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Archive for the tag “management information systems”

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Take 2)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (visited 7/28/19) (Click HERE for notes and pictures from my visit on 3/22/14)

WPI 2I love “looping back” to schools after a few years to remind myself of what’s going on there as well as seeing what’s new. The nice thing about WPI is their consistency – with a willingness to grow! One my original trip, 2 other counselors and I sat in on the regular info session and tour offered to all visiting families. This time, I was with a group of 26 international students learning about their college options. Much of what I heard about the curriculum and the “WPI Plan” was the same as 5 years ago, but I got a broader perspective of the international experience on campus as well as finding out about some new programs/majors being offered.

WPI quad 1Just about 11% of the 4500 undergrads are international citizens. An Iranian student helped give the information session, and students from Japan, Vietnam, and Kenya spoke on the student panel. They also showed a great YouTube video (produced entirely by international students) on the International Experience at WPI. “For such a small school, I love how much I can do and get the most out of the experiences.”

WPI maker space

One of the maker spaces on campus

Engineering remains the largest concentration/school on campus. They were the first in the US to offer Robotics Engineering and is only one of a few schools with Fire Protection Engineering.

Computer Related fields are the next largest concentration at WPI; these are housed within the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Data Science is the newest major (starting fall 2019); Interactive Media and Game Development and Bioinformatics are also relatively new. Students can earn a Concentration in AI as part of CompSci major. They offer multiple math tracks including Applied, Actuarial, Financial, and Industrial Mathematics, Math Sciences, and Math for Educators.

WPI lab bldgThe Business School focuses on the intersection of technology and business. In addition to generic business degree, students can major in Management Engineering or Management Information Systems.

There’s lots of academic and social support. Admissions is test-optional because they know that these exams don’t measure creativity and problem-solving ability. They want people who can work in a team and who are passionate about math and science since they’re taking those classes from the beginning.

WPI dorm 2WPI Plan: It’s what makes it unique; they implemented in 1971. It has 4 parts:

  • The Academic Calendar is divided into four 7-week terms; students take 3 classes each term. Summer is almost 4 months long, giving students more time for internships. Students only need 45 credits to graduate (equivalent to 15 terms) but most will complete 48 (16 terms) by graduation.
  • Non-punitive grading policy: students earn A, B, C, or NR (no record). They want students to feel more comfortable challenging themselves with classes they may not have taken otherwise. If they get a grade lower than a C in a class needed for the major, they need to retake it (“Who wants to drive over a bridge built by an engineer who didn’t pass some of their classes?”). There is also no + or – in the system so people don’t compete over points; it creates a more collaborative environment.
  • WPI mascot 3

    “Gompei the Goat,” WPI’s mascot

    They offer a Flexible Curriculum: “We Advise, You Decide.” There are no pre-requisites, only recommendations.

  • Project-based curriculum (it’s worth checking out the YouTube video Innovate Everything)
    1. 1st year: Great Problems Seminar: Students look at a world-wide problem (like water shortage) and try to solve it.
    2. 2nd year: Humanities and Arts: All students have to take 6 courses in a concentration within the Humanities or Arts, 1 of which is an immersive project.
    3. 3rd year: Interactive Qualifying Project. Students work with a community, NGO, or company. They come up with a project that will help the community such as making a hospital more accessible for hearing and visually impaired people.
    4. 4th year: Major Qualifying Project, equivalent to a capstone or thesis for the major. This is a 3-course equivalent (FT for 1 term or PT for 3 terms). All students get a $5000 global scholarship to help cover travel and project costs. They have 40+ project centers around the world.

WPI 7WPI boasts a retention rate of 95%, well over the national average. They take excellent care of students, starting with almost all freshman (97%) living on campus which is proven to help students succeed academically and socially. They have more than 200 clubs; the rep said, “We have plenty of more serious clubs like math club – there are 5 of those – but also a lot of fun things like Underwater Hockey and 2 cheese clubs, 1 for making and 1 for eating. Worcester itself is the 2nd largest city in New England and ranked 9th (by Forbes) Most Livable City with easy access to Boston, NYC, beaches, and Skiing. With 12 area colleges, there are over 38,000 area college students so local establishments cater to them well.

© 2019

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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

Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University (visited 10/10/16)

seton-hall-chapel-int

Interior of the Chapel

Like many Catholic schools, students here agreed that SHU is “as Catholic as you make it.” This is a Diocesan university, unaffiliated with a specific branch of Catholicism. Just over 2/3 of the 5,800 undergraduates self-identify as Catholic, “but that doesn’t mean we’re practicing.” All faiths are welcomed. The mission is to create a “University of Opportunity for Deserving Students” while teaching respect and understanding based on the vision of “Home for the Mind, Heart, and Spirit.” SHU has a 44% diversity rate; students who come from all over the US and 70 foreign countries.

seton-hall-studentsStudents are engaged with each other and lots were wearing Seton Hall gear. There were so many students around that I was surprised to learn that students were actually on break. 80% of freshmen and 50% of total undergrads live on campus. Housing is not guaranteed, but they’ve never had a student denied if they’ve applied by the deadline. RAs and priests live in each of the 6 residence halls; they also provide 2 apartment buildings for upperclassmen.

