Does anybody recommend Southwestern?

<p>I'm reading a lot of things about Southwestern, and it sounds like a pretty good school, and when I saw the admission rate, I was pretty happy that I didn't have to walk on water to get accepted. Any insight opinion on Southwestern? Thanks ~Marshall</p>

<p>PM'd you my reply. You can see some of my other posts too regarding my son at SU.</p>

<p>Apparently I don't have enough posts on this site to achieve the user level to able to respond to your PM. If you wish to PM your email I'll respond to your PM.</p>

<p>Hi Marshall. My son and I visited Southwestern and we were both impressed by the administration and beautiful campus. The people are also very friendly. It is so close to Austin and to great shopping and restaurants. It is a very good school with small classes and the professors really care about you. You'll hear professors that invite you to their homes or you can have lunch with them. It is truly a hidden gem just like it says in Loren Pope's book: Colleges that Change Lives. You ought to visit! </p>

<p>Upwardjoe - can you post your reply online so we can read it too? :)</p>

<p>Marshall, your email address came across as marshallmeyer12*********** so I guess this forum has various safeguards to make direct contact difficult. So...I will post my response for all to see. Understand this is MY OPINION. That does not mean everyone must agree with me. </p>

<p>No, my son did not transfer. There are too many issues with scholarships when transferring. In the end, it was his decision to stay. </p>

<p>Students are challenged and pushed, which my kid likes. Small class size, professor interaction, lots or writing. There are some very good professors in the business program, guys who made money in business and now seem to be kind of semi-retired as college professors, wanting to 'give something back' as it were. I know students are exposed to doing a Porter analysis, which is something that is taught at some of the better MBA programs in the country. They seem to have a good process and network in getting internships for students. And upper level business students actually handle the financial management and investing of the school’s endowment. There was a dinner this week for business students with upper class and alumni to discuss how/where they got their internship with good information exchanged and a keynote speaker who wrote a couple books brought in from Ohio </p>

<p>There is the KLA program (I think thats the name of it) for 1st year students, and he thought it was good and enjoyed the interaction and looking at a subject from many different aspects. So far the Paideia program seems over rated, they read a novel and sit in a circle and discuss it. Said it is kind of like story time in grade school. They are supposed to move to other subjects and some type of civic activity so it may improve. I’d guess there is some inconsistency based upon who the professor is, so your mileage may vary. </p>

<p>Liberal politics of the professors are part of many classes. His environmental science professor makes Al Gore look conservative. I assume you read my previous comments on that class. My son is blessed with good writing and debating skills, and the professor tried to get him to change his major. The views presented were extreme and one sided. Oil leads to capitalism, capitalism leads to greed, and greed is destroying the world. And before someone gets their undies in a knot, studying global warming is not the same as teaching that the world economy needs to be deconstructed and rebuilt on green energy. Whether liberal or conservative, knowledge of pixie dust and unicorn farts won’t help anyone get a job in 4 years, or even make them a better human being. Politics, from either side, have little to do with the subjects being taught. And I clearly am not a fan of progressive indoctrination being taught to college students. Teach the facts, and challenge the student to form an opinion and make them defend it. Professors should teach students how to express opinions, not force feed students their opinions and call them facts. </p>

<p>His cost with his scholarship is about what it would cost him to go to UT. He has friends at UT, UofH, and Baylor. Socially they all seem to spend to spend a lot of weekends at UT, which always has something going on or they go to 6th street in Austin where there are a lot of pubs and places with bands. Austin is great college town, but traffic is terrible. There is an active Greek life at Southwestern, and they welcome all students to their gatherings and parties. </p>

<p>At the big schools, you get big classes. At the honors programs at UT and A&M you don't get into the smaller honors classed until junior level classes, and even then there are more students than slots available. He said his friends at the big schools seem to have more of a high school type of teaching, read the book and memorize enough to pass the test, then move on to next topic. A large school will also provide more classes and scheduling options, as well as more majors and minors. Southwestern provides much more professor interaction (largest class as freshman was 26), and requires debate and expression of ideas through discussion and writing papers. There is no hiding and you can’t fake it. If you blow off a class, there is a good chance you will get a call from the professor. </p>

<p>I like their business program. If he had picked a different major, we would have forced him to leave. He could of gone to U of H for free, and he worries about the cost of going to Southwestern and if the difference in education is worth the expense. I would say it depends on what major you’re looking at. I believe he'll come out of the business program with skills equivalent to some MBA programs. But I would question the other departments. Because its such a small school, there aren't a lot of professors in each department. You will see the same professors several times, so that could be a good thing or bad thing based upon your thoughts of those professors. The inverse of that is the same professor in your major department will have a student for several classes and they will know each student very well, again for good or bad. I went and met a couple professors, discussed their background, and reviewed the textbooks used for their business classes. IMO their business program is under rated. At the same time, its all too easy to mix personal politics with economic theory in an econ class. If you are looking at any earth science major, biology, or political science, I'd suggest a different school. </p>

<p>Southwestern has a very nice campus for a school of its size. </p>

<p>I have a kid in the teaching program at Texas State, which is a good fit for him and his major. He would not do well at Southwestern and there would be little added benefit for the expense. </p>

<p>So I would take a serious look at these questions: </p>

<p>Does the student want to be challenged and pushed, is that what they are looking for in a college? </p>

<p>What major are they looking at and is there a true value added at Southwestern for that specific department? For business major, with their current professors (with such a small department changing one member could make a big difference on quality of teaching) and a field where writing skills, analytic thinking, expressing and defending an opinion are critical, I’d say ‘yes’. </p>

<p>Is the student strong enough to see the world without being influenced by professors with specific agendas? </p>

<p>That's more than you asked, but I hope it's useful. Feel free ask anything else.</p>

<p>NewJersey17 - I still can not send a PM, or even respond, until I work my way up to 15 posts.</p>

<p>I would tell a prospective student the counter to small schools with small classes is also small departments. There is little alternative if you don't like a professor that teaches in the department that you want to major in. You can't take the class from another professor. Meeting, or actually interviewing, the professors in your chosen department at each school is a critical part of selecting the small school that will be a good fit. </p>

<p>You may have mis-understood my earlier comment. The professor wanted my son to consider changing his major into his department, not out of it.</p>

<p>@upwardjoe: Thank you very much for your information! I like Southwestern but I don't necessarily like the location that it's in. I will continue doing my research on it and find out if it is right! Thanks again.</p>