pay airfare and travel within Europe that they choose to do); all financial aid and scholarships get applied.

evansville-chapel-1We asked students what surprised them about the university. They said:

  • How friendly everyone was. People would smile and say hi, ask how you were and meant it, and asked if you needed help.
  • How challenging the academics were.
  • How different college is from high school. You don’t see the same people all the time. You can find your niche and spend time there.
  • How easy it is to get connected and meet people.

evansville-bball-game-2

The opening basketball game of the season; the stands get increasingly full as the season goes on. 

This is one of the smallest DI schools in the country. Basketball and soccer pull in a lot of fans. They’re starting Track and Field (indoor and outdoor) this coming year; the coach they have on board was asked to coach the High Jump at the Olympics.

About 30% of students go Greek, and those tend to join a lot of other activities. They plan a lot of events open to everyone including philanthropic events. “There are lots of events to raise money” such as Friday Night Live, Watermelon Bust, and cook-outs.

evansville-pep-band

The pep band at the game

Some favorite traditions include:

  • Road Trip: “I love meeting new people.”
  • Freshman orientation and being a leader: “you get close to other leaders and get to meet the freshman before other people which is cool – and going through orientation with them and helping them deal with things and seeing campus again through their eyes is great.”
  • “Basketball season!”
  • Fall Festival: This is the 2nd largest street festival in the nation after Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

evansville-4Evansville itself offers a lot; it’s a decent sized city with a population of 120,000 (300,000 in the metro area). Everything is close; students don’t need cars: There are bike-shares, buses, shuttles, and friends with cars.

© 2016

Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Jefferson College of Health Sciences (visited 11/3/16)

jefferson-classroom

One of the classrooms

Jefferson is an Allied Health Science College, offering degrees from associates (PTA and OTA are the most competitive) up to doctoral programs (2 offered in nursing and health services). However, they do have a Core component in the Humanities and Social Sciences, offering a minor in Healthcare Humanities. Because the programs here are so specific, students need to know that this is what they focus on, but they do have some options to transfer programs if they don’t like or aren’t doing well in their first program.

 

jefferson-iv-dummies

Practice “dummies” for IVs

One of the benefits of Jefferson is its size. “We’re small. We have just over 1000 students.” A huge benefit of this is that the professors are helpful and invested. “We can call and text them all the time,” said one student. All academics are housed in one building so students don’t have to track them down. The professors are here to make sure students are successful and ready to go out into the workforce: “Give me someone with common sense and I can train them,” said one.

 

jefferson-signThe college president was a hospital administrator when this building was a full-service hospital. During the switch, in-patient services were moved to another hospital, and the 5th and 6th floors were gutted and converted to the school, now the largest occupant of the building. The 1st floor is a quasi-urgent care center; the 2nd has pediatric rehab, and the 7th floor houses inpatient rehab services (people transitioning to home or other facilities). Students have access to lots of clinical rotations without even leaving the building. Other clinicals are often done at Roanoke Memorial or Carillon Hospital, the 2nd largest in the state. Carillon is a 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive; trolleys run over there and parking is free.

jefferson-hospital

A view of the hospital from the school

In addition to the basic academic skills within their field, students are taught to work in groups across disciplines. Students participate in an annual Disaster Event, an inter-professionalism event coming out of McMillan in Canada. They get evaluated on how well they work together as a team, on ethics, etc (they aren’t being critiqued clinically on skills for this).

 

During our visit, we got split into 2 groups to talk with the Heads of 2 departments and tour the facilities:

  • jefferson-ambulance-2

    A model ambulance used for training, mostly by the EMS students

    Students can get an AAS in Surgical Tech (this technically falls under Nursing) and become nationally Board Certified (students have a 100% pass rate on the exam). Surgical Techs help prep patients and then monitor and keep things sterile in ORs. Students get more than 200 clinical hours in before graduation and are almost always hired before graduation.

  • jefferson-xrays

    Some of the Respiratory Tech training

    Respiratory Therapy is one of the Bachelor’s programs. This was the most amazing program! The Head is dynamic and passionate about what he’s doing. I was ready to sign up for the program right then. We got to look at x-rays to see how a diagnosis might be done, machines that help Cystic Fibrosis patients, and even 2 sets of real lungs that he inflated for us!