The dining hall, an all-you-can-eat option, is spacious and has lots of stations and food choices. Booths have power outlets which is smart. “When they serve chicken tenders or mac & cheese, the line is out the door. Otherwise, maybe it’s a 3 minute wait for food,” said one of the students. I ate lunch there and was pleased with the food.

seton-hall-statueStudents feel that there’s enough to do on campus. As a founding member of the Big East, their 14 DI sports teams are a big draw, particularly basketball. Tickets cost $100 for the season (refunded if they go to all the games). Another student raved about the fact that Seton Hall won “Best College Christmas Tradition”: on the first Monday of December, they light the large outdoor tree, sing carols, and have hot chocolate.

seton-hall-2One student told me that campus can be quiet on the weekends. However, there’s no shortage of things to do. Many students choose Seton Hall because of its proximity to NYC. The train station is a 10-minute walk (or quick shuttle ride) from campus; from there, it’s a 30-minute ride into Penn Station. Luckily, the train station is on the “good side” of campus. I was worried as I drove in: an area close to campus was run-down with boarded-up/gated storefronts, garbage, and people literally wandering in the streets. Suddenly, within a block or two of campus, things changed. “One side of campus is shady; the other is a mega-rich neighborhood,” said students. Campus is beautiful, safe, and gated; students swipe in, and visitors check in with a guard.

Shuttles run every 30 minutes. Only seniors, commuters, and students with jobs or internships can have cars on campus. Commuters are given lots of resources and chances to integrate into the community; the university also recognizes the different needs of commuting students. For example, the Commuter Café is open 10-7 when classes are in session.

seton-hall-6Academics are student-centered, and students like the atmosphere: “We’re pretty chill here. It’s cooperative,” said the tour guide. Freshmen are assigned both an academic and a peer advisor, and they’re enrolled in a 1-credit University Life class to help transition into college. Students get a laptop when they start and a new one 2 years later (they can keep that one after graduation). They rank in the top 5 universities (keeping company with places like UPenn and Duke) for internships: over 80% of students complete at least 1. Clearly they’re doing something right: they’ve had 18 Fulbright awards since 2009.

seton-hall-signThe size of the school “offers all the advantages of a large research university but the support of a small school,” said the admissions rep. Classes average 21 students with Freshman English averaging 15 and languages capped at 15. The tour guide’s larges class was 30 (Intro to Bio) and smallest was 15 (Freshman Eng). Another student’s smallest class was 7 (Russian).

Students take 5 religious classes: the first one, and the only common one, is Journey of Transformation. “It’s mostly philosophy and introspective.” Students then choose 4 others. Students in the Honors Program (requiring a separate application to get in) take a different class in place of Freshman English and the Transformations class.

seton-hall-3There are two early deadlines to be aware of for scholarships. First, students interested in Special Scholarships need to apply by 1/5. Second, to be eligible for the Public Tuition Rate, they must apply by 12/15. For this, students must rank in the top 10% of their high school class and meet various GPA and score requirements. They do not need to be NJ residents to get this award. If the high school doesn’t rank, the school counselor should contact admissions with information.

Information about the different schools include:

  • Arts & Sciences
    • Engineering (electrical, civil, computer, mechanical, biomedical, industrial) is housed in this school
  • Health and Medical Sciences: All the programs in this school are streamlined undergrad majors combined with graduate degrees (Masters except for the DPT).
    • For PA Candidacy: students have to complete the application in junior year
    • All others: students are automatically in as long as they meet minimum GPA
  • Diplomacy and International Relations
    • Seton Hall has an exclusive alliance with the UN
    • 100% do internships or study abroad with UN, USAID, UNESCO, UNICEF, FBI, Embassies, Red Cross, Missions abroad, etc.
  • Business
    • The Leadership program was ranked #1 in the US for the 2nd year in a row
    • They boast a 95% employment rate (within 6 months) and 100% admission to grad school
    • Management Information Systems, Legal Studies, and Finance and Mathematical Finance are worth nothing.
  • Nursing
    • This is a Direct-Admit program.
  • Education and Human Services
    • Students complete more practicum placements and hours (and in a variety of schools) than at other schools.
    • A Joint Masters in speech language pathology is available.
  • Communication and the Arts
    • The student-run radio station and the college newspapers are consistently highly ranked (often in the top 5)
  • The Medical School will open in the fall of 2018; they’ll partner with Hackensack University Medical Center, listed as the #1 hospital in NJ. They’ll have a direct admit, 7-year BS/MD degree program.

© 2016

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