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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Johnson & Wales University

I recently attended a Johnson and Wales University (JWU) breakfast reception for independent college consultants and I thought you might enjoy hearing about what I learned. 

Basics: JWU began as a business school in 1914.  The programs are experiential and work-integrated.  Faculty have industry-relevant experience and there are no lecture halls.  79% of students come directly from high school; 21% transfer from other colleges.  Since 2006, the college has become more selective in order to improve its graduation rate.  There is a 79% retention to the Sophomore year.  The 4-year graduation rate is 68%. 

Academics: The school is on a trimester schedule; each trimester is 11 weeks long.  Undergraduates must complete 40 courses to graduate. Students, who take 4 courses each trimester, graduate early.  Students begin to take classes in their major in their Freshman year.  Sophomores do an internship for course credit in their major.  Seniors complete a capstone and a third trimester internship.  4200 students had an internship in 2012-2013 school year. As a senior, students can take 1 MBA course per trimester.  Starting in 2015, the school will offer a Biology major that could feed into the Physician Assistant program. 

JWU has a career focus.  Over 1200 employers came to campus this year.  74% of students on a paid internship received a job offer from the company they worked for which is higher than the national average of 63%. 

Work and/or Study Abroad are available to all students.  All JWU Study Abroad Programs are for 20 students led by 2 faculty members.  Foreign language is not a requirement to do study abroad.  About 500 students study abroad each year.

Each student has 3 advisors: personal, professional and academic. 

Campuses: JWU has four campuses: Providence, RI; North Miami, FL; Denver, CO; and Charlotte, NC.  Some majors are not available on every campus. The number of students at each location is as follows:
  • Providence – 10,369 (There is housing for 3500 students)
  • North Miami – 1952
  • Denver – 1529
  • Charlotte – 2325.

The Rhode Island campus is physically split into two sections, separated by 2 miles and serviced by the University’s own shuttle system.  In addition, the Equine programs are in Rehoboth, which is about 20 minutes away.  Students can also ride buses anywhere in Rhode Island for free.  The university is building a Physician Assistant building on the Rhode Island Campuses.

Colleges: The University has the following undergraduate colleges:
  • College of Business, which includes some unusual majors, like Equine Management and Criminology.  Many students sit for their Series 7 exams while still in school.
  • Hospitality College which includes some unusual majors like Sports/Entertainment/Event Management
  • College of Culinary Arts, which offers Associates and Bachelors degrees.  This college has the only accredited Culinary Nutrition program in the country.
  • School of Technology (only in Providence) has Engineering and Software Engineering majors
  • School or Arts and Sciences.

There are graduate schools in:
  • Providence: including 4+1 BS/MBA, MBA, an MS in Criminal Justice and a new Physician Assistant MS
  • Denver: MBA.

Housing and Extracurricular activities: Housing is required for freshmen.  There is an online roommate-matching program.  Freshmen are allowed to have cars but they are not needed.

JWU has over 100 clubs and has Greek life.  There are NCCA Division III sports in RI; other campuses have NAIA and USCAA sports.

Applying: The school is test optional. Applications are read by major and certain programs are harder to get into (or switch into) than others.  Baking & Pastry, as well as Counseling Psychology are difficult to get into. The college has an Honors program; students with an SAT score of 520 (Critical Reading) and 510 (Mathematics), typically qualify.  JWU accepts AP scores of 3 or higher. 

Visiting: There are daily tours at 9AM and 1 PM, Preview Days (one Saturday a month), and Wildcat Weekends.  Rising high school juniors and seniors who want to get a taste of JWU may want to attend the Culinary & Hospitality Career exploration program weekend over the summer.

Financial Aid: The Cost of Attendance is $38.9 – 40.8K per year.  JWU offers need-based and merit aid.  They do not front load financial aid and they offer:
·        Academic scholarships of up to $15,000. 
·        National Student Organization Scholarships for members of BPA, DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, JA, TSA, and SkillsUSA.
·        Legacy scholarships of $4000 a year. 

Early Enrollment - There is an early enrollment program where students do their senior year of high school at JWU.  Students pay half tuition for the first year and there is no Federal Assistance available for that year.

