I had the privilege of attending a two-day, Independent Counselor Summer Retreat hosted by Siena College, in Loudonville, NY. Admissions, faculty and students introduced us to the college community and its academic and social opportunities.
Siena is a small, Catholic liberal arts college that is rooted in Franciscan teachings and traditions. The pretty, suburban campus is located just a few miles outside of Albany and is home to approximately 3,000 undergraduates.
We began our campus visit in the college chapel and were welcomed by Father Bill. He spoke about the first year seminar, which is a yearlong class with a strong service component. Mass is offered daily in the chapel and the dorms. Attendance is optional. One popular, longstanding Siena tradition is a special mass, “Blessing of the Brains,” which is offered each semester prior to final exams.
Siena is dedicated to delivering a 21st century liberal arts education. There are three schools within the college: School of Science, School of Liberal Arts and School of Business. Students, regardless of major, are required to take a liberal arts core curriculum. Siena offers many interdisciplinary programs and certificates. Health professional advisors and a pre-law advisor help prepare students for graduate studies.
A student panel spoke about their summer on-campus research and internship experiences. The panel included students who were studying economics, physical and social sciences. One student, who plans to attend law school, spoke about his experience with the Summer Legal Fellows Program in Albany.
Our tour guide was from the Albany area. She told us that approximately three-quarters of students hail from NY. Students here are homogenous. Most students attended public high schools, and 70-percent are Catholic. The students I met were very friendly and down-to-earth.
Students say there is plenty to do on campus on the weekends. Saints basketball is the most popular spectator sport, and students and alums fill The Times Union Center in Albany to cheer on their team.
Most students live on-campus all four years. The dorms are very nice, and there are many housing options. The upperclassmen dorms have study rooms, a computer lab, a gym, and a small cafe. Many seniors live in the beautiful, new townhouses.
Siena is a Common Application school. Students who apply early action usually receive a decision within 10 business days. Siena offers generous merit aid to its top applicants.
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