campus encounters

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Archive for the tag “Interactive Media”

The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey (visited 11/14/15)

~TCNJ 4

The iconic campus building

I had wanted to see TCNJ since a colleague’s son had gone there and thrived. I had heard great stories: not only was he incredibly happy to be there (so happy that he stayed on campus for 2 summers), but he got involved in a lot of research and before he graduated, ended up being published in a textbook that one of his professors wrote.

TCNJ Mascot

TCNJ Mascot

TCNJ didn’t disappoint.

~TCNJ 2Two students told me essentially the same thing about what surprised them: it’s small enough for the class sizes they have but large enough to meet people. “I meet new people all the time, but I see people I know all the time.” Another student was surprised at how challenging the academics were and how smart everyone is. Classes tend to be on the small size: of the students I spoke to, the smallest classes ranged from 11-16; the largest ranged from 25-40. TAs don’t teach classes, but they may help run labs or foreign language discussion sections.

New Campus Village

New Campus Village

~TCNJ 1Housing is guaranteed for two years (4 years for out-of-state students), “but I haven’t heard of anyone having trouble getting it if they want it.” They traditionally had been able to house a bit more than half of the 6,500 undergraduates, but now they have space for 460 juniors and seniors in the new Campus Village apartments. The spots filled up within an hour, so TCNJ is building more to meet the demand. This area is designed with retail space on street-level to increase the amount of places students can walk to.

~TCNJ nature trailFreshmen can’t have cars. The Loop takes kids around campus and town, including the mall, the movies, and even into Princeton. They can also take the town bus, that that’s not free. Upperclassmen can have cars; there’s “always parking in the garage.” Campus is both walkable and safe. The blue lights were pressed “12 times by accident last year,” said a rep; when I asked a junior if he had ever heard of them being used, he couldn’t think of a single time.

~TCNJ stadiumThere really is something for everyone here. There are plenty of activities (including Bubble Soccer and Billiard Soccer tournaments) and traditions the kids like. The EPCOT Festival is a particularly popular as is jumping in the fountain before graduation. The Radio Station is well-run and DJing is popular; it is 1 of 4 radio stations nationally to get nominated for Station of the Year by College Music Journal. Approximately 1/3 of students will go Greek which has a delayed rush in the spring. Sports (DIII) are incredibly successful and well supported by fans. Students interested in service can apply to become a Bonner scholar.

The tour guide had a hard time thinking of anything she’d want to improve upon or change on campus. She finally said, “I want a bigger smoothie bar. What we have is good. I just more of it!”

~TCNJ Art and Interactive media

~TCNJ acad bldg int

The interior of one of the academic buildings

Students couldn’t say enough about their classes and professors. The Arts and Interactive Media building is relatively new, and they receive a 2010 Art grant resulting in 4 large colored balls as a permanent art installation on a quad that are supposed to be pixels. Departments are well-stocked with top-notch technology for teaching such as the simulation labs in the Nursing department and the planetarium for astronomy students. The Education department offers all the usual subjects plus Deaf/HH and Urban Education. The Biomedical Engineering degree gives students an option of doing a 7-year Medical School program. The iSTEM (integrative STEM) is noteworthy.

~TCNJ pixels

The PIxel installation on an academic quad

TCNJ is one of several colleges that offers Study-Travel classes during their Maymester. Some students take a class in the spring that has a travel component; other classes are “Stand-alone” classes in students travel for 2-3 weeks. Some travel sites/topics include studying/comparing Genocide in Armenia and Eastern Europe; the Gendered History of Food in Italy; and Biology in the Galapagos and the Rain Forest.

© 2015

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College of St. Rose

College of St. Rose (visited 7/29/15)

~St. Rose sign 2Have you ever dreamed of producing your own CD? Come St. Rose, win the yearly Battle of the Bands, and you’ll be able to do just that! St. Rose runs its own label: Saints and Sinners.

Or perhaps you want to work in a biology lab with animals like Skittles the tarantula and Bradford the mystery lizard. You can do that, too, at St. Rose!

The Meditation garden room in the chapel is used by people of all faiths

The Meditation garden room in the chapel is used by people of all faiths

One of the biggest surprises for me about St. Rose is that it’s no longer under the Diocese of the Catholic Church. It was started by four Carmelite nuns in the early 1920s; men (veterans primarily, at least at first) were admitted to evening and graduate programs after WWII; in the 1970s, the decision was made to go coed; the Diocese said no, but the Board of Trustees felt strongly that this was the way to go so they broke ties with the Church. “There’s still a relatively strong sense of our history, but there is no affiliation,” said the rep.

The St. Rose TV Studio

The St. Rose TV Studio

The school is still approximately 2/3 women, and almost 90% come from New York with New York City (about 2.5 hours south) strongly represented. More than 20% self-identify as ALANA, so the student body is relatively diverse.

The St. Rose Recording Studio

The St. Rose Recording Studio

Much of the work done at St. Rose is cross-disciplinary and based in real-world experiences. For example, it’s not unusual to see musicians working with Communications majors to produce work. The Hearst Center for Communications and Interactive Media is the only communication building in the US with the Hearst name attached to it. Students can study journalism as well as TV, video, and film with lots of hands-on experience. The school runs its own broadcasting studios and students then move on to intern at local stations. Jimmy Fallon is one of the most famous alums coming out of here; although he had dropped out of St. Rose 1 semester short of graduating (surprise – he took the SNL job instead of sticking around!), they gave him his honorary degree in 2009 (they figured he had enough life experience to qualify at that point).

Concert Hall

Concert Hall

Music is a fairly big major here. Music Education, Music Industry (they rank in the top 10 nationally for this degree), and Music Performance majors all must audition to get in. These degrees are either BA or BS degrees; they do not offer BFA in music (but do offer one in Studio Art and Graphic Design). They have a full music library in addition to an Educational Curriculum and the main libraries. Currently, they’re “80% Steinway,” said the rep.

Classrooms are left unlocked; students can go in to study or use the technology for presentation

Classrooms are left unlocked; students can go in to study or use the technology for presentation

Education is another large, strong department here. Options range from Early Education (birth – 2 year) all the way up to high school. Speech Pathology has become increasingly popular in the last several years.

Unusual majors include Forensic Psychology, Bioinformatics (part of the Computer Science department), and Biology-Cytotechnology. They also have a new Public Health major.

~St. Rose Business

The Business department

There’s a great deal of school pride here both from students and staff. Alumni donate a great deal to the college. The school does a wonderful job of creating community through their Freshman Experience classes as well as through Residential Life. Housing is guaranteed; 90% of freshmen live on campus, but that drops to about 50% after that. Campus is located in a residential area of Albany, so housing is easy to find. The college is actively trying to get those numbers up and have just built new campus apartments with a burger station in the building.

The main quad

The main quad

However, even those who move off campus remain active in campus life. Sports (DII) bring out a lot of fans (and Women’s soccer recently won a championship title). There are several traditions that the students rave about including Rose Rock (aka Spring Fling) which brings live music to campus. The favorite tradition, however, seems to be TPing the big tree on the Quad every Halloween. The President, after learning the hard way that this wasn’t going to be something that could be stopped, now throws the first one: “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”

© 2015

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