King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

King’s College is a Catholic college in the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It is part of the Holy Cross network of colleges which includes colleges like the University of Notre Dame and the College of Holy Cross. The school has about 2000 undergraduate students who are pre-professional or studying liberal arts and sciences. About 35% of the students are first generation college students.  The school is in an urban environment with buildings spread out over several blocks and little green space.

King’s wants students to learn to speak, write, solve problems, be moral and ethical, and motivate others. They focus on the theme of community, and the students completed about 180,000 hours of community service in 2010.
Their method of grading is a little unusual for college.  Teacher’s take attendance.  15% of a student’s grade is for participation.  There are quizzes every week.  There is a speaking grade, a writing grade and a group project grade in each class.  Professors have five hours of office hours a week.
Things that are relatively new at King’s College are the exercise science major, a 3-2 engineering program with the University of Notre Dame, and a new, impressive Physician’s Assistant building.  The Physician Assistant program is well-established but it appeared that many of the Physician Assistant students were unable to maintain the grade point needed to graduate in that major.
The admissions officers and students we met seemed very friendly and upbeat.  We heard from students on a panel who were studying  accounting, criminal justice, mass communication and to be a Physician’s Assistant,  The student who had lunch at our table was a student with four majors who was going to the University of Virgiania for law school next year.
Wilkes has about 50 clubs.  They have Division III sports, including a football team.  I didn’t see the sports fields which were a 10-minute drive away.  Some nearby leisure activities are skiing at the Snow Mountain Ski resort and a 14-plex movie theatre.  The school sponsors trips to New York City and Washington DC.  Other popular events include comedians brought on campus and “King’s Idol.” The school supplies shuttle buses that run to Walmart and local malls.
There are 8 residence halls.  Two of these buildings are for freshmen: an all boy’s building and an all girl’s building.  11% of students live off-campus, but within walking distance.  About one third of the students are commuters.  The rest of the students live on campus.
Online applications are free and the school accepts the Common Application.  There is a 12/1 early action date and rolling admissions.  The average high school GPA is 3.25 with an average SAT score of 1010 (Critical Reading and Math).  The school is test-optional, using a graded paper in lieu of the SAT or ACT.  Merit aid is based on grades, test scores and community service.  Merit aid can cover up-to full tuition.
About 170 students a year do internships for credit.  Twenty-five to thirty employers come on campus each year to hire, including finance companies and Target, for management trainees.  They have 1-credit course in career planning and offer about 60 workshops per semester by alumni and companies to help students get ready for work and life after college.
King’s College has a higher level of disability support for students with Learning Differences and ADHD than most colleges.  They have 80-100 trained tutors.  There is a first-year academic studies program (FASP) with a dedicated staff person and its own-application.  They have Live Scribe Smart Pens for note taking.  They indicated that they can also provide support to students with food allergies, psychiatric conditions, and Asperger’s.