campus encounters

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Archive for the tag “dry campus”

Brigham Young University (Provo)

Brigham Young University (visited 9/25/18)

BYU quad mountains studentThe admissions rep started our info session (I was with a group of counselors) by addressing several myths about BYU. One he address was about admissions quotas: there are none. However, they are sponsored by LDS so tuition is different depending on membership in the LDS church. “We don’t recruit. We don’t have to.”

BYU bell towerThere have three sister schools: BYU Idaho, BYU Hawaii, LDS Business College. They are different schools! Each one makes their own admission decisions based on their missions and what they’re mandated to look for. The application to the main campus is straightforward. They do NOT want any extra materials for the app. The application asks the applicants to pick TWO activities. “It’s an exercise in critical thinking,” said the rep. “The strongest applications reflect the values of the college.”

BYU honors 2

The Honors College

It’s important to know that their application submission process is very different from most other places. Students cannot even hit the submit button until everything is done, including having their recs uploaded! EVERYTHING has to be in (including recommendations and scores) by the 12/15 final/hard deadline, so the October ACT and the November SAT are the last dates they will consider. Nothing can be changed/added after submission, even by emailing the rep. When students hit the submit button, whatever is sent is what the admissions office will consider. If students want to update information – new/updated test scores, for example – they have to withdraw their application and resubmit. They also have to fill out the BYU scholarship application in addition to the admissions application!

BYU 4Students here are held to high academic standards, and the students we spoke to told us that the academics are rigorous. The Business department is perhaps the best known and best ranked at the school. They offer a range of options including a few specialized majors at the undergrad level: Therapeutic Recreation and Management, Experience Design and Management, and Strategic Management. The departments of Education, Nursing, and Religious Education (with majors in Ancient Scriptures and Church History and Doctrine) are also excellent. The Fine Arts and Communications department will be adding Animation Illustration soon.

BYU 5They have started a new initiative called Inspiring Learning. “We have increased our investment by putting several million dollars into getting students more sponsored mentorship/internships.” They want students to get out of the classroom which is part of their “Learn and go forth to serve” ethos. There’s an Origami Solar Array. Get kids outside of the classroom. Service Organization.

BYU quad mountains studentAs an LDS school, it’s not a surprise that “this is a Stone-cold sober school,” as the tour guide say several times. There is an intense honor code and a dress code. They even have a Testing building; students go there to take exams on their own time. Core Classes here include 4 specific required religion classes and several more that students have some choice over. Devotionals are held every Tuesday but are not required. They’ll stream them for students who can’t attend.

BYU dorms

Some of the dorms

The students were happy with social life on campus. They can get an ROC Pass for access to the athletic games; football is very popular. The Ballroom Dance Team has competed internationally. The creamery gets high reviews “especially the chocolate milk.” Students obviously are not going out drinking off campus, but they said there’s a lot of fun to be had on and off campus. Public transportation is accessible and cheap or free for students.

© 2018


Pepperdine University

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY (visited January 17, 2014)

Deer on the lawn heading into campus

Deer on the lawn heading into campus

~Pepperdine panormaI’ve never been to a campus before with deer grazing on the lawns leading into campus! Pepperdine is a beautiful campus with a stunning view of the Pacific coast in Malibu. It is built on a hill, so there’s a lot of climbing involved, but the school took care with the architecture to make the best use of their buildings and to highlight the beauty of the area. Windows and balconies overlook the water. Obviously, the climate there is wonderful, and students spend a lot of time outside so it was easy to see students interacting with each other. People seemed happy and engaged, greeting each other as they walked around campus.

~Pepperdine treesOur tour guide, Joan, was a freshman business and communications major from New Jersey. Pepperdine 1Although she came a long way from home, she said she felt comfortable immediately. The week long orientation went a long way in helping. She said one of her favorite parts was the My Tie Dance. The boys’ ties are put into a box and the girls pick one out; the owner becomes their date for the night. She’s also impressed with the President’s level of involvement with the student body; he walks around campus and talks to people regularly. He hosts parties and makes attempts to get to know people around campus. (As a side note, he’s also in a band called Mid-Life Crisis).

~Pepperdine bowerSeaver College is the undergraduate unit of the university; there are four graduate schools in Law, Education, Business, and Public Policy. There are about 3,500 undergraduates and about that number again of graduate students.

Dining Hall

Dining Hall

Only about 60% of students live on campus. Freshmen dorms have suites comprised of 8-10 people with two showers and a main room. Triples are cheaper and have an ocean view as a trade-off for having 3 people in the room. All dorms are single-sex. Coed hours are 10am to 1am in the rooms, 7am to 2am in the main area. It’s also a dry campus, but they do have the HAWC which is a 24/7 hangout. Both the single-sex dorms and the lack of alcohol reflect the religious identity (Church of Christ affiliation) of the campus. Their Gen Ed requirements include 3 semesters of religion classes (interestingly, one of the classes is on the history and religions of Israel; as someone who works at a Hebrew academy, that caught my attention, and I would be interested to see a syllabus for the class!). Students must also complete 14 credits of Convocation each term. There are over 100 opportunities each semester that they can attend. Each one is meant to help students dig into their faith by presenting speakers or other presentations. This is considered a class, and if they attend 14 events, they earn an A.

The Chapel

The Chapel

Student life does not all revolve around religion. There are a lot of special activities throughout the year (including one day when they actually bring in truckloads of snow and dump it in the parking lot so students can play with it!). 30% of students are involved in Greek Life; they pledge the 3rd or 4th week of school. There are 8 men’s sports (including Water Polo and Volleyball!) and 9 women’s sports (including both Indoor and Sand Volleyball). Study abroad is a big deal, and their study abroad is highly ranked. They have 7 “Pepperdine Abroad” programs lead by Pepperdine professors. Students can complete the same gen eds there as they would on campus, and the tuition/R&B is the same; students do pay for flights and a one-week field trip

Pepperdine 5 Students can choose form 40 majors (Nutritional Science, Integrated Marketing Communication, Creative Writing, and Media Production are the most unusual). They offer a 3/2 engineering program in which they spend 3 years at Pepperdine earning a BA in Natural Sciences and then transfer to Southern California School of Engineering or Wash U in St. Louis for 2 years. Sciences are fairly strong at Pepperdine, and they even have a cadaver lab. They boast an 82-85% acceptance rate into “medical schools of the student’s choice.” They also offer several languages (our tour guide pointed out the Language Building which was ways up the hill: “The language majors get quite the workout!”)

(c) 2014

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