What is your experience with JWU?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Delaware Valley College

New Life Sciences Building

Student Union

Academics - In December, I visited Delaware Valley College (DelVal) in Doylestown, PA.  DelVal is a small residential college, only an hour from Bridgewater, with some pretty unusual majors and academic programs, especially for a small private college in the northeast.  These include Agribusiness, Conservation and Wildlife Management, Small Animal Science, Zoo Science, Animal Science, Equine Sciences and Management, Livestock Science and Management, Zoology, Equine Studies, Food Science, Hydroponics, Sustainable Agriculture, and Turf Management.  The school’s motto is “Science with practice” and it requires an experiential-learning component (i.e., all DelVal students will have a real-world experience).  Students with over a 3.5 GPA and 1100 or more on their SAT (2 parts) are typically invited to be part of the Honors Program.

Campus - Most of the buildings are white and are arranged around a grassy quad. In the Spring, the new Life Sciences building will open.  The college includes 225 acres of field crops, 60 acres of orchards, an apiary for beekeeping, greenhouses, dairy and livestock operations, and a farm market.  The school is an arboretum.  I got the feeling that parking may be in short supply.

Extracurricular activities - When you are not studying you can join one of the more than 75 clubs and organizations or one of the 22 NCAA Division III athletic teams.  Go Aggies!  When I visited, the Apiary Club was selling honey and beeswax candles outside the all-you-can-eat Dining Hall.  There is a SEPTA railroad station on campus that will take you to Philly in 30 minutes.

Merit Aid - There is sizable merit aid ($16K or more) for freshman with GPAs of 3.0 or more and SAT scores (Critical Reading and Math) of 1000 or more.

What is your experience with DelVal?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fairfield University

Basics – Earlier this fall I visited Fairfield University, a private Jesuit University with 3300 undergraduate students on a 200-acre campus in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Academics – The university offers 41 majors and 16 minors. The average class size is 23 students. 96% of the classes are taught by someone with a terminal degree; there are no teaching assistants. Freshmen take a First Year Experience class one hour a week, with their summer orientation group, to learn about the school services. Students can double major or take a major and a minor. Students take 60 credits in the core and 60-70 credits in their major(s). 50 – 60% of the students study abroad and their scholarship/aid goes with them. There is a very high concentration of Fortune 500 companies within a commuting distance from the university.

There are 70 – 80 freshmen in the School of Nursing. The nursing students start their clinicals early and 100% of the nursing students passed their nursing board exam the first time. Nursing students can study abroad in Ireland or Italy.

There are 60 – 70 freshmen in the School of Engineering, which has five engineering majors. Students interested in other engineering majors can participate in a 3/2 engineering program. Engineering students can study abroad in Bolivia and often get internships at Sikorsky.

The students in the Dolan School of Business typically do two or three internships and can participate in a business plan competition. The competition winners get money to launch their business.

The largest school is the school of arts and sciences, which includes many pre-professionals. More than 96% of the pre-med students get into medical school.

Campus Life – 96% of the students live on campus. Housing is guaranteed all four years and is organized by the year of college the student is in. The dorms include a mini-frig/microwave. Juniors and seniors have options for apartments, townhouses or suites. Seniors can petition to move to Fairfield Beach, which is on the water, about one mile from campus.

Freshmen cannot have cars on campus. Sophomores cannot have cars on campus, except for the nursing students. There is a bus on campus, as well as zip cars. There are two train stations within walking distance of the campus. Students can get to New York by train in 1 to 1.25 hours.

There are over 100 clubs at Fairfield University. You can start a club if you have between 10 and 12 students and a club advisor. There are NCAA Division I sports, club sports and intramural sports. Basketball is the biggest Division I sport. The university brings in outside speakers.

Mass is available daily; there is no required chapel attendance.

Admissions and Financial Aid – Fairfield University accepts the Common App. The school offers Early Action, Early Decision, and Regular Decision. The school is test optional and there is an optional interview by a counselor or senior student. Most high school students accepted by Fairfield University had an A-/B+ average in high school.

The Cost of Attendance at Fairfield University is about $56K per year. The school offers both need-based and merit aid and uses the CSS/Profile. The largest merit aid package is $22K a year. It typically goes to students with an A/A- grade point average, who scored 2000 or higher on their SATs, and who had strong involvement in their high school/community.

What is your experience with Fairfield University?