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Sun Jul 28, 2019, 04:17 AM

Small colleges teetering as they fight for dollars, students

by BILL SCHACKNER
Block News Alliance
JUL 27, 2019 1:06 PM


WHEELING, W. Va. — For seven decades, West Virginia’s only Catholic university has educated young adults in this corner of Appalachia, but despite that proud tradition, it entered the summer with an unlikely task.

It had to find a new name.

The words Wheeling Jesuit University no longer fit the struggling institution in this city after cutting every liberal arts major, 21 of its 53 full-time faculty and most Jesuit positions.

A campus that once touted ambitious growth plans lost more than a quarter of its 1,600 students in six years, even as it wooed them with steep price discounts.

“We truly feel deep sorrow that this institution is no longer a member,” said Deanna Howes Spiro, a spokeswoman for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Read more: https://www.toledoblade.com/news/nation/2019/07/27/small-colleges-struggle-to-keep-students-in-their-doors/stories/20190727016

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Reply Small colleges teetering as they fight for dollars, students (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jul 2019 OP
democratisphere Jul 2019 #1
no_hypocrisy Jul 2019 #2
TexasTowelie Jul 2019 #3
eppur_se_muova Jul 2019 #4
Igel Jul 2019 #5

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 04:39 AM

1. Catholic churches are closing and so go the colleges.

Perhaps the Catholic hierarchy needs one hell of a lot of reflection. Christ would not be happy. Apparently the former followers aren't either.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 06:58 AM

2. Five years ago, my alma mater, Sweet Briar College announced it was closing.

One of the last independent women's liberal arts college.

The alumnae stepped up with money and support. They changed the President and the Deans. The Alums found a lot of money to firm up the endowment. They cut the tuition from $55,000 to $24,000. They offered more scholarships. They changed the curriculum to STEM courses.

The school was saved and is nearly 80% capacity again and growing.

We saved Sweet Briar.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 07:13 AM

3. I believe that some of the liberal arts universities will have to rethink their mission.

While there will always be a need for liberal arts graduates, a degree in the humanities doesn't provide much financial power without a post-graduate degree which means that the student must be willing to complete the equivalent of six years of study.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 07:57 AM

4. An awful lot of those small colleges are church-affiliated.

Students are less and less interested in organizing their lives around their parents' denomination. Why limit your future by limiting your options for higher education to the reassuring comfort of one cozy little sect ? Better to pick a purely secular school with strong departments in your potential major(s), and see more of the intellectual and social world than your familiar little corner.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 28, 2019, 10:49 AM

5. But mostly what's happening

is that they just want the degree without the content, and a degree from a fashionable institution is inherently better.

As for the intellectual and social world, most of the kids have their own little bubble. That's the thing about social media, instead of needing a frat to get together and be pushed to have stupid views you can just hop into a little social-media world for the same thing. Instead of having a frat party where the brothers push each other towards increasingly reprehensible behavior it's an online group--with the same thuggishness or joy in violating and abusing others and ostracization if you fail to comply with the group-think.

As for schools affiliated with some denomination, usually you can't tell what denomination except at the margins. Rules on faculty conduct, some statue on campus, the presence of a chapel most students never go to or a symbol in the school's shield or logo. Liberty U is treated as an extreme outlier because it is.

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