North Carolina College Visits
North Carolina has become a popular destination for students due to its easy access and temperate weather. I was in North Carolina last week visiting colleges, unfortunately I got caught in Hurricane Ida. In spite of the rain, I enjoyed my visits. Davidson, Elon, and Wake Forest all listed NJ as the second or third highest represented state in their applicant pool. Below are some highlights of the schools I visited that draw a lot students from outside of North Carolina.
Elon has a pretty, traditional looking campus with brick buildings. Students appeared clean-cut from a variety of backgrounds. Elon focuses on people, programs, and faculty interaction. Its strongest programs are business, education, communication, and biology. They also have a state-of-the art communications and business school. Students apply to Elon University but do not need to choose a major until the second semester of sophomore year. The administration spoke about how Elon “transforms” students, however when I asked the panel of students how they had been transformed, their responses were fairly standard from “I changed my major from biology to business” or “I became more independent.”
The mix of students surprised me at Wake Forest.
While there were a number of preppy students in the mix, there was a wonderful mix of ethnicities, races, artsy, edgy, and “college radioesque” students. A new term that I learned which means flannel shirts and converse. Students found the workload intense, but enjoyed the challenge of the classes.
Davidson is a classic, highly select Liberal Arts College. The campus is expansive and very beautiful. There is a quaint main street that caters to the college. Charlotte is about thirty minutes away.
Two distinct qualities about Davidson are the honor code and Division I sports. It is unusual to have a highly intellectual, small liberal arts college coupled with a highly competitive Division I sports team. The students have a true love of learning and are intellectually curious. We spoke with a couple of science professors who where extremely enthusiastic and passionate about teaching. Davidson is a good school for an intellectually curious student who enjoys an unstructured learning environment, but also enjoys sports and intellectual debates. While 50% of the student body participates in Greek life, this number is misleading because students do not need to rush to become members. There are also eating houses for the women in lieu of sororities.
Large somewhat select state university depending on the major. The school itself is pretty and located right in Charlotte. One-third of the students live on campus, one-third commute, and one-third live within 2 miles of the campus. Its strongest and most select programs are architecture, nursing and business. Students must be admitted into architecture as a freshman. Business students can declare their major later and nursing education students must apply to upper level courses. 200 nursing students with 50 slots open per semester. Only accept 64 students into their architecture program out of 400 applications. Must interview and show a creative portfolio. North Carolina State is a more select university for architecture. Diverse student body.
Originally an all women’s Presbyterian college as a sister school to Davidson. Have a core curriculum of four classes that all students must take to instill critical thinking skills. Strong interaction with professors. All students are required to study abroad for three-four week trips at the end of their junior year.
Students are also required to do two internships. It is a comprehensive university with both liberal arts and pre-professional programs including nursing. They have a major Students are engaged in the learning. Also give very nice merit scholarships and have a Presidential scholarship as well. 70:30 female to male ratio.
Build it and they will come. That is what High Point President, Dr. Nido Quebin’s philosophy is to higher education. He has built a college campus over the past three years that looks like a country club/conference center.
He has spared no expense in his expansive vision of creating a luxurious college campus. Enrollment in the first year class has quadrupled from 300 to close to 1,200 for this year’s freshman class. He has a paternalistic view of education and believes that students will rise to the expectations that are presented to them. Academically, he is trying to improve the academics by introducing a core curriculum, but the jury is still out. While we saw students as we toured (half of the back row in a finance class was on Facebook during the lecture), we did not get to actually speak with them and hear their point of view.