Sunday, November 03, 2013

College Impressions

Ernest is looking for a college with a good engineering school in an eastern urban area, preferably with a co-op program.  Between him and his guidance counselor, he came up with the following (in the order we visited last summer).  He had also visited Columbia by himself on a previous trip.

Drexel University, Philadelphia PA
Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA
Cornell University, Ithaca NY
Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA
Boston University, Boston MA
Northeastern University, Boston MA

Drexel University's dragon.

As I mentioned before, he is interested in a good co-op program.  This article really explains it.

Some bits of trivia I picked up along the way:

Carnegie Mellon has a bagpiping major.
Cornell has the best tour guides.  This was the only school that did not have a talk from the admissions department before the tour, but the tour guides made up for that.  And Gary, too, of course!
RPI has the second best sounding concert hall in the world because the German designer had to let the one in Germany be #1.
MIT has no failing grades the first year because everyone fails.
BU has the best variety of housing options, in my opinion.  They do not segregate the freshman and there are brownstones!
Northeastern has the only Taco Bell in Boston.

Dinosaur at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

If you have a congenial teen and the wherewithal to do so, I highly recommend college visits.  Or check out the ones you pass on a family vacation as Jen on the Edge has done.

Even if you can't afford to travel far, it is still valuable to tour the ones nearby. In high school, my Spanish class took a field trip to the closest university.  We sat in on a class and experienced the language lab, as well as a general tour of the campus.  I liked the atmosphere.  I was able to go back that summer between my junior and senior year to stay in a dorm and attend the summer session. Guess what, that's where I went.

NaBloPoMo November 2013


Cassi Renee said...

This is the first I've heard of Co-op programs, and I'm intrigued. Does it take students longer to finish college because of working during that alternating semester? The program I looked at said students received 1 credit for each semester worked. I think this sounds like a wonderful idea, especially for programs like engineering and business.

Mom on the Run said...

J2 had a co-op at Georgia Tech. It was great. she worked for 3 semesters and then got a job there right after college. Are you sure he doesn't want to try out the Southeast? #7 public university according to USNews. Another option is Southern Polytecnic University in my town. Only 2 schools in GA that have co-op are GT and SPU.

smalltownme said...

Good question! Some programs can be completed in 4 years if the student attends summer sessions every year. By extending to 5 years there is the opportunity for more co-op rotations and perhaps a break! At least at these 2 schools the total tuition for 4 years is the same as 5.

Linda said...

I wish you much luck my friend. Having traveled the college picking road before, I can relate. But that is so true about your attending the one place that you visited.

Common Household Mom said...

You might want to check out Case Western Reserve University (it's in Cleveland, OH so that might not be eastern enough for you). and Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA (about 1 hour outside Philadelphia, PA.

Jen on the Edge said...

I've never heard of co-op programs before. What a great idea.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

dANG I'g go where the dragon is :)

Susan said...

We have a good friend who went to Drexel - if they have your major the co-op option is great.

I never toured campuses when I was applying for schools - would have helped me a lot so I made the effort with my kids. Costly, but so is making a bad choice and transfering!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wow! This is fantastic. I can't wait to hear where he goes.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'd never heard of co-op programs. I'll have to ask H-J if he knows anything about them. He got his early-decision application sent in to Stanford -- that is his #1 choice -- but C-M, MIT, and Cornell are also on his list. Wouldn't it be fun if our boys went to the same university?