May 16, 2016

Highlights from the IECA ‘New England College Showcase’

Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut

At the tail end of its 2016 spring conference in Boston, the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) arranged for about a dozen colleges and universities to give brief—very brief—overviews of their institutions to the small crowd of college consultants which had not yet departed from the conference, in a forum titled the “New England College Showcase.”

Not to be confused with the IECA college fair, which was an entirely separate event, the College Showcase turned out to be a really useful way to get to get a solid introductions to programs, new initiatives and the kind of student who might thrive on specific campuses. And with tight time limitations, the college reps were somewhat forced to stick to facts organized by questions received in advance of the Showcase.

For those who left before the New England College Showcase or who didn’t make it to Boston for the conference, here are some highlights:

Champlain College:  Champlain’sUpside-Down Curriculum” allows students to start taking classes in their majors as freshmen, enabling them to accelerate learning in the major and prepare for internships as early as the summer after freshman year. In addition to the main campus in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain also has campuses in Montreal and Dublin which serve to support international study. And starting in fall 2016, Champlain will be offering a minor in Big Data, which will eventually evolve into a major.

St. Michael’s College:  At St. Michael’s “experiential learning” is a requirement, which can fulfilled either through coursework or extracurricular activities including internships, study abroad and study away.  A Catholic college founded by the Society of St. Edmund, St. Michael’s offers a unique mix of “academic, spiritual, cultural, service and wilderness experiences.” And thanks to St. Mike’s ski pass program, students can enjoy skiing or snowboarding at Smugglers’ Notch—just 45 minutes from campus.

Marlboro College:  The smallest of the small, Marlboro College has a total undergraduate population of 320 students, who attend classes with, on average, seven other students. Every student, professor, and staff member has “a voice” in shaping life at Marlboro whether through participation in Town Meeting or one of the many committees in charge of various aspects of Marlboro’s day-to-day life.  In fall of 2015, Marlboro launched the Beautiful Minds Challenge, a full or partial tuition scholarship based on entries in the form of a creative digital portfolio. In addition, the Renaissance Scholars program offers free tuition to a student from each U.S. state “who can most benefit from the Marlboro experience.”

Bryant University:  Under Bryant’s “integrated” curriculum, students major and minor in “opposite” colleges. For example, all business majors complete a complementary liberal arts minor and all liberal arts majors complete a complementary business minor.  Central to the First-Year Gateway program is a 13-credit core curriculum and an intentional integration of student life experiences with academics. In addition to a new Strength and Conditioning Center and a new Sports Medicine and Training Center, the U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University will be the site of the first authentic replica of the Forbidden City’s Shu Fang Zhai to be built outside of China and will be used to underscore Bryant’s leadership position in Chinese education.

Salve Regina University: Located on a beautiful and historic campus in Newport, Rhode Island, Salve Regina University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy as a Catholic liberal arts college.  Students are required to serve at least 10 hours of community service prior to graduation within the state of Rhode Island. Education is the most popular major. Students majoring in early childhood or elementary education along with students not majoring in education are welcome to minor in special education. In addition to offering a very competitive “direct apply” nursing program, Salve has a Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN-DNP) with a family nurse practitioner track. Beginning in May of 2015, qualified Salve students who have completed 3 years of undergrad study are eligible to apply for early enrollment into law school at Fordham University through a 3 + 3 program. Fordham guarantees admission and waives application fees for up to 8 students annually who meet the admissions criteria.

Johnson and Wales University:  Johnson and Wales offers programs on four different campuses—Providence, North Miami, Denver and Charlotte. The university offers “professionally focused” programs tied to industry outcomes in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, nutrition, hospitality, physician assistant studies as well as engineering and design. Its educational model integrates academics with work experience and leadership opportunities with a heavy emphasis on learning labs.  The JWU Entrepreneurship Center sponsors an annual “Sharkfest” in which student teams from all 4 campuses pitch business ideas to a panel for a top prize of $5,000 to help launch a business.

Providence College:  The only college in the country run by the Dominican Friars, Providence is divided into three schools—Business, Arts and Science and Professional Studies (education, health policy and management, and social work).  The Development of Western Civilization (DWC) program provides a framework of core requirements for all students and includes three semesters of a seminar-style class with test from Western and other world civilizations as well as a fourth semester of a team-taught colloquium selected to match student interests. To celebrate its centennial in 2017, Providence is currently constructing a new Center for Business Studies.  

Curry College:   Centrally located between Boston and Providence, Curry College is a private, 4-year liberal arts based institution situated on a lovely, wooded 131-acre campus in Milton, Massachusetts. In addition to 22 undergrad majors and over 60 minors and concentrations, Curry offers the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL), which provides academically-focused assistance to students with specific language-based learning disabilities, executive function disorders, and/or AD/HD. Students in PAL receive an additional 2.5 hours per week of support and are fully mainstreamed. They make up about 20% of each entering class. Admission to all programs except Nursing is test optional.

Dean College:  Dean College is organized into four schools—Liberal Arts and Studies, Theatre, Business and Dance. The Palladino School of Dance is one of few programs in the country to teach all five dance genres (ballet, hip hop, modern, jazz, and tap) and combines conservatory-level training with a broad foundation in the liberal arts.  Graduates will be prepared for a career in performing, teaching, choreography, studio management, dance therapy, and arts management.  New programs include Cybersecurity Studies, Sports Management in the School of Business and a new exclusive partnership with the Kraft Sports Group, the holding company for the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.  With the availability extensive disability support services and the Arch Learning Community, about 30% of undergraduates are LD.

Landmark College:  Landmark College is solely focused on students with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The college offers two- and four-year options and summer programs for students who learn differently. Through specialized points of entry, students engage in core courses leading to either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Internships are now available through a fully comprehensive program and include opportunities through the Six College Collaborative.

Trinity College:  Equidistant between Boston and New York, Trinity College has no core curriculum but focuses instead on distribution requirements in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, numerical and symbolic reasoning, and social sciences. As a result, it’s very easy for students to double major. One of few liberal arts programs to offer an ABET-accredited engineering program, Trinity has been committed to engineering instruction for over 100 years and offers two engineering paths: A Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Science degree. Requiring substantial study in the traditional liberal arts, the engineering program encourages interdisciplinary ties to other sciences including biology, chemistry, computer science, neuroscience and physics. Trinity went test-optional in October of 2015.

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