I recently visited the picturesque Connecticut College campus in New London, Connecticut, just across the street from the United States Coast Guard Academy. Established as an all women’s college in 1911, today “Conn” is a coed liberal arts college with 1,900 students representing 45 states and 72 countries.
As I walked onto campus, I paused to admire the college’s idyllic hilltop setting overlooking the Long Island Sound. A well-blended mix of old gray stone and new contemporary academic buildings line the expansive great lawn. The state of the art science building is quite impressive. All of the 23 residential halls are located within a five-minute walk to class.
My first stop on campus was the admissions office. The information session was held around a large, oval conference table and led by the Director of Admissions Deb Wright. Her presentation was engaging and facilitated lots of discussion with the small group of visiting students.
Conn prides itself on discussion based small classes. Freshman seminars are capped at 15 students. [lightbox link=”http://cbmentor2018.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/12720823553_1f476240f7_z-1.jpg” thumb=”http://cbmentor2018.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/12720823553_1f476240f7_z-1-300×260.jpg” width=”300″ align=”right” title=”12720823553_1f476240f7_z (1)” frame=”true” icon=”image”]Research is encouraged in all areas of study. Recently, Conn’s “Oreo Project” received national attention, when the results of a student led research study suggested that Oreos could be as addictive as cocaine among rats! Conn students are encouraged to co-author papers with faculty.
The sciences, economics and English are strong at Conn. Studying the performing arts is also popular. The dance program is highly selective and an audition is required for admissions. Auditions are not required for those wanting to study music and theater. All Conn students are eligible for private music lessons at no additional charge.
Conn is home to five interdisciplinary academic certificate centers. Each center has a different focus: the arts and technology, the environment, international studies, public policy and community action and race and ethnicity. The centers offer a funded internship, symposiums, and a senior integrative project.
Career advising is a high priority and begins freshman year. CELS (Career Enhancing Life Skills) encourages students to gain real-life experience through internships, co-operative experiences, and jobs. Students attend a series of workshops and schedule one-on-one advising sessions in order to be eligible for a college funded 300 hour internship the summer following junior year. Internships include up to a $3,000 stipend. Eighty percent of the students participate in this program.
Our tour guide was from Manhattan, and she told us that most of her friends were from the New England and the Mid Atlantic areas, but some were from as far away as California. Overall Conn students dress preppy. I saw many girls wearing jeans or leggings with fashionable boots and scarves and others were wearing comfortable Conn wear. Many guys wore a mix of jeans, khakis, button-down shirts, and Conn clothing.
[lightbox link=”http://cbmentor2018.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/12717508244_3dfa6814f7_z.jpg” thumb=”http://cbmentor2018.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/12717508244_3dfa6814f7_z-300×224.jpg” width=”300″ align=”left” title=”12717508244_3dfa6814f7_z” frame=”true” icon=”image”]Students told me that they work hard all week and play hard on the weekends. You won’t find a frat party at Conn. There are no fraternities or sororities on campus. Weekend dorm parties are extremely popular. Students can take Conn’s Camel Van shuttle to New London’s downtown, movie theaters, local malls and the train station. On the weekends, some students take advantage of New London’s Amtrak service to Boston and NYC.
Conn’s Division III athletic teams compete in the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference (NESCAC). The sailing team is Conn’s only Division I team. The beautiful, modern fitness center is a bit removed from the center of campus. Students walk over a large covered pedestrian overpass that spans a busy roadway to get to the fitness center from the main campus.
Although Admissions is very selective, the admissions team takes a holistic approach. Conn is test optional. Two teacher recommendations are required and a peer recommendation is encouraged. Interviews are strongly recommended. Merit aid is not offered.
Connecticut College is a great choice for students who want a broad liberal arts education, a strong sense of community, and ample research and internship opportunities.
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320