I am not very familiar with business or graphic arts. I know that the art department at Valpo is pretty good, and that the business department this year got a technology upgrade so, for some classes at least, people are able to video conference with the rest of the class if they are not able to come to class. I don't know much more than that, though.
However, I will be double majoring this coming school year, and from what I've seen from my friends' academic changes, it is usually very easy to double major at Valpo.
As for other schools I considered, I looked at East Tennessee State University (my safety), University of the South, and Newberry. I am a music major with a church music option, so I wanted to go to a religious school, and preferably a school with a Lutheran heritage.
I visited during the summer before my senior year, and I felt that everyone was very genuinely nice. I also liked the idea of Christ College, the honors college, when I was asked to apply for that.
Mostly it came down to the facts that Valpo has a very strong connection to the arts, especially music, and I really needed that in a school. I also really felt at home on the campus, and I didn't feel that way when I visited East Tennessee State. I was not able to visit the other two schools on my list due to time commitments.
Are there any other things about Valpo you or your daughter would like to know, shazwald?
Clarinette52: We had a quick visit to VU on Saturday and generally liked the campus. My DD has a full tour planned for Oct12. In preparation for that visit can you tell us:
HOw is the Honors college?
How is the financial aid package?
Is it a suitcase school on weekends? Are most students from Indiana?
How is the social life on campus?
Any other things to look for on her tour?
Christ College is a great experience. The Freshman Program is very tough, but I found reading, learning about, and discussing great philosophical works was a lot of fun and has helped me start to learn more about my own thoughts and philosophies about the world. I can send you a more in-depth PM about Christ College and the Freshman Program if you would like.
For me, the financial aid package was great. Most of what I'm paying for out of pocket is my room and board and a little bit of my tuition. If your daughter's grades are pretty good, she may be given one of the VU Presidential Scholarships, which is a substantial amount of money. Also, departments may give out scholarships, and if she is eligible, she could get an Alumni Scholarship (I think at least one parent has to be an alumnus/alumna). Most people I know find Valpo reasonably affordable, especially for a private school.
Valpo is definitely not a suitcase school. There's always stuff going on during the weekends. There are sports events to attend and usually at least one or two concerts. Every once in a while, the theatre department puts on a production. Phi Mu Alpha, the men's music fraternity on campus, has coffeehouses at least once a semester. A good few people worship at the chapel on Sunday, if you are so inclined. But if your daughter wants to stay in the dorms at least part of the time during the weekend, I've found that there are usually people who are willing to just hang out and talk. There are some people who commute or go home during the weekends, but most of my friends either already are or want to be on campus so they can be more of a part of things that are going on.
There are certainly many students from Indiana, but I've also found that there are a lot of people from Illinois and other parts of the Midwest.
As for social life, there are many groups on campus to suit your daughter's needs. In fact, two of my friends are trying to get a psychology club officially started, and I am the secretary. There is certainly an active Greek presence on campus, but if that is not her thing, that's fine. There are several events sponsored by the Greek organizations, but they are not the center of campus life as far as I can tell. I know several people who are in ballroom club, there are clubs for the various foreign languages on campus, and there are ways to get involved with helping at the chapel. These are just a few ways in which people spend their time and make friends. I am active in several groups, and most people I've met are similarly active. It's very easy for a person to find the group or groups for him or her at Valpo.
Some things to look at if you haven't:
A dorm room in Alumni or Lankenau, because those two are the most likely places your daughter will end up if she decides to go to and dorm at Valpo. However, Brandt, the other dorm she could be put in, is pretty similar in design.
Places to make sure you go into: VU Center for the Arts (VUCA), Mueller Hall, and Urschel Hall. These are because your daughter will be spending most of her time at Valpo here.
Sometimes walking around the campus and watching people outside, depending on the time of day, can give you a pretty good feel for how social Valpo is.
That's all I can think of for now. Let me know if you would like me to clarify something I said or if you want more information!
Well, clarinette, we did our tour yesterday and I must say we were impressed. This was DD's sixth campus visit at her choices so she is seasoned pro, and even she was happy with the experience. The feeling I got was of a fairly serious student body, with a lot of focus by the university on success. Very few iPods in students' ears as they walked between classes! I would hope my DD would get into the Christ College because that would be a great experience. She is an underachieving HS student because there is so much emphasis on rote memory and that is not her strong suit. She would be perfect for the CC emphasis on teamwork and creative thinking. We didnt really see the art department as she focused on touring the business school, but it is close enough we could go back. I didnt get the feeling they were really using a 'hard' sell on the school. Just the facts and figures. Lunch food was perhaps the best we've had on campuses. Do they do that just for 'visit days'; have good food I mean?
My only question: We heard in passing about an "Integrated marketing" program that synthesizes marketing and graphic design, but couldnt get any details. Do you know anything about that? We learned it is not a major but may be an upper level project or something. That is close to what my DD is looking for so it struck a receptive nerve.
Thanks for your information. VU will be on the short list of choices to apply to.
I'm glad the tour went well! As for the food, it was probably typical of what they serve on the weekday, and I'm glad you liked it.
As for Integrated Marketing and Communications , or IMC, they are a department that is revamping the "Valpo brand", so the school's purposes and vision are more unified. We had totally different logos, and the mascot looked different last year, for two examples of the changes this department is working on campus.
I'm not sure how involved students are in the process of working the brand, but it has certainly created a lot of discussion on campus. Overall, I like most of the changes. If your daughter has more questions about it, here is the section that has the contact information for the IMC department. I'm sure they can answer any questions she has.