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Archive for the tag “Johnson and Wales University”

Johnson & Wales, Providence

Johnson and Wales, Providence (visited 4/29/19)

J&W sculptureThis is an amazing college for students wanting a solid education with hands-on components, students who want “to try new things, to succeed and even fail. We support them and help them transition.” Students start with their major on day one – but can work with their advisor to change. They can figure it out early if it isn’t the right fit. “This is the place to come if you want to learn and get a job. Students get hired.”

J&W chocolate lab

Chocolates lab class

J&W’s Providence campus is the flagship (with other campuses in Charlotte, Denver, and Miami). When students apply, they pick a campus but are accepted to all four. The school was founded by 2 women in 1914 before women were even allowed to vote – yet they started a major university as a business school to build opportunities for women and provide them with relevant skill sets in the work force. They still have strong business programs, including Equine Business Management (with Riding or Non-Riding options), Advertising & Marketing Communications, Fashion Merchandising & Retailing, and Restaurant/Food/Beverage Management.

J&W 2The Providence campus now offers 70 programs (majors vary a bit between campuses). Students are allowed to move between campuses, assuming their major is offered at the other location. The university offers Associates (Baking & Pastry or Culinary Arts) through Doctoral (Education) degrees. Students in the AS programs can roll into a related Bachelor’s program in the same or similar majors, including Food Service Management, Culinary Nutrition, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Dietetics & Applied Nutrition, or Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship.

J&W student centerThe university also continues to grow and try new things, as well. In the fall of 2019, 2 new majors are being implemented: Integrated Product Design and Comp Sci. In the fall of 2020, 4 more will begin: Sustainable Food System, Biomedical Science, Economics, and Create Your Own. They also offer accelerated Master’s Programs in areas like Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Organizational Psychology, Data Analytics, Information Security/Assurance, MBA, Global Leadership & Sustainable Economic Development, and Sport Leadership.

J&W Harborside

The Harborside campus

Classes are capped at 40 (some are capped at a lower point because of the physical work space), but class size averages only 21. Faculty members are experts in their field, many of whom have worked in the industry before coming to campus. They can help with networking, internships, and jobs. J&W has cultivated relationships with multiple companies and has over 1000 internship sites. Students can start interning as early as sophomore year (but junior year is more common).

J&W 3Providence’s campus is split into two parts about 3 miles apart (less than 10 minutes depending on traffic), and students can live on either one regardless of where their classes are held. There is a separate equine center located about 25 minutes away (actually across state lines in Massachusetts!) with regular shuttles running up there.

J&W Downcity res quad

The residential quad on the Downcity Campus

Student parking is located on the Harborside campus because of space issues, and shuttles run regularly between the two sites. We had breakfast in large meeting room in a building that has a dining hall and a res hall. Some of the students have rooms that overlook the water! This campus also has the Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence. Their culinary program is absolutely phenomenal! All aspects of the trade are taught. For example, students take a mixology lab: they use colored water instead of actual alcohol (“it would get prohibitively expensive to keep dumping alcohol down the drain,” said our tour guide). For their final exam, they dim the lights and blare music to mimic the industry. They have to prepare 12 drinks in 12 minutes. There’s also restaurant on site that serves lunch and dinner to just over 60 people. Students in a sophomore-level class work the restaurant and rotate through all aspects of it to learn everything from table set-up to service to food prep. The dessert comes from the Baking & Pastry labs. Students rotate through all sorts of labs; materials and uniforms (collar colors indicate different programs and progression: the lighter the color, the further along a student is) are included in tuition. Students learn how to use everything and not waste things. They use cuttings as garnish, they’ll dry and grind up leftover vegetables for powers to flavor dishes, etc.

The Downcity campus takes up 6 city blocks; the same amenities are on that campus including a pretty residential quad. They even have a pet-friendly floor! There is a bit of commuter parking at this campus, but it tends to be pricey. Providence has great arts, music, and restaurant scenes. This is a great college town with several universities nearby (including Brown, RISD, and Providence College), so places cater to students. For example, there’s a nearby event center that sells tickets at 50% off 2 hours before showtime.

