Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The College Quest Ends
With today's visit to Roanoke College I am thrilled to report that our college quest has come to a happy end. This is the one. We loved everything about it.
I suspected we were heading in the right direction, not only because the school had a name tag typed up and a Roanoke College t-shirt for my daughter, but after listening to a short presentation by the admissions person. She touched on areas no other college has touched on, explained how Roanoke College is changing with the times via their general education courses and not once directed anyone to go to the website to find an answer to their question.
After another fellow spoke on areas she hadn't touched, he showed two videos. Lo and behold, the students in these videos actually seemed like they had received a decent and well-rounded education. I took it as a good sign when one of the students spoke about her major and I recognized one of the bluegrass guitar players she was jamming with -- a really nice guy who I've heard pick many times.
Before we went on a student guided tour the school showed real class by handing us ice cold water bottles and cookies to help cool us in the hot sun and keep our blood sugar up. This tour guide was wonderful. She was an intelligent rising senior who knew the answers to all our questions.
We actually got to see the inside of buildings, classrooms, library, cafeteria, fitness center and dorm rooms. For a school that was built in 1842 it's remarkably well kept and up-to-date. This is the new language building, recently completed and sporting green technology.
All the dorms are air conditioned and have wireless capability as well. The rooms themselves are small but the outside sitting area is a nice size.
The bathrooms were also large and clean, and what I really liked was that in each dorm there was a kitchen area.
In the common area I would have sworn we were in a classy hotel lobby with a gift shop, couches, chairs, computers and a really cool game room. The only thing missing was the slot machines.
The grounds are beautiful and I love the feel of the place.
I like old, but it's not decrepit, it's classy. I got great vibes everywhere I went. In fact, I liked it so much I would let my daughter live on campus there, even though Salem is only a couple of miles from home. They allow freshman to have cars as well.
My two concerns were the programs offered and the price. Yesterday my daughter directed a news segment live, worked the teleprompter and did some coding for the local newscast. After the three years she has spent in the Mass Communications program at Burton as well as interning, there is nothing that a college is going to teach her that would rival actual experience. She decided getting a BA in Communications wouldn't be mandatory for her career choice and didn't want the lack of television production classes at Roanoke College stop her from considering it. Her other love is history and the history classes they offer more than suit her desires. She could get a BA in History as her major, minor in Communications and have a concentration in Italian. Yes, they offer Italian.
By the time we finished the visit my daughter was head over heels in love with the place. By the way, she almost cancelled going today because she didn't think it would suit her. I talked her into it, and loved that she hugged me tightly afterwards, "Thank you Mommy. I'm so glad I listened to you. I really appreciate everything you do for me." You're welcome.
Now the hard part...the price. It is not cheap. They said they do offer merit based scholarships as well as need based. My daughter thinks her grades are high enough that she'll be accepted and that she could get the price way down. She's already compiling private scholarship applications and said she is determined to go there. "I'm not even applying anywhere else and I'm going to ask the station if they'll hire me part-time after my internship is over."
I let her know I can only contribute so much and the rest is up to her, and if it's meant to be, it'll be. I think it's meant to be.
I can't believe we've had this gem in our backyard the whole time...