This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Transfer fair

On March 1 Saint Joseph's College held a second transfer fair for its students. About 100 colleges sent representatives. The ballroom in Halleck Center was full of tables, with some schools outside the ballroom. Within the Ballroom the schools were arranged alphabetically to help students find the schools in which they were interested. Below is a very short video giving an overview of the ballroom.


I enjoyed walking around and talking to some of the schools that were there--there were far too many to talk to each of them. Several said that the number of students that they were seeing at this fair was fewer than what they saw at the previous fair. I asked some if they were having success in recruiting students and most replied that some students had made visits to their campuses or had scheduled visits. It appears that many students have been very busy in preparing for next semester.

Marian College has made a major effort to recruit SJC students. I asked them if they might replace SJC as the partner with the Saint Elizabeth School of Nursing and they said that was unlikely. More likely was St. Francis in Fort Wayne. I later talked to the people from St. Francis and they said that there was discussion but many steps would be needed before a partnership could happen. However, the order of nuns that is associated with both St. Elizabeth School of Nursing and St. Francis in Fort Wayne is the same, Franciscan sisters from a motherhouse in Mishawaka.

The way the teach-out will work has changed in the past week and some of the schools there were not current on how it will work. The old understanding was that the teach-out students, those that need one more academic year or less to graduate, would do the course work at the receiving college but get the diploma from SJC. However, the accrediting agency, HLC, will not approve that. The students will now receive their degree from the institution to which they transfer.

Indiana State University had two tables, one for the regular college and one for their on-line college. I chatted with the lady representing their on-line college. It has 2000 or 3000 students. All work is done on-line and the students never have to visit the campus in Terre Haute. I asked how they were different from another state on-line college, Western Governors University. She said that they had a traditional college curriculum while WGU is competency based. I do not really understand what that means. WGU was not at the transfer fair. (For those SJC faculty members that cannot relocate, teaching on-line is a possible way to continue in academia.)

A representative from Ball State said that unlike the private colleges, they would not try to match aid packages because their tuition was quite low, in the $8K range. They also said that students transferring might have problems matching Core courses to their general education requirements, so that it might take longer for a student to finish at Ball State than at a private college that worked to find ways to let the Core program fit general education requirements.

I talked to several schools that were in the GLVC, the athletic conference in which SJC competes. I got the impression that their coaches knew which athletes they wanted to recruit from SJC. The top performers should have no problem finding new homes. Those that do not see much playing time may have a harder time. Lewis College had been recruiting some of track and baseball athletes but not football--they do not have a football team.

One of the more interesting schools I talked to was Lindenwood University-Belleville. A second campus of Lindenwood University in St Charles, MO, it was started in 2003 in a building that had previously been a high school. It currently has over 30 varsity sports teams and about 600 athletes. Sports it has that SJC lacks include bowling, swimming, ice hockey, lacrosse, and rugby. They even have women's wrestling.

The school that seemed to have traveled the furthest was Belmont Abbey from North Carolina.

Next week SJC is on spring break so there will be no campus visits from schools (but probably a lot of campus visits on the part of the students). A day after classes resume, on March 14, there will be another and perhaps the last transfer fair. My guess is that it will have fewer schools and fewer students.

I also asked several SJC employees if employees were finding new jobs and leaving. They mentioned a few but said that the possibility of severance pay was keeping most put. Almost everyone is looking at or for possibilities.

*****

Results of the Science Olympiad have been posted. In the middle school division the five teams that qualified for state were Hebron, Winamac, Lowell, Boston Middle School, and Maconaquah. Rensselaer was the wild card team. In the high school division the state qualifiers were Bishop Dwenger, Marian, Winamac, Indiana Academy, and Peru. Rensselaer was the wild card team in this division as well.

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