© 2019

Johnson & Wales, Charlotte

Johnson and Wales University: Charlotte (visited 3/19/18)

JWU-C culinary lab

Students doing one of their finals for a baking/pastry lab

Although people know Johnson and Wales mostly for their Culinary Arts (including the Baking/Pastry Arts major) program, Business Administration is always the top major at the Charlotte campus. Other strong majors include:

JWU-C culinary classroom

One of the “restaurant” lab classrooms

My tour guide was in the Baking and Pastry track, and she LOVES it. All the chefs have at least 10 years of experience so she feels that they’re learning from people who really know what they’re doing and know the industry. I walked by many of the “labs” and got to see the students working as well as trays full of their creations. I can see why a lot of the students don’t bother with regular meals on campus. “We do tend to eat a lot during labs!” said the tour guide. I toured on a day that they were doing their “finals” in labs, including 2 students who were doing a bartending rotation. “We have a ‘Sip and spit’ policy because most of the students are under 21,” the tour guide explained (although there’s a loophole that allows for underage students to drink small amounts – 1 ounce? – for educational purposes).

JWU-C baked goods

Some of that day’s creations!

The school operates on a trimester system. During their lab trimesters (3 of the 6 for an AA), they complete five 9-day labs during the term. They go to lab for 6 hours a day, either from 7-1 or 1:45-7:45. Two of the trimesters are academics (nutrition, English, etc). These are Gen Ed requirements that they need to fulfill, “but they do try to make it relevant.”

JWU-C hotel

The hotel adjacent to campus where many students do their internships

The last trimester is for their internship. Almost all majors have an internships component. Charlotte is a financial hub, so the business students don’t have any shortage of places to work. “There are over 300 internship sites in Charlotte,” said the rep. Bank of America is a big one. The culinary and restaurant/tourism/hotel management students work at places like Biltmore, Disney (“They love JWU students!”), Hilton, and Marriott (they own the hotel next door!) Most are paid, but JWU will give stipends if it’s unpaid.

JWU-C main building

The main building on campus

There are 4 JWU campuses. JWU-C has about 2,000 students, making it the 2nd largest of the 4 (Providence is about 4 times its size; Miami and Denver have several hundred fewer students). Students are able to switch between them as long as their major is offered at another site. Charlotte does not offer many of the computer- or art-based programs that Providence offers. The Charlotte campus opened in 2004 and is very much integrated into the city. It is slowly expanding with several buildings currently being rented from Bank of America.

JWU-C quad

The dorm quad

Students must live on campus for 2 years unless living with family within 50 miles. Students live in 2-room suites. First year students can have cars on campus. Parking is $135/term with a discount for the full year. There are 6 Greek organizations for students to join, and I saw a lot of activities advertised on the boards around campus. The tour guide said that she was happy with the number of things to do, and certainly Charlotte offers a lot, as well. They can even walk to professional sports games.

JWU-C stadium view

One of the sports stadiums in Charlotte as seen from campus.

Students need only to submit the application and a transcript for admissions; they are test-optional. They can submit extra documentation if they wish but it isn’t required. Students will be considered for a maximum merit scholarship of $18,000 (Presidential), but this could go up with the FAFSA. Tuition ($32,091) includes anything they’ll need for their program such as the uniform, knife kit, and all food for the labs.

© 2018

Misc. Colorado Colleges

Overview of Colorado Colleges and Universities not visited

I attended a breakfast hosted by a group of Colorado Universities and Colleges. They each only had a few minutes to present information about their individual institution; what follows is a summary of what they had to say.


Adams is one of the most diverse in the state; with so many Hispanic students, it has officially been labeled as Hispanic-Serving. They also have a lot of first-gen students. The school, located about 3.5 hours southwest of Denver and 2 hours north of Santa Fe, is definitely off the beaten path. The popular majors are business, human performance/exercise science, psych, and bio/pre-med. Their sports are DII with 10 men’s and 9 women’s teams and are launching baseball this year. They’re known for running: they placed 2nd at the Stanford Invitational, almost beating Stanford. They offer a lot of admission-based merit scholarships.


This medium-sized public university with just over 9,000 students is located in Grand Junction. With almost 150,000 people, this is largest city between Denver and Salt Lake City. They’ve recently invested $300 million into the infrastructure. Almost everything is new or renovated. The students they are looking for have an “adventurous spirit” who are willing and able to create own excitement. There’s a lot to do on campus but much of it is student run, so they want students who will be part of creating – and participating in – activities. They want those people who will enjoy what’s around. They have 23 DII teams which means that there is some scholarship money on that front as well as merit-based academic awards for students.


