Claremont McKenna College Visit Report by vinceh
Visit to Claremont McKenna College in April 2010 by vinceh(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2011)
(Member since March 18 2009 with 2092 posts)
5 of 5 people found this visit report helpful
Information Session: Yes - One hour, no media and a little "what makes you think you should be at CMC".
Campus Tour: Yes - TWO Hours long. Ridiculously long especially when you realize that the campus is 1 of 5 in a square mile.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for Claremont McKenna College
Unlike most info sessions, CMC's was oriented toward, "what makes you think you belong here?" It was somewhat in your face and seemed to strive to have you eliminate CMC because you felt you didn't fit their profile. That said It was a refreshing break from the usual "we're a perfect place for everyone" type of presentation. I'm baffled by the decision to have a lone speaker talk for an hour with no media support. This must be a California thing because the same happened at USC.
After we finished the info session we (aprox 40 people) left with two tour guides for a TWO hour tour. Two hours is ridiculous. There were multiple stops with 10-15 minute presentations by the tour guide. While clearly loving CMC, the guide's vocabulary began and ended with the word "awesome". I'm glad that he likes CMC but not everything is awesome and after a while it became a bit of a joke.
The 5 schools cover and area of 1 square mile yet our tour only covered CMC. This is a ludicrous amount of time to spend on a tour. I think it's designed to see who's really committed to CMC. The guides emphasized the small classes and the strong paternal nature of the student professor relationship. You will get to know your professors and they will get to know you. The plus side is that they will then be in a position to help you with internships and potentially jobs. The down side is that it leaves the impression of a small high school environment on steroids.
The surrounding area is beautiful and safe, perhaps a bit too much so. There is a quaint, New-Englandy downtown area near campus and the ubiquitous shopping mall a few miles away. I suspect that some people will find seeing the same faces and the limited entertainment options a bit stifling.
The guides and Admissions Office made a strong point of the cross registration possibilities among the five schools. To me this is the biggest advantage of a place like CMC. It gives you access to the resources at the other schools while also exposing you to a different population of students.
I was left with the impression that CMC is a good place for the academic overachiever looking for a liberal arts experience while having marketable skills upon graduation. The emphasis on education for education's sake leaves me thinking that the typical CMC grad graduates, works for a couple of years and then heads back to grad school for a legal or business degree. For the right student this would be a spectacular environment, though many will find the size and everyone knowing everyone else's business to be off-putting.