    • 75% of RT students are employed before graduation, and everyone has a job within a month of graduation. This isn’t unusual. A nursing student said that she has gotten job offers on the floor as she did clinicals: “You can come back and work for me.”

jefferson-table-2

The Anatomage; the student demonstrated how it can show different layers of the body

Resources are “top notch. Often they’re one generation out of date – we get a lot of things donated – but they’re free and similar to what they use in hospitals,” said one of the teachers. An exception to this is the Anatomage which is table with a top that works like a giant ipad. They can pull up a picture of full-sized body that students can rotate, “dissect,” and use to learn skeletal, muscular, and other structures. Not many schools have it.

Additionally, they had a Cadaver lab which gets used by many programs including Occupational Therapy. OT also has labs that include a play room for kids and a mock house so they can learn to work with patients in that environment.

jefferson-dorm

A view of the dorm (the tall brick building) from the school. It’s a quick walk across the park. 

Students we spoke to chose Jefferson for the direct entry programs, the 4-year EMS, and the nice dorms. Dorms are a 4 minute walk from the school. Even though there’s no traditional campus, students feel like they get a full college experience. There are extra-curricular options and events just like any other college. A couple they mentioned were:

  • Taste of Jefferson: Departments have different foods, students get a passport to be stamped, they get a t-shirt when they fill it up.
  • Chocolate Day: “the best part is the chocolate fountain!”

jefferson-ot-lab

One of the OT labs

All students can have cars on campus, and parking is easy in the garage. It’s helpful to have one for clinicals and just getting around; the closest grocery store is a mile. However, it’s not needed.

© 2016

Rivier University

Rivier University (visited 10/18/16)

rivier-archRiv is a place where faith matters – and ALL faiths matter. Started by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and Sister Madeleine of Jesus, this is a Catholic college, but they want students of all faiths – and of little faith – to find a home; they’ve created an environment in and out of the classroom for students to explore their own traditions (including having a Hindu Convocation; they have a lot of Indian students). For students who haven’t found a tradition yet, where do they find a spark that has meaning to their lives? Students can be who they are and figure out who they want to become.

rivier-gardenStudents at Riv can bump up against the edges; people are here to redirect and say, “try again!” Part of this exploration takes place in the Core Curriculum: Journeys of Transformation, a 4-year path to look at the big questions: Who am I and What is the World? Who is around me/who is my neighbor? How shall we live? What, then, shall we do? This is designed for students to build a reflective understanding of their lives and how they can contribute. The 2 required classes are Social Justice and World Religions.

rivier-dorms

Some of the dorms

“Students here are in the Striver Class. Our students are not entitled. They’re multi-taskers, and they’re focused. They generally aren’t political. It’s about life: getting the car fixed, picking up the younger brother.” From NSSE data, they know that there are a lot of students who work, and this is a supportive place for that. Many help out with families: grandparents, younger siblings, etc. There are a lot of commuters, so they’re intentional about when and where the co-curricular offerings happen. “About 50% live on campus and 50% commute, but 100% are busy,” said the college President.

rivier-therapy-dogs

One of the therapy dogs regularly on campus

If you walk into the dining hall, you see an engagement that goes beyond clique. Students intermingle with faculty. “This really is a place where we live the mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.”

They recognize that students have a lot of options in terms of which college to choose: “You can get a business or nursing degree at a kazillion places between here and there.” Students tend to come here for a specific reason: a coach, the inclusive environment, the school’s willingness to work around students’ schedules. Many come simply for the location: They sit on the outskirts of Manchester (the airport is only 15 minutes; Boston (and Logan) are 45 minute south; buses to NYC are less than $20.

rivier-lab

One of the labs

This is an international community so they have strong global initiatives on campus, and they’re taking intentional strives in diversity.

  • Grant program: they’ve received several grants such as an NSF grant bringing in $600,000 for underrepresented students in the life sciences and a $900,000 grant for underrepresented students in Nursing. This provides Scholarships and internships.
  • Experiential Learning trips to Senegal, St John’s (USVI), Costa Rica, China, and more.
  • Global Scholars (Honors): qualified admitted students (3.4 high school GPA or higher) will be invited to participate after being admitted to the university. It focuses on looking beyond self: students engage in interdisciplinary academic seminars, leadership development, intercultural/service immersion, and trip participation. International travel as an option.

rivier-sand-volleyball

“Riv Beach,” the sand volleyball court

Career development is rolled into the content of classes. The Employment Promise is relatively new (I sat at breakfast with the Executive Director of University Career Services and the college President so I got a lot of information about it): if a graduate doesn’t get a Baccalaureate level job within 9 months of graduation, they’ll pay $5400 of SUBSIDIZED student loans or 6 graduate classes. (If a student does not have a subsidized loan, the only option is to take the graduate classes). To be eligible, students sign a contract that says they’re committed to being in the program; students must maintain at least a 3.0, meet certain yearly benchmarks (going to Career Development, meeting with advisors, etc.) and complete the 4-year, 4-tier program: 1) acclimation 2) learning 3) preparing 4) putting it together and reaching out. This year, 253 people are participating (out of 280 freshman).

rivier-entrance-signRiv is test-optional except for nursing. The minimum qualifications (this does not guarantee entry) include having earned at least 77% in math and science (including algebra, geometry, bio, and chem). The Pre-Professional Health core is the same curriculum as the nursing program. Students can reapply at the end of freshman year if they didn’t get accepted directly into nursing.