This is primarily a 2-year Community College, but they started offering BA degrees in 2011. This is a multi-campus college serving 9 counties in North-Central Colorado. Three of their campuses are residential including at Steamboat Springs. Because they have some dorms available, they do pull in some out-of-state students and provide scholarships to help draw these students in. They actually have 46 states represented on their campuses. Students come because of their highly ranked programs such as Resort Management, Vet Tech (they have a working farm), and a new media program. There’s a full range of student support services for students who need them.


This college is focused on very specific majors, but offers more than just Mining. They have several schools within the university: Applied Science and Math, Engineering, Geoscience and Resource Management, and even Humanities and Social Sciences (with majors like Economics, International Political Economy, and Public Affairs). Minors include unusual areas such as humanitarian engineering and explosives. Student life is active with typical sorts of clubs; 13 DII sports and Greek Life is also offered to students.


Located in Durango, CO (the four corners region), this is “Colorado’s Public Liberal Arts Institution.” Their graduates have the lowest level of indebtedness in the state upon graduation. Due to its location in the Four Corners Region of the state and high Native American population, they’re designated as a Native American Serving institution. About 35% of the population is from out-of-state, with many of those coming from surrounding states, but they do pull from all over. The college is looking for students with an adventurous spirit who are willing to take risks and stretch themselves. There are no graduate programs at FLC, and as such, the students have direct, “privileged” access to faculty. Only one percent of classes have more than 50 students. The education, psychology, biology, engineering, anthropology/archaeology, and the Native American Studies programs are both popular and strong. Among their DII athletics, cycling and soccer are big.


JWU has 4 campuses across the country, one of which is in Denver. Their focus is on hands-on career preparation and offer both BA/BS and AAS degrees in areas such as Business Management, Culinary Arts, Hospitality Services, and Technology. 1 OF 2 colleges that have a culinary degree that’s certified by the nutrition board.


Naropa was founded by a Buddhist monk and a couple poets in the 60s in order to merge Eastern and Western ideals. They currently enroll 400 undergrads, 65% of whom come from out-of-state; 10% are international. During the admission process, Naropa will not look at test scores; they’re more interested in essays and the interview. They look for students who are interested in dialogue so what the students have to say, verbally and in written form, are important parts of the process. Some of their more unusual majors are Contemplative Psychology, Peace Studies, Writing and Literature, and Traditional Eastern Arts.


One of the main buildings in the middle of campus.

One of the main buildings in the middle of the UCCS campus.

This beautiful campus built on a hillside overlooking Colorado Springs is the smallest of the three UC campuses. I had a chance to walk around the campus when I was in CS, but did not have a chance to take a formal tour. They offer a wide range of academic offerings in 7 colleges. Some of their more unique majors include Professional Golf Management (in the Business and Administration college), Game Design and Development, Computer Security (in the Innovation college), Medical Technology, and Sports Health and Wellness Nursing and Health Sciences college). Their engineering program is ranked ninth in the nation. Their DII sports are generally well-regarded; cross-country is ranked 6th nationally.


Set right in the heart of Denver, this campus is three campuses in one, so students have the benefit of a medical campus and Metropolitan State all in one spot. Light rail and bus lines go right through campus, connecting students to the entire metro area, and since they’re downtown, students can easily walk to many places. UCD enrolls 11000 undergrads and 5000 graduate students, with a large out-of-state population. UCD accepts WUE so residents of the 15 western states can take advantage of reduced tuition; they also offer “Denver-Bound” scholarship for out-of-state students. Successful applicants have an average of a 3.4 GPA and 1150 SAT or 24 ACT. Popular/strong majors include engineering, architecture, and urban planning. The classrooms were deliberately designed to be small and can’t hold more than 22 students.


WSCU is located in a mountain valley about 3.5 hours from Denver and about 30 minutes from Crested Butte ski area. Gunnison has an airport making it easy to travel to and from school. They offer both WUE and out-of-state scholarships. The Business and Education programs are reportedly the best on campus, and Land and Resource Management is perhaps the most unique. They have DII athletics with Cross-Country and wrestling being the strongest.

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