We boarded the Greater NYC college tour bus early Tuesday morning with a full schedule ahead of us. Wagner College, Hofstra University and Adelphi University were our day’s destinations. Each of these schools updated us on their standout academics, student life and academic support services.
Our first stop was Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. Wagner is a small liberal arts college with 1,800 undergraduates. It distinguishes itself from other liberal arts schools with its NYC location, hands-on learning curriculum, and civic engagement weaved into its practical curriculum. The college is set up on a hilltop with sweeping views of the Verrazano Bridge and lower Manhattan. As we stood in the college oval (yes, the oval not the quad), an admissions representative drew our attention to the main building. The familiar structure is often featured in movies and TV shows including, The Sopranos and School House Rock. Standout academic programs include: nursing, business, accounting and theater. The musical theater program is highly competitive and consistently ranks within the top ten in the country. Students who apply for theater performance or theater tech are required to audition and have a theater resume. All students are required to complete 100 internship hours before graduation. Unfortunately, it was Wagner’s spring break when we visited, so campus was very quiet. The staff told us, however, that students here are highly involved in clubs and sports. Greek life has a small presence, and there are no Greek houses. Athletes compete in division I athletics. Football and basketball are popular spectator sports. Students take advantage of its close proximity to Manhattan. A shuttle service regularly runs from campus to the Staten Island Ferry. Nearly one-third of all students self-identify with the Center of Academic and Career Engagement (CACE) as having a learning difference or ADHD. The Center offers basic services such as peer tutoring, workshops, and assisted technology. Admissions told us that they are looking for students who they believe will be involved in the campus community. Wagner is a test optional school. However, students who are applying to the 5-year PA program must submit SAT or ACT scores. Test scores are not required for merit aid. Wagner is a good choice for students who want a small school with strong health science or theater programs, a traditional campus setting, and just minutes away from Manhattan.
Hofstra was our second visit of the day. This was my second visit to the Hofstra campus. Each time I visit a campus, I learn something new (This is why I recommend that students visit their top choice schools multiple times if they are able!). It was a beautiful spring day, so there were many students hanging in the outdoor green spaces. Hofstra is located in Hempstead, Long Island, which is a 35-mintue-train ride to Manhattan. The school is home to 6,500 undergraduates with nearly 50-percent from out of state. Popular areas of study are business, health professions, and communications/journalism. The TV studios are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Internships are encouraged and popular. The Director of Disability Services, Julie Yindra, spoke to us about Hofstra’s comprehensive PALS Program. The fee-based program is for students with documented learning differences and/or ADHD. The fee is $12,500 over 4-years. PALS offers one-on-one services to aid with executive functioning and academic coaching. Group workshops are offered to help with time management and study skills. There is also a coaching program for students on the spectrum. Although it began as a commuter college in the 1960’s, today nearly 80-percent of all students live in campus housing, which is guaranteed for four years. Athletes compete in division I athletics. Basketball and lacrosse are popular spectator sports. Ten-percent of the student body is involved in Greek life. Admissions does not require the ACT/SAT, however, nearly 75-percent of all students do submit standardized testing. All students are reviewed for Hofstra’s Honors College during the application process. Hofstra is a good choice for students who are seeking a medium sized school in the NYC area that is strong in communications, business and health professions with a big athletic culture.
We arrived at Adelphi University, in Garden City, Long Island late in the afternoon. Garden City is an upscale NYC suburb with lots of beautiful, old homes. The campus has a traditional feel with an academic quad and lots of green space. Director of Admissions, Kristin Kopeza, led the information session. Adelphi has 5,000 undergraduate students who study in one or more of the six academic schools. Nursing, pre-health, psychology and social work are among the most popular programs. There are many 5-year combined bachelor/masters programs. Lots of growth is happening here, which is evident by the large new academic building being erected to house public health, nursing and career services. Our tour guide was a theater major and was very happy with the program and the plentiful opportunities afforded to him on and off campus. Adelphi boasts two fee-based learning support programs. The Learning Resource Program is for students with diagnosed learning disabilities who would benefit from additional academic support. The robust program has nine staff members, two counselors and five social workers. Program staff meet with students once a week. Freshmen who are invited into the program must attend the 4-week summer jumpstart program. Bridges to Adelphi is a fee-based program for students on the spectrum. Currently, there are 100 students in the program. Peer mentoring and social coaching are key to its 95-percent retention rate and high job placement. Approximately 1,200 of all students live in one of the seven resident halls. There are plenty of social spaces to hang out. This is especially important to note since nearly half of all freshmen commute.There are many clubs and athletics. Student athletes compete in division II athletics. The Long Island Railroad has a train stop just steps away from campus. Students take advantage of its easy access to NYC on the weekends. Over 85-percent of all students hail from NY. Admissions told us that Adelphi takes a holistic review when it comes to applications. ACT/SAT scores are required. Students are encouraged to interview and demonstrated interest is important. 96-percent of all students receive merit and/or need-based aid. Adelphi is a great choice for students who want a medium-sized school in a nurturing environment, close to Manhattan.
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