Monday, October 13, 2014

The Blue Streaks of John Carroll University

John Carroll University is located about 20 minutes west of Cleveland, Ohio, in University Heights. This Jesuit university, named after the first archbishop of the Catholic Church in the United States, has over 3000 students. On a recent campus visit, this liberal arts university prides itself on offering the ‘iTunes generation’ a little bit of everything because not every student fits into a particular mold.

Boler School of Business

The most prestigious program on campus, the Boler School of Business is an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) institution. In addition, the Boler School maintains the independent Accountancy accreditation, placing the school in the same category as only 11% of all collegiate business programs in the United States.

Another unique aspect of the Boler School is their commitment to the core values of Jesuit education: leadership and service. There are four Centers for Professional Development available to students. Students can choose from expanding their interest of entrepreneurship, developing leadership skills, corporate social responsibility internship programs and a lecture series featuring an area CEO.

Enrollment Managers

John Carroll University provides families with the experience of working with an Enrollment Manager. Unique to JCU, this means families will speak with one person regarding enrollment, scholarship opportunities and financial aid throughout the college process. This one stop approach omits many miscommunications between offices while providing families with timely and proper responses to questions or concerns. This unique concept helps the family and the school develop a relationship with JCU, even prior to the students arrival on campus.

Liberal Arts Core Curriculum

In the fall of 2015, JCU will introduce their new liberal arts core curriculum. This new academic strategy  lowers the core curriculum requirements from 54 to 42 credit hours. This does not mean less coursework for students, but the opportunity for professors to teach courses across the curriculum, while also potentially fulfilling graduation credits in a student’s major. This will also provide students the opportunity to expand their educational intellect through a true liberal arts educational experience. Though over 40% of JCU students either double major or minor, the goal is to increase the number of students double majoring or adding a minor by graduation, potentially increasing their value to future employers.

Jesuit Educational Values

John Carroll University was founded in 1886 by the Society of Jesuits on the concept of educating the student as a whole. The Jesuit Educational Values of intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical development are still evident at JCU. The college’s core value and mission emphasizes social justice and service to the community and the broader world. The school was founded on Jesuit and Roman Catholic beliefs, the campus welcomes people from all faiths.

If you would like to learn more about John Carroll University, or other colleges, please contact us or leave a comment.

Emerging College Application Trends

During the past few college application seasons, new trends have begun to emerge. Some of these trends are part of the evolution of the college application while others are simply gaining more popularity with colleges. It also seems that as one college amends their application, other comparable colleges oftentimes implement similar changes.

Self Reporting Grades

As paper applications are retired and applications are completed online, a few extra mouse clicks mean applying to multiples colleges (see Common Application below). To prevent an abundance of paperwork, colleges are allowing 'Self Reporting Grades.' Colleges empower students to report their academic grades. As students apply to an increased number of schools, the number of applications per school grows, creating less time to review applications. Allowing students to report their own grades creates a more efficient process for all involved. Of course, the student's honesty is expected as transcripts are eventually sent prior to final admission. Yet, schools have seen few circumstances of students falsifying grades.

Holistic Review

A Holistic Review is when an admissions office reviews a candidate's entire application to determine acceptance. Many factors are considered, such as: grades, standardized test schools, rigor of high school courses attempted, Advance Placement courses, extracurricular activities and leadership positions held.

An increasing number of colleges are turning to holistic review, especially smaller, more competitive schools, in order to hand pick an ideal freshmen class. This allows colleges to diversify their student body and ensure the needs of the school are met. This could mean anything from selecting conservative students on a liberal campus, admitting students from underrepresented states to a sousaphone player for the band. This method controls the creation of the ideal freshmen class, while not restricting itself to standardized test scores and grades.

Common Application

One large reason colleges review applicants holistically is due to the Common Application. This application is used by 548 college and universities worldwide. Schools who agree to use this application agree to review a student holistically, not simply through academics.
Students complete a 'common' core of questions regarding their academic background, along with their extracurricular activities. Students will also upload documents such as letters of recommendation and transcripts. Lastly, applicants are expected to answer one of the five essay prompts. Once complete, students can submit an application to numerous colleges at once. Colleges may add additional questions, or even a supplemental essay to the application, ranging from one to seven questions. An increasing number of schools are using this application system, as it is growing in size (31 new schools added in 2014). For more information on the Common App, read this blog post.

Test Optional

As schools are moving to holistically reviewing student applications, an increasing number of colleges are moving away from 'gross' numbers by becoming test optional. This means, for various reasons, students may choose to report their standardized test results to the school. If a student chooses not to report their ACT or SAT scores, colleges have less information to review. This creates a stronger emphasis on information such as grade point average, rigorous course work outstanding extracurricular activities and a dynamic college essay to showcase the entire student's body of work.

If you are interested in any of these topics or have other questions, please leave a comment for discussion. If you would like to know more information regarding any of these points, please contact us.