© 2016

Saint Anselm College

Saint Anselm College (visited 10/18/16)

st-a-2This is the place for students who want to get away and try new things, who want a highly residential campus (students tend to stick around all 4 years) and access to lots of activities as well as strong academics with professors who say, “let’s try that!” This is also the place to be for studying politics!

St. A’s impressed me. The students were friendly and people were engaging with each other all over campus, even on a misty fall day. During the tour, I learned that they’re ranked 6th in the country for most involved students. That didn’t come as a surprise after meeting many of them. “There are opportunities to get involved in community service, be tough, be a dork … you can do it all.”

st-a-statue

The main building on campus

“The faculty is the best part about this place. You’ll find at least that one person you can have the good conversations with when you’re freaking out about what you want to do with the rest of your life.” One of the tour guide’s favorite classes was his “Conformity and Rebellion in the 1950s” class (in the English department), in large part because he had a great relationship with the professor. “It was interesting and well taught. I loved going to that class.”

st-a-chapel-int

The Chapel

Socially there’s a lot to do beyond athletics. Skate Night, movies on the quad, weekly trips to different ski resorts, and plenty more options are offered. “If you’re going to have a problem, it’s because there’s too much to do. It’s actually good to learn stress and time management.” There are usually 5 or 6 speakers, panels, or movies each week on politics, Black Lives Matters, TED Talks, LGBTQ issues. Saint A’s was ranked #1 for Christmas Traditions: they have a gingerbread house competition, light the 30 foot outdoor tree, and more. One of the students we spoke to took part in “Walk a Mile In Their Shoes” – she walked 130 miles from Maine to NH for Road of Hope. “I never thought I could do that, but now I do everything! I figure if I can do that, I can just go on a 20 mile hike on the weekend.”

st-a-lower-quadFood here gets amazing reviews from students (and the dinner we had speaks to the quality of the food!). It’s not hard to see why they’ve been ranked #8 in the country for food! Crepe night is a particularly big hit.

There are plenty of opportunities for Interdisciplinary learning and research. Students get practical experience early.

  • One of the nursing students has already gone into the community as a sophomore. “I’ve gone to drug-addiction meeting, worked with low-income families, stuff like that.”
  • st-a-grotto-statue

    Statue in the Grotto

    Politics is the top major because St. A’s hosts the NH Institute for Politics. They host the DNC and RNC debates, and students often get to intern with these organizations. They turn the hockey rink into the press room!

This is a Benedictine college; 25 monks live on campus, 6 of whom are active on campus (not all professors). Monks do get involved: a recent email came out about a dinner/discussion about “How to be your best self.” Their mission revolves around service, hospitality, and respect. The religious requirement includes Biblical Theology (“It’s almost a history class, not about being indoctrinated,” said a student) and Biblical Literacy classes. These could be ethics, Christian Saints, etc. Mass attendance is not required.

st-a-nh-political-library

The Political Library in the NH Institute for Politics Building

To help students adjust and acclimate, they have Transitions for Freshmen, a little like a pre-orientation, where students take trips, meet people, etc. Orientation leaders have to organize a couple activities every semester to check in with their group.

Admissions for non-nursing majors is test-optional; the average incoming GPA is a 3.3. Applicants to nursing, one of the top majors, will need to submit test scores; students admitted to this program have an average 3.6 GPA. All applications have 2 readers, and they give an “impact rating” – what will they give to the community? Things like leadership, work, family commitments all get factored in.

© 2016

Fairfield University

Fairfield University (visited 10/11/16)

fairfield-statueStudents who are willing to explore or who have a professional mind-set but don’t want to be stuck on a single track are going to love Fairfield. “We do a great job with the undecided students helping them to find a path,” said the admissions rep.

