My son has Rose-Hulman on the top of his list after touring the maker space there. Was blown away, the kids building things in that space were his people. However, as a parent, I’m having second thoughts after seeing their brochure. On the first page it says “Will you be intellectually brutalized here? Probably. But you won’t be alone.”
Is this just a marketing message gone wrong or is this really the culture of the school? I’m looking for him to be inspired, for his horizons to be extended, for him to build things, and experience innovation. I want him to be supported. I’m not looking for him to be brutalized.
As background, he is a good student - very good GPA & ACT, goes to a demanding school, lots of APs, 5s in at least half of the AP tests (including Chemistry AP test), two varsity sports, and a genuine engineer - loves to build things, has a lot of his own hobbies, etc. But I’m sensitive to the fact that he worked to get good grades on top of the two sports- the grades were not free. Based on Niche and Naviance, his academics place him in solidly in the top quarter of the students who attend Rose but only above 35% of those that attend Stanford and Harvey Mudd. As a way to filter - we were targeting only small engineering schools where his academics seem to put him in the top 25% figuring that might be some indication that he could handle the workload and still be able to make the most out of college - join the clubs, build cars, etc. He wants a small school where he can know his professors and that is in the suburbs or country - he is not a city kid.
When we toured, I did not take away brutalized as a theme. I took away supportive and collaborative and was really impressed. Clearly, engineering is hard - I have a masters in engineering - but my hope is that he could be supported and inspired to become a great engineer. Am I taking this message way too seriously and in the wrong way, or is this representative of the culture?