Computer Science at Rowan

Does anybody have experience with the computer science program at Rowan University? My son has been accepted to RU’s honors program and received a nice scholarship. That’s all great, but our tour left us less than impressed. Maybe just an off day? HELP!

@stressedmother I reached out to my kids at Rowan and will give you anything I get in response.
I do not directly have experience with their comp sci program, but I do with the honors program and thing it is awesome. You can probably read back through posts I’ve made over the past 3 years to get that impression. I’d also suggest going on Saturday to the Honors Reception. Those are the peers your son will be hanging around.

Was there a specific area on your tour that didn’t impress you? I’ve been impressed with the school and both my kids are now juniors.

Rowan seems to have a lot of adjunt professors. I wonder what the quality of those adjunts are…
@NJRoadie do you know about the success of job placement for Rowan graduates?

Thanks for your response, NJRoadie. I am so glad to hear that you have been pleased with the honors program and with Rowan in general. Our tour was fine, but the CS presentation was very disorganized and uninformative. Compared to the many other school presentations we have been to, this one left us feeling less than confident about the program. We are going to the Honors Reception on Saturday. Hopefully, we will be reassured after that. Any CS specific feedback would be great. Thanks for reaching out to your kids for me!

I do not. I can’t give data on the adjunct issue either, but my opinion is that adjuncts are used across academia as a whole. (I don’t offer super sources here, but in a microsecond search found “According to the American Association of University Professors, adjuncts and other contingent employees made up 70% of the faculty at American universities and colleges in 2007. Though the numbers differ drastically from one campus to the next, all but the most elite college students are being taught by overworked and underpaid adjunct lecturers.”

My experience with my own two kids is that while they did have adjuncts (one of whom my daughter really loved), they also have consistent contact and classes with full professors.

Point being - this isn’t just a Rowan thing :slight_smile:

Agree with above. A parent questioned the adjuncts at our orientation. My father-in-law is a professor at the state flagship - you will find them used at every university to save money. Rowan uses them to keep class size down as well. My son is a Rowan freshman; 2 of his suitemates are CS majors. I don’t know much, but I know both must have been decent HS students as they both were awarded merit money. One is changing to business because the CS program was too overwhelming for him.

Honors will give you nice perks such as early class registration and early housing selection - and the housing selection is pretty nice!

Good luck!

There’s over 5 thousand colleges in the US and the majority of them are small community colleges or 2 year colleges. There are many schools that I’ve visited where they boast of 99%-100% PhD professors teaching all courses. At first thought I figured this is a good thing and a rare thing so it’s probably something I should be looking for when comparing colleges but in retrospect I have to question whether this really is that important. The exams and finals exams are all created by PhD’s and the syllabi and curriculum are developed by PhD’s as well. As long as the student passes the exams and completes his course sequence for his given major, I would think his knowledge of the subject and his degree is just as good as a student who only had PhD’s teaching him. It’s not like the adjunct is with-holding valuable information that a PhD would otherwise teach his students. I’m not qualified to speak on this but I thought it would be interesting to see if anyone could comment on this.

My son is considering Rowan for 2019 but all his other schools boast of 99 and 100 percent PhD’s,

My personal ancient experience (unrelated to comp sci): Adjuncts were some of my go-to instructors since they shared what was going on in the “real world” in practical, rather than theoretical, terms. My son, a Rowan '13 engineering grad, feels the same way.

That’s not to disparage PhDs. Often, PhDs have a different agenda; tons of research work, touring the world, instructing grad students, polishing their own academic credentials through publications, not undergrad student outcomes. When instructing, PhDs spend more time with grad students (who often seek an academic career themselves) than undergrads. That is why there is a mix of adjuncts and PhDs on the team.

At many schools, PhDs and adjuncts are supplemented by Teaching/Grad Assistants, which is my 3rd choice.

The best school is the one where the student sees themselves succeeding. Go to the honors thing, talk to people, address your concerns.

@NJWrestlingmom hi, can you share what the campus is like and how the dorms are… I’m looking for my son and we live in LI. I wanted to get an idea before I travel for a campus visit. He has a 1390 and 3.5 GPA. Do these stats fit in with Rowan. I am also looking at Univer of Del, Rutgers NB, Stony Brook and TCNJ. Any opinions are welcome… thanks We are applying this summer, he is a junior now.

Hi @HSinLI , Is your son Computer Science? I think those stats would be good for Rowan. We didn’t visit TCNJ but I think Rowan’s campus is much bigger. There are the older dorms, which my son actually liked this year as a freshman because they are closer to classes. The new dorm for freshman is a little further walk, but not bad. Next year, as a sophomore, he’ll be living in a brand new apartment in the downtown, right across from the Barnes and Noble.
That newer part is great - lots of apartment housing considered on campus, but with a lot of retail stores as well. Dominos, Pizza Hut, 7-11 etc… there’s also a 2nd gym that opened last fall and class space that’s mostly for grad school, I think.
I’ve heard some complain that Rowan (and TCNJ) are dead on the weekends, but that hasn’t been our experience. My son is pretty social. He hasn’t been home this semester and always has something to do. He did end up joining one of the sports clubs, so that probably helped. But the school schedules a lot of activities to occupy kids who don’t want the party scene. My son has no interest in Greek life, but has been to a few frat parties.

