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January 2008 Visits

on January 10, 2008 in College Visits

hamiltonHamilton College (right photo and left photo below) is nestled atop a hill in an idyllic setting in upstate New York. Students spend weekends on campus building a strong sense of community. This small, selective liberal arts college has a truly beautiful campus that includes a new science center, living and dining facilities that promote student/faculty interaction, and topnotch sports facilities for all of their students and Division III athletes. The outdoor center offers students the opportunity to use a wide variety of equipment, from cross-country skiing to kayaking, at a cost of just $10 a year. Because there are no distribution requirements, Hamilton allows students to enroll in any four courses per term, forcing students to take responsibility for their own education and creating an enthusiasm in the classroom— students are there because they want to be there. For those who may want to explore more urban options, Hamilton has semester programs in Washington, DC and New York City in which internships are combined with course work taught by Hamilton professors. Loyal alumni support Hamilton students with a wide range of career options as well.

Upon our arrival at Syracuse University (middle photo below), Chief Justice John Roberts was on campus to dedicate the new building for the Newhouse School of Communications. This competitive flagship program at Syracuse (into which students must apply directly) has a worldwide reputation as one of the best. Students at this diverse university of 11,000 undergraduates enjoy a wide variety of athletic and cultural events on the urban campus. At the Whitman School of Management, we visited the Bloomberg Product Certification facility, where students learn market research techniques. Field trips are offered to stock and futures exchanges and brokerage and investment banking firms in New York City. In addition, there is a wide range of courses in business from which to choose. Architecture, engineering and political science programs also draw students to this dynamic setting in upstate New York.

For students interested in a small, liberal arts college in the Northeast, Union College (right photo below) offers a unique chance to study engineering, an opportunity not typically found at a liberal arts college. Approximately 20 percent of the students take advantage of this hands-on, supportive atmosphere in which all students are taught by faculty members, not teaching assistants or graduate students. Other popular programs are the sciences, psychology and foreign languages. Union also offers a unique schedule with three, ten-week trimesters. Students take three courses at a time and have a six-week break between Thanksgiving and the end of January when they are able to participate in internships, international travel with a mini-term abroad, or work. Due to the shorter timeframe, these ten-week courses are very intensive. The Minerva System is a social housing system in which students and faculty are randomly assigned to a living environment, with activities open to all students. We spent the first part of our visit hearing from students in these historic buildings. A mentoring system for freshmen offers help for those needing support with study skills and time-management. Union also offers a summer program for high school students who want to get a taste of college life; courses range from toy and entertainment engineering to comics and storyboarding.

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