Thursday, April 6, 2017

The University of Cincinnati

UC Bearcats

I had a wonderful visit to the University of Cincinnati last week.  It was the final week of March 2017, and the weather was great, the campus was beautiful, and the programs were impressive.  I think some of our students do not always venture out of state due to the cost of tuition and the fact that we have some pretty impressive schools right here in Michigan.  I agree with both of these facts, but after visiting the University of Cincinnati I believe it is worth a look as there are scholarships to make it affordable and some great opportunities that may make it just the right fit for some of our students.  There are great academics, but also lots of sports and organizations for students to get involved in.

Cincinnati Skyline
On each of my trips to a university I do my best to see what makes each campus different from the rest, and what sets it apart from other universities.  The University of Cincinnati is right on the Kentucky border, so one benefit I noticed is that the weather is a little warmer than up in Michigan. The campus is also very walk-able.  Although Cincinnati is a big city, the campus is very self contained.  Students can get into the city and enjoy all it has to offer, but the campus itself is its own oasis.  The campus is very hilly, and students all mentioned the amount of stairs you will walk as you go through campus, it may be hard to gain the freshman 15 on this campus.  We were with one woman on our tour who was in a wheelchair though, and she was still able to get every where on campus as well.

DAPP Building
 There are a lot of opportunities for students at UC.  One that I was not as familiar with is that it was where Co-Op was founded.  There are a few programs that mandate co-op as part of the graduation requirement.  This means that often students are enrolled in the program for 5 years, but they will work at a co-op for about a year and a half full time while finishing their degree.  This allows students to not only get a degree, but to graduate with real work experience.  The programs that require a co-op experience include the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, and the IT major in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human services.  Students will always get paid as co-ops making any where from 30,000 to 60,000 dollars in income through their co-op experiences.  Students also do not pay tuition during their co-op experience, so even though they may be in school for 5 years they will only be paying for 4 years of tuition.  UC also offers other  experiential learning opportunities including internships, service learning, and undergraduate research.

Another interesting fact I found while visiting UC was how students could work toward a degree in a few different formats.  They have a number of programs that are 3 year BAs  or BSs, bachelor degrees and masters degrees in 5 years, Pre-Professional tracks, a very competitve 4 + 4 dual BS/MD program, and  a 3+3 law school track.  All of these options are appealing as they may lead students to saving quite a bit of money if they know what program they are going to enter into.  I did ask how hard it was to change majors when there are so many options to fast track and directly admit students.  I was told that if a student enters into the right college, and switches majors in that college they can stay on track, but switching from college to college may add some additional time on to a program.

There is a lot to offer on this campus.  Please be sure to check their website for all of the up to date information on admissions.  Please feel free to stop by my office to learn more about the programs and opportunities at UC.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University –NMU

I had a wonderful opportunity this past weekend to go and visit Northern Michigan University.  My visit was a great experience as I learned so much about what this university offers for students.  NMU is located in Marquette, MI.  For those of us who have never been to the UP this is 3 hours past the bridge.  It is around 8 hours from Novi, which makes it an option for students who may want to go away to school, but still get in state tuition.
Mackinaw Bridge

NMU is an affordable school.  The total cost to attend this school year is $19,762.44.  There are a lot of opportunities to receive scholarships at NMU.  The following link will show you what scholarships are available to students.  There are some scholarships that are automatic based on academic merit, and some that are awarded during the scholarship competition.

Marquette is a small town with a lot of quaint local stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.  There are some well-known stores there as well, Target and Walmart are both in Marquette.  The CEO of Starbucks actually graduated from Northern so there is a Starbucks right on campus.

There are some really amazing academic opportunities at Northern.  It is a small campus, so students are able to get more hands on experience starting their freshman year.  They have the Brain Tumor Research Center, which I toured and I was able to see actual cancer cells through the microscope.  Students in the research center are doing really exciting research, and they are learning valuable skills of using the state of the art equipment in the lab.  Northern is also known for their competitive nursing program and art opportunities including graphic arts and fine arts.

They are also growing new programs.  In the next few school years Northern will be offering a Forensic Science and Anthropology degree, a Medicinal Plant Chemistry degree, and a degree in Behavior AnalysisAll of these programs along with many of their undergraduate programs offer students opportunities to work along-side professors who are experts in their field.  Students are able to develop strong working relationships with their professors as the campus' close knit environment is conducive for these opportunities.

There is a strong sense of community on campus.  Many students who attend Northern love the outdoor opportunities that can be found on or near campus. Some of these include hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, rock climbing, swimming, and camping.  I did find that not all students love the outdoors though.  Many of the students I met enjoyed being involved on campus and hanging out indoors, especially during the winter months. 
Ore Dock on Lake Superior

Another note about Northern is how accessible it is to many students.  They offer a number of programs ranging from one and two year programs all the way up to graduate degrees.  For a complete list of programs they offer visit the following link:

Please feel free to stop by and ask any questions you may have about Northern!

Sarah Lephart