Essential Information for the College Bound -- Summer 2006

In this issue

University of Chicago

Northwestern University

DePaul University

Loyola University Chicago

Columbia College

The Art Institute of Chicago

In Closing: The NSSE Pocket Guide to Campus Visits


Taking The Next Step
12904 Mizner Way
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 790-5462
Robin Abedon
web site: TakingThe NextStep

Which School?

You will live with the answer
the rest of your life.


In May, I traveled to Chicago to visit a number of Chicago area colleges and universities and to attend the conference of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

Chicago is a dynamic city, greatly enhanced by schools such as: University of Chicago; Northwestern; De Paul; Loyola; Columbia College; Chicago Institute of Art. As always, visits to these campuses gave me a chance to update information and feel the pulse of the college experience each offers in 2006. Let me share a few insights.

  • University of Chicago
  • The University of Chicago is proud of its diversity, proud of its strength in Arts as well as Sciences, and proud of its outstanding student body. Students were pleased to note that they chose Chicago because kids are “nerdy, intellectual and admiring of each other’s abilities.” People share passions with others who have individual passions. The core curriculum brings students with different interests together. The workload is heavy, but there is still room for fun.

  • Northwestern University
  • Northwestern University, 12 miles from downtown, in Evanston, offers a campus in a suburban community. Students can choose from one of 6 schools: Weinberg for liberal arts; Medill for communications. Then there is the school of Engineering; Music; and Education and Social Policy. While there is a required core of 12 courses in liberal arts, students can carve out their route in one of the 6 schools. Like Chicago, it is highly selective, but with more emphasis on professional preparation. One program that is noteworthy is the Undergraduate Leadership Program, open to 1st and 2nd year students from any major. Students study, attend lectures and workshops, participate in retreats and in externships.

  • DePaul University
  • DePaul, is the largest Catholic University in America, with 4 campuses all 10 to 15 minutes apart by the El. There are over 14,000 undergraduates. Yet the university creates a strong sense of community and is recognized for fostering social responsibility. Despite its size, the faculty ratio is 16- 1 and the average class size is 22.5. There is emphasis on experiential learning with internship opportunities starting in freshman year. All juniors must participate in an experiential learning project. One of the notable programs is music and theater requiring an audition and an interview. Students can move between campuses. Professors are very accessible and helpful. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Loyola University Chicago is one of 4 Loyola universities throughout the USA. All are purposely located in cities to encourage students to involve themselves in their city. Loyola Chicago also has a campus in Rome offering courses in arts and humanities, as well as law and business. There are accelerated programs combining undergraduate and graduate degrees, including: criminal justice (5 years); law (6 years); business social work and computer science. Also, there is a medical school early-assurance program, guaranteeing up to 10 Loyola Juniors a place in the medical school when they complete college. 85% participate in community service; 95% are in graduate school or placed in jobs within three months of graduation.

  • Columbia College
  • Columbia College provides a distinctive opportunity for students interested in studying art; design, dance, theater, music, media arts; arts, entertainment and media management. It is very performance oriented. While not requiring a portfolio for admission, all students leave with a portfolio – a body of work to present to future employers. The faculty members are all working professionals. Located in Chicago’s liveliest downtown district, students have immediate access to theaters, museums, concert halls galleries and recreational facilities. The student body is diverse with students from all over the world; this diversity is fundamental to the enhancement of the arts programs.

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Art Institute of Chicago has a small enrollment of 1500 undergraduate students; 500 graduate. Admission is based in large part on a portfolio. It is a very focused program with studies in painting, drawing, illustration, sculpting, ceramics, photography, and fashion and graphic design. Students can also branch out into metal work, wood framing, screen-printing, book binding. Or they can study robotics, kinetics and sound animation. In fact, if there is an area of the arts that is not offered, the Institute will help the students to customize a course of study. All of this education takes place at the famed Art Institute of Chicago.

  • In Closing: The NSSE Pocket Guide to Campus Visits
  • Visiting these colleges confirms my conviction that being there, observing first hand, is the very best way to discover a school. However, preparing for those visits enables each of us to maximize the benefits. At our conference, I attended a seminar presented by The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The survey was initiated in 1998 by the Pew Charitable Trust to determine the quality of undergraduate college education by asking students about their experiences. An outcome of that survey is a pocket guide that NSSE has developed to help prospective students and their parents “ask the right questions on a college campus visit.” The questions focus on academic challenge; active learning; student-faculty interaction; campus environment; out-of-class experience; diversity; technology; campus activities; athletics; study abroad programs; musical, performing and fine arts; summer programs; special academic programs; financial assistance; security; health and counseling services; career planning and job placement; and living arrangements. I encourage you to obtain the pocket guide by going to the website at: NSSE Guide, or by calling: 812-856-5824. Use it to help you prepare for your visits, and carry it with you as you go.


    Forward email

    This email was sent to kevin@modelfitness.com, by rabedon@takingthenextstep.com
    Powered by

    Taking The Next Step | (561) 790-5462 | 12904 Mizner Way | Wellington | FL | 33414