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Trying to do it all: Small liberal arts colleges with professional programs

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If you have been following our blogs, you will recall that we spent some time looking at the unique attributes of Ohio’s “Big 5 Liberal Arts Colleges” – colleges that specialize in a broad, often interdisciplinary, curriculum integrating the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. We also looked at a set of Ohio’s private colleges that excel at offering professional programs such as nursing, business, engineering, pharmacy, and others.

Now that we have defined the poles of the liberal arts vs. professional program continuum in terms of Ohio’s private colleges, let’s look at some colleges that have retained their commitment to an integrated liberal arts curriculum while offering some professional programs as well. Simply put, professional programs at these institutions may not be as aggressively resourced; may involve fewer faculty; may achieve fewer accreditations, and may be less central to the academic structure and ethos of the institution. However, many offer students a solid professional education along with the advantages of a more diverse and interdisciplinary curriculum. At these schools, there is more intentionality around developing the “whole person” and a bit less around developing the “competent professional.” Many students and families prefer this more balanced approach to professional education.

As we continue our hike, let’s take a look at a few of these colleges.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ohio’s Big 5 Liberal Arts Colleges: Ohio Wesleyan University

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Established in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) is a member of the Ohio “Big 5” liberal arts colleges that includes OWU as well as Kenyon College, College of Wooster, Oberlin University, and Denison University. They are also one of Loren Pope’s College’s That Change Lives.

With around 1,700 students from around the country and beyond (46 states and 43 countries represented), this selective university offers 90 majors, 23 varsity sports (NCAA Division III), and 100 clubs and organizations.

Academics are strong and focus on the liberal arts, although, unlike the other members of the “Big 5” a few professional programs, such as Education (with licensure), Business Administration, and Accounting snuck in. The Sciences, Arts, and languages are all strong. They even offer the only “Planetary Science” undergraduate program in the state.

With so much to offer, I still have to warn you that they are one of the most haunted campuses in the country and even sport their own student paranormal society.

Check out our video compilation of photos taken on our last visit to Ohio Wesleyan University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExpBRG4ARDM

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

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