College review by Diane Forman and Linda Kay, guest blogger
Nestled in the Lehigh Valley, in the City of Bethlehem, PA is a little gem of a school called Moravian College. Moravian is a private, liberal arts college founded by the Moravian Church, a Protestant denomination dating back to 1457, and one that represents progressive liberal education.
The campus is currently undergoing major renovations, including beautiful landscaping throughout the North Campus, a major upgrade to the dining hall, a brand new residence hall, and a new fitness center to be opened Spring 2012, which will be the largest in the Lehigh Valley.
Moravian College has two different campuses on either end of Bethlehem. The North Campus is larger and houses most classes, student life, and residence halls. The South Campus is closer to restaurants and stores and is home to art, music, and theater.
A brand new residence hall with beautiful student lounges and classroom space dominates this campus. Moravian has a strong non-conservatory music program which requires auditions. A portfolio is needed for art applicants, but it is a gauge of a student’s skill set. There is no audition for theater.
Bio, English, business, music, and psychology are the most popular majors at Moravian College. In addition, Moravian has a competitive Nursing Program that is affiliated with St. Luke’s Hospital. Students will amass 1,000 clinical hours through this program.
Students interested in pre-med can shadow doctors at St. Luke’s, and those who are at the top academically can interview at Temple for two coveted spots held for Moravian graduates at Temple University’s medical school. In general, pre-med students with a GPA of 3.5 or better at Moravian will be accepted to medical school. Moravian also has an affiliation with Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia for allied health programs.
This year Moravian is piloting a test optional program. Students who choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores will be asked to interview. Successful candidates for admission have a B average or better, or GPA of 3.2 and at least 500 on each section of the SAT.
Moravian is a residential college and 90% of students live on campus. Upper classmen can take advantage of newer dorms, some of which are suite-style. Moravian has Division III sports and games are well attended with lots of school spirit.
Students get involved in campus life and also enjoy the many restaurants and shops along the Main Street in Bethlehem, many of which are an easy walk from South Campus. A shuttle takes students from North Campus into town.
Moravian is part of the The Lehigh Valley Consortium of colleges, which also includes Lehigh, DeSales, Cedar Crest, Lafayette, and Muhlenberg. Students in the consortium can take classes at other campuses, but must have their own transportation to get there.
The Add-Venture Program is a special offering for top students who have taken AP classes in high school. Add-Venture offers students more flexibility in their college curriculum and allows them to design their own course of study and to double or triple major. Students indicate their interest in participating when they apply and then are sent instructions regarding submitting their Add-Venture essay. Only 20 students/year are selected to participate and are assigned a faculty mentor.
Moravian offers Merit Aid and all applicants are considered. Generous scholarship is available to students who are top 10% of their high school class and score above 1850 on the SAT. There is also scholarship for students in the top 20% and 30 % of their high school class who have a qualifying SAT score as well. Depending upon the award level, students can receive from $4,000 – $20,000 in Merit Aid/year.
Students who apply Early Decision can fill out financial aid forms and will receive an early estimate of their financial aid package from Moravian, so that they can decide whether Moravian is a feasible choice for them. 30 – 35 % of the freshman class is filled through Early Decision and students have their best chance of admissions in this pool if Moravian is clearly their first choice.
Students looking for a small college experience (1,600 students in total), a tight-knit community, strong liberal arts as well as pre-health options, lots of attention from professors due to small class size, and a caring community should explore the offerings at Moravian.
Moravian College Learning Services Level of Support: Coordinated Services
Learning Services provides support to all undergraduate students.
- Workshops on time management and organizational skills
- Tutoring and course advising
- Peer tutoring is offered at Moravian and there is a group of peer advisors who specifically work with freshmen.
- Peer tutors are chosen by professors and are students who have received at least an A- in the class.
- The Foreign Language Department hires their own tutors and the Math Department provides tutoring on a schedule.
- Note takers
The Assistant Director of the Learning Center, Joe, works with students with learning disabilities. Joe is a retired special services director and Moravian graduate who has a great rapport with the students. He is part-time and works 10 months/year. He reviews documentation and determines accommodations. Joe meets with students by appointment, provides accommodation letters for professors, and lets professors know that he has met with a student.
There are students with Aspergers on the Moravian campus and most professors are very accommodating to students. There are no special programs on campus for students with ASD.
Foreign Language Substitution: Students can petition the academic standards committee to substitute two courses in a different culture taught in English for the foreign language requirement. The two courses must be in the same culture.
Math Substitution: Obtaining a math substitution is trickier. Students can substitute computer science or logic, but it’s a hard switch. Certain majors include a math component like economics or psychology.