University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (visited 4/27/18)
UMES is a land-grant HBCU located in Princess Anne on the lower Eastern Shore, about 15 minutes south of Salisbury. Much of campus is attractive and well-maintained. It’s one of the smaller schools in the UM system with just under 3,000 students. It’s relatively easy to get around, and parking is plentiful; “you definitely need a car here!” said a student. Town is about a mile away; there are a few fast-food restaurants and shops, but students are more likely to go to Salisbury for entertainment. Students are not really impressed with the social life on campus. There’s not a lot going on which may help explain part of the school’s retention and graduation rates.
Most freshmen live on campus, but many move off after that. Many live close: driving into campus, I passed several small apartment complexes with signs up advertising space for students. There’s also some student-specific housing in Salisbury just off the SU campus that is open to UMES students (although about 90% of students in that housing do attend SU). Greek Life is an important part of campus life, with each organization given a small area on a quad for benches, signs, and grills. Students seemed to think that the food on campus was mediocre at best. “It gets the job done, but that’s about all I can say about it!”
Surprisingly for a school this size, athletics are DI, mostly typical sports. They do have Women’s bowling and Men’s golf.
The faculty did get rave reviews from students. Classes are relatively small, particularly for a state school. There are a great deal of unusual/specialty majors offered at UMES such as:
- Construction Management
- PGA Golf Management
- Aviation Science (concentrations in: Management, Maintenance Management, Pilot, and Software Engineering)
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Construction Management Technology
- Engineering (Aerospace, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Electrical/Elecronics)
- Rehabilitation Psychology
- Not surprisingly (as a land-grant), agriculture is a big deal with students able to complete concentrations in Urban Forestry, Animal and Poultry Business, Pre-Vet, Plant & Soil Sciences, agribusiness, and Ag Ed.
- Fashion Merchandising
- Commercial Photography
I love that they have more hands-on, career-specific academics that prepare students for the workforce, but I’d be a bit concerned about sending a student here. Enrollment has been going down the last several years, but they are working hard to try to reverse that trend. They also are not graduating students well, although they seem to be on par with many HBCUs. There were not many students around, even though it was a beautiful day. Most students were walking alone or with one other person. The price is right, though – and for students looking for some more specialized majors and who like a quieter life, this might be the perfect place for them.