College review by Beth Cassie
Cedar Crest College is a small women’s college in the Lehigh Valley. The campus is an arboretum, and the day I visited, everything was in full bloom.
My tour guide Kristen transferred to Cedar Crest from a technical school after she received a certificate in surgical technology. At Cedar Crest she is pursuing a nursing degree. While she lives on campus, her family is nearby and she does head home most weekends. She said there are things to do on campus, but she is less interested in the social aspect of college and has close ties to her family. Students do occasionally go to the other nearby schools (Muhlenberg is very close by) however, the group of students we met seemed happy to be somewhat isolated and enjoying each others company on this beautiful campus.
Strong programs are nursing, nutrition, and the sciences. They are especially proud of their accredited forensic science program. The director of that program (a former supervisor with the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in NYC) spoke passionately about the program and the opportunities that their students have for internships and employment. Faculty are very hands-on and accessible and use their connections to assist students with internships and jobs. Cedar Crest has a number of evening programs (nutrition and social work are two) that attract adult learners to the campus.
Admissions is very personalized. 3.2 GPA in college prep courses and 1050 SATs is the profile of the average Cedar Crest student. They only receive approximately 2000 applications, so each one is reviewed in detail. Women’s colleges are a tough sell, and super small Cedar Crest is struggling with their enrollment. Offering night and weekend classes to attract non-traditional students are ways they are responding to declining market conditions. The President is a real powerhouse and many of us on the tour remarked that if anyone could turn things around, she could. She spoke of taking “un-nurtured ambition”, showing students where they can go, and then providing the toolkit to get them there. She was very inspiring. The graduate board in the science building showed some amazing success stories of students’ acceptance into graduate programs at elite research institutions and jobs at major pharmaceutical companies. Students with the right drive and determination can find excellent mentorship and education at Cedar Crest.
Cedar Crest College
100 College Drive
Allentown, PA 18104