There is definitely some crime, but I don’t find it to be worse than I would expect at any college town. When things have happened (I think twice this year?) the school has been great about sending out alerts and also letting us know when the suspect is caught (both incidents I remember were students being mugged and their backpack stolen). My son always feels safe.

Anything specific you want to know, feel free to ask!

@NJWrestlingmom Thanks for all the information. Definitely worth a visit then. We are starting to apply in the summer. I

I would say that Rowan is a rapidly growing campus, and that while it is not beautiful (TCNJ is beautiful), it is functional and well focused on the academics (as opposed to on Big Ten sports).

Rowan also gives significant merit aid. While the amounts have decreased as the quality of their classes has increased, it is still a good savings. You are out of state, so it will be the same basic starting price for you at Rutgers, TCNJ or Rowan, but Rowan gives the best money.

I was actually on campus a few weeks ago on a Saturday night and the place was hopping.
No, it is not a big Penn State football weekend feel, but it was lively and fun.

The dorms range in type - my daughter and foster son have lived in HoPoCo (the brand new freshman dorm), as well as one of the older dorms. Right now they live in a new apartment dorm on Rowan Blvd. The apartments are so nice I want to retire to one! Individual bedrooms with a shared living room/kitchen area, plus a bathroom or two (for 4 people, 1 bathroom - that is so nice!).

The Honors College at Rowan is becoming a significant draw for the top tier kids, and it offers great perks. They need to work a bit on their class offerings (they tilt heavily to science, so they need a bit more variety), but they are a great bunch of kids and the admins who run the program get lots of positive reviews from my kids.

I’m surprised being from NY that you aren’t looking at the SUNY system. My cousin graduated from SUNY Albany and loved it - in state public is much more affordable.

Best of luck!

@HSinLI I’ve been to all the schools on your list over the years and know many who’ve attended all of them. Your son’s stats should fit in all of them. All offer quality education.

First, if you haven’t, visit Stony Brook. To me, that’s your benchmark school to which you’ll compare the others. Since it’s in-state, it’ll be the most affordable. I’d do the “Ben Franklin” technique: A sheet of paper on each school, divided in half vertically. Pros in the left column, Concerns in the right column. Confirm the Pros, Question the Concerns. If, by the end of the process your son is still unsure, pick the college with the biggest differential between pros & cons. That way, you’ll avoid a lot of 20/20 hindsight.

TCNJ is the smallest school on your list and possibly the most selective due to its size. Might be the most visually appealing, with dark brick facades and lush greenery. It has been mentioned as a Best Value college for decades. It is pouring money into growing the “campus experience” (not to mention STEM) as a response to what Rowan has done. Their campus tours might be the most impressive. I still view it as a middle to upper middle class suburban commuter school. Not much buzz on the weekends compared to other schools.

Rutgers NB is the biggest, oldest, most established, highest name recognition, and most diverse school on your list. If your son wants the Big Game/Big College experience, it’s there. So is sprawl. Buses to classes and activities. There will also be more teaching assistants and lecture halls than the other schools. And I’ve noticed that many undergrads do not graduate in four years - class availability is often an issue.

What strikes me about Delaware is how many students from NJ and suburban Philly go there, mostly as an alternative to Rowan, TCNJ, Rutgers, or a Penn State satellite. Blue Hen football is big. It’s the farthest from you. Fraternities are more of a hub of activity there than at the other schools (Rutgers is fratty, but it’s not the hub. Rowan & TCNJ have frats, but clubs dominate).

I’m a fan of Rowan, having a son graduate from engineering there and a daughter finishing grad school there next week. Check out my “Why Rowan?” post (I think I first did it in 2011 and updated a couple years ago) in this Forum. They’ve really parlayed Henry Rowan’s unprecedented gift, it’s the region’s economic engine, and it’s been a gamechanger for all of NJ colleges, who had grown complacent. It’s a very walkable campus. I’m sorry to see a lot of farmland disappear, but as I say about NJ - it’s a short drive to nowhere and a shorter drive to somewhere.

Here’s another school you might want to check out: Villanova, just west of Philadelphia. Yeah, it’s a private Jesuit school. But if you want to schmush all the best qualities of all the schools on your list, it adds to Villanova. On paper, it might be the most expensive, but private schools often offer competitive deals to attract good students. I’ve met a bunch of successful LIers there (and at Duke).

NJIT, too, if small urban is a consideration. Stevens, if small expensive but proven is a consideration.

Wherever your son sees himself succeeding, collaborating, and getting involved is the place to go. Remember that “dormitory” is Latin for “a place to sleep”. The less time spent there, the better. Good luck! Enjoy the tours.