Archive for September, 2010

Five MORE Extraordinary Colleges

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

In our March newsletter I wrote about five extraordinary colleges that you never heard of, but should. I am not sure if my putting the spotlight on them increased their application count, probably not, but here are five MORE extraordinary colleges in a periodic series we plan, to expand the vision of the college bound, beyond the “usual suspects”.  I look forward to your thoughts on these and other colleges you may feel need more recognition.

Of course, when all is said and done, does it matter that much where one goes to college?  If you are not looking for a specific technical training only offered at a particular college, I say, not necessarily. What really matters is what you do when you get there.

Once in a while I like to step back and look at the colleges that have something to offer that make them stand out. It does not mean they are right for you. But one or more of them could be.

Three of these colleges are definitely not ones that would come up in casual conversation at the dinner table or the country club. Come with me now and enjoy the tour.

# 1. In the beautiful Pacific Northwest just 35 miles from Seattle sits the University of Puget Sound. Founded in 1888, it is a highly selective liberal arts college with close to 3,000 undergraduates. Because of the Graduate programs in the health sciences and education it is a University. However, the emphasis and Mission Statement is focused on the undergraduate. It offers over 40 majors and 1,200 courses taught by a strong faculty that comes from all over North America.

Because of its gorgeous location and living conditions, it attracts educators to Puget Sound. For that reason, the University is in the enviable position to be able to hire only the most qualified faculty applicants. The result is a fine Liberal Arts program in addition to rich programs in Asian Languages and Culture, English/creative writing, Communication/Journalism, Music, International Business and the Sciences. They are all impressively strong.

Students describe the academic experience this way. “The professors challenge their students and hold high expectations of them. Writing is stressed across all disciplines at UPS, and students can expect to do a lot of it.” All classes, including labs, are taught by professors and, what I like, all freshman students are assigned a professor from one of their classes to serve as an advisor for their entire first year.

So, if you are a lover of the great outdoors and you want to be challenged academically, “Puget Sound is a beautiful place to spend four years” many students say.

# 2. Now let us travel east across the Rockies to  Montana. In the capitol, Helena, you will find one of the most successful(in terms of student outcomes) liberal arts and pre-professional colleges in the west. Founded in 1909 by Catholic Missionaries, Carroll Collegeoffers strong programs in the core liberal arts plus eight pre-professional programs, including law, medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy and dentistry.

Is a city too crowded for you? Do you want solid pragmatic programs in business, accounting or Engineering, among others, at a college that gives you more space to breathe? Well, contact one of Carroll College’s bright and enthusiastic regional counselors here. There is much to see and learn.

This college came to my attention several years ago as one of the “hidden gems” of higher education by a colleague. Although 40% of students are from outside of Big Sky country, it is not as well known as other “gems” like Allegheny, Elon, Kenyon and Beloit colleges.

But definitely worth your consideration.

The tour continues here…