Mod Squad Pete, Mod Squad Julie, and I visited Elon University on the second Saturday of Spring Break; Pete’s eighth college visit in nine days. Ouch.
We each took a campus tour, then had the opportunity to hear about specific majors from faculty. M.S. Pete liked what he saw in music technology*, and both he and M.S. Julie were most impressed with the School of Communications — something they’d shown no interest in before.
So. Did this open house open new horizons for a couple of high school students or was it a really good sales pitch from Elon? Their Communications facility is impressive; students can work in the TV studio their freshman year, and their student programs have won a number of national awards (including Collegiate Emmys). My guess is the program was something they hadn’t thought about before — even though they’d seen and heard about communications programs elsewhere. Walking into the actual TV studio made it more real.
I asked the International Studies prof about any difficulty for double majors to complete their studies in four years. He answered my question (depends upon the majors involved and how many credit hours each requires), then he mentioned a different problem: students arriving on campus with 2nd semester freshman or sophomore status due to the number of AP, IB or dual enrollment courses taken in high school, then completing their studies in three or three and a half years.
Interesting. Since this is a problem for the college (and its enrollment management), but not for the student and parent (and their college budget needs), I don’t think I would have heard that comment from an admissions officer. Yet it might help to explain why Elon is launching a pilot ‘Gap Semester‘ program, which could offer the college new students arriving on campus in January to fill rooms vacated by early graduates. This problem is not unique to Elon; colleges look at a variety of strategies to manage enrollment. Including some that irritate other colleges.
The afternoon dragged. We were impatient to get out of the final session which, given that it covered all the details of applications, could have been the most important. Not Elon’s fault, we were just worn out from college visits and ready to head home.
Both kids liked the school a lot.
Date Visited: April 2011**
Circumstance: Open House, cool rainy day
Fun Fact: The beautiful campus is shaded by huge oak trees. At their first convocation, freshmen are given an acorn, symbolizing the beginning of their college careers. At graduation, each grad receives an oak sapling to celebrate their growth at Elon and connection as lifelong learners.
Student Feedback: Positive
* Not often found in an undergrad liberal arts program.
**Also visited Elon in May 2008 for cousin’s commencement ceremony. [Since we know two Elon alums, HALEY, LIZA — what would you add?]