(written by Lori McCormick)
I spent three days touring New York City colleges this past October. In those three days, I visited five colleges: Pace University, St. John's, NYIT, CUNY Baruch, and NYU. In this post, I will share details of Pace University and St. John's University. I will write about the others soon, so please check back!
Pace University prepares "thinking professionals" who are ready to achieve from the moment they enter the workforce. Founded in 1906, the university's motto is Opportunitas.
And opportunity is indeed what Pace offers. You can go online to learn about the history and pertinent data of their campuses, but what I learned from my tour guide, a sophomore named Kevin Coulson, is most fascinating. Kevin is a native Southern Californian. New York was the farthest he could go from home, so he applied and was accepted with a generous financial aid package (last year, 95% of students received a combination of scholarships and financial aid). That made Pace an affordable option, in addition to offering academic and geographical "wants" on his checklist. New York is now his home and he is enjoying his life very much as a student at Pace University. Kevin is majoring in Arts & Entertainment Management, while minoring in Photography and Communications. I learned on my tour with him that the campus, though set in the heart of NYC, is very welcoming to students. He easily transitioned, meeting other students and faculty quickly. He recommended living in the dorms to get to know other students and to become involved on campus.
Pace University has three locations and approximately 13,500 undergraduate students, their largest campus being in Westchester, where they occupy 200 acres of Pleasantville. Pleasantville is a mere 30 minute train ride from NYC. The university provides shuttle services to/from the three campuses so that students can cross-register.
(In this picture, Kevin is standing in front of a mural. This mural depicts all of the places in NYC that Pace has a presence. He said that graduation ceremonies have been held at Radio City Music Hall in the past).
Pace offers over 100 undergraduate programs in their five colleges: College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science. The average class size is 18. And Student to Faculty ratio is 14:1. A solid "B" student is an excellent candidate for Pace, as their median applicant scored a 1047 on the SAT (Math & Critical Reading) and the average high school GPA is a 3.0.
Pace University offers the largest internship placement program in the New York Metropolitan area with over 4,000 students participating. And of the interns, 42% were offered full time paid positions upon graduation. Students can inquire more about internships and job development at the Career Services Center.
Possibilities for study abroad is always a popular question when students are touring colleges. At Pace, they offer semester or year-long programs. One unique program Pace offers is called Travel Courses. Students can take a semester-long course on campus or online, then during the break, the class will visit the relevant country and apply classroom experience to a real-world experience.
If you have ever watched the popular Bravo's "Inside the Actor's Studio" , it is filmed at the Schimmel Center at Pace University. Students are able to get tickets for this show, and other performing art shows year-round. Other student perks include rentals of Mac and PC laptops (fully loaded) and graphing calculators. The library provides a program called "NY Connect" which is a book share so that if you need a book and it is not on campus, they will find it for you to rent. The library also offers free printing and the Writing Center provides support with the writing and editing of papers. Around campus you will find charging stations with lockers. One other cool perk for Pace University students is a free subscription to the New York Times newspaper. They even have the option to receive this on their tablets.
Kevin Coulson was a great tour guide. He showed genuine enthusiasm for the campus and has adjusted to living on the east coast well. He definitely made me want to attend Pace!
St. John's University in Manhattan
St. John's University, founded in 1870 is a private, coeducational Catholic and Vincentian university that prepares students for personal and professional success in today's global society. There are approximately 15,000 undergraduate students spread across six campuses: Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Oakdale (Long Island), Rome, and France.
There are five colleges: College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, College of Professional Studies, St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, and The School of Education that offer over 100 undergraduate majors and programs of study. For students wishing to accelerate their studies, St. John's offers accelerated three-year bachelor's degrees, five-year bachelor's/ master's degrees through their graduate schools, a six-year bachelor's/J.D. through their School of Law are available, and a six-year Pharm.D. Program.
I was not able to take a college tour of the Manhattan campus because they were having a college fair that day. However, I was able to see the various employers attending the fair ? Madison Square Garden, large accounting firms, high tech, software, medical and pharmaceutical companies, social services agencies, to name a few. I learned that 91% of St. John's students are placed into an internship and 75% are employed in the industry relevant to their major. It was fun to see the students dressed professionally, with resumes in hand, eager to interview for potential internships.
While my visit to St. John's was short, partly because of the career fair and partly because the campus in Manhattan is small, I got the impression that the undergraduate students prefer to live and attend classes at the Queens or Staten island campuses and bus into Manhattan to take a class or internship. Housing is available at the Manhattan campus though, in addition to their other campuses.
Stay tuned! I will write soon about the other campuses I visited on my whirlwind three-day visit to NYC.