Fairfield is a hidden gem. They take great care of their students in all realms, true to their Jesuit roots. As 1 of the US’s 28 Jesuit universities, there are 3 core values to Fairfield’s philosophies:

  • A liberal arts education: Jesuits are known for being educators and have a commitment to social justice. All students, regardless of area of study, will engage in core classes. They engage with people who have a range of interests.
  • fairfield-bell-tower

    The bell tower by the chapel

    Cura personalis: care for the whole person. They want students to think about where they’re going in mind, body, and spirit. Obviously, students are growing intellectually in the class but also outside of it. They’re using NYC, going to lectures, etc. Body – Healthy Living Floors, classes on meditation, using the rec center.

  • Men and Women for others: They want students be asking, ‘How are they able to give back?’ … and then following through. Many students take classes with Service Learning components (such as Non-profit Accounting, developmental psych, or Non-profit grant management) where things are built in. They look at how they can engage in the community using what they learn in the classes and at other community service.

fairfield-quad-1Clearly they’re doing something right. They have an impressive 89% retention rate from freshman to sophomore year (and they’re actively working to get that into the 90s). They hold two 2 orientations programs in June and August, and the FYE class taken in the first semester is an outreach from Orientation. The 3800 undergrads are happy on campus, and Fairfield works hard to make sure they graduate: 82% within 4-years, 84% within 6 (both of which are well above the national norms).

fairfield-chapel-statue

Sculpture in front of the chapel as seen through the bell tower.

About 2/3 of students self-report as Roman Catholic (which doesn’t necessarily mean practicing!). Things are there if you want them, including on and off campus retreats. During masses, music is often provided by students. All students must take 2 religion classes: the first, an overview, is required; the second is a choice.

fairfield-pond

The fountain in the pond on the edge of campus

This is a beautiful partially-wooded campus in a residential area, but there are things to do within a 10 minute walk. Sunny Daes is a favorite ice cream place, Archie Moore’s has wings, and Peppi’s Pizza (5 minutes off campus) has been ranked the #1 pizza. They’re also close to local farms for apple and pumpkin picking. For those looking for more action, a MetroNorth stop is close to campus; Grand Central is an hour away by train. Shuttles run all day every 30 minutes starting at 7am on weekdays, 11am on weekends. It’s a full-sized bus so there’s always room!

fairfield-dorms-4

Freshmen dorms in the center of campus

Most things on campus are within a 10-minute walk, with a few more minutes to reach some of the outlying corners. Housing is guaranteed all 4 years, but about half the seniors choose to live off campus. Dorms are fairly traditional for freshmen. Many sophomores are able to move into suites, and apartments and suites are available for upperclassmen.

fairfield-dorms-2

Some of the upperclassman suites in a “village” on the side of campus

A couple favorite traditions include Midnight Breakfasts and the senior tradition of going to the beach to watch a final sunrise with friends before graduation; Fairfield Beach is just a couple miles from campus, also making it a favorite place to hang out during good weather.

Most intro classes are capped at 30; chem is one of the few above this number (capped at 40). Students can choose from 44 majors, 16 interdisciplinary programs, and 12 4+1 programs:

  • fairfield-business-2

    The business school

    Business: Dolan is ranked as one of Bloomberg’s Top 50 Undergrad Business Schools. All business majors all get a broad basis before specializing. It’s not unusual for students to complete 2 or 3 internships. They’re close to several Fortune 500 companies in Stanford. They run startup competitions and Elevator-pitch competitions.

  • fairfield-new-construction

    Expansion of the Nursing and Health Sciences buildings; they’re very careful to leave the trees intact.

    Nursing: This is Fairfield’s only direct-admit program. Students can’t transition into nursing because classes start immediately in freshman year and clinicals start sophomore year. Students can study abroad for a semester in Brisbane or Ireland (where they’ll complete their surgical rotations) or in Nicaragua for a shorter experience, usually getting experience in clinics.

  • fairfield-mascot

    The mascot

    Engineering: incoming students can apply to a specific program or come in as undecided. Students can complete a 4+1 in Management of Technology to be ready to cross over into the business section and be ready to manage if they want.

  • Arts and Sciences: Among the many majors, students can choose: Irish Studies, Black Studies, Digital Journalism, Judaic Studies, and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Almost half (45%) of students spend at least a semester abroad; 70% graduate with some sort of international experience such as the short-term classes.

fairfield-garden

The student-run sustainable garden

Fairfield is Common App Exclusive, and admission is test-optional. Last year, 39% of students did not submit test scores. Interviews, which tend to be informal, are available through Thanksgiving, and can be done by admissions rep OR a senior. The top 10% of applicants are named Magis (“The More,” a very Jesuit term) Scholars. Students getting this tend to be those students who enhance lives around them, who push themselves hard, and tend to have a 31+ on the ACT.

© 2016

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