– I visited Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts as part of the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference in June. Dean has about 1200 undergrads. About 80% of students pursue a Bachelor’s degree and about 20% pursue an Associate’s degree.
The college is in a safe town in walking distance to stores. It is next to the Franklin Library, the oldest public library in the country.
The Dean motto is “Never Give Up” and their mascot is a bulldog.
– The two most popular majors at Dean are Dance and Arts & Entertainment.
Dance and theater majors make up about one third of the student body with approximately 180 dance majors and 100 theater majors. The school has connections with the Disney Center, The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the Boston Ballet, and the American College Dance Festival.
Dancers can receive a BA or a BFA. The BA students can study abroad and have more class choices. The Dance BFA can be in either choreography or performance. There is conservatory-style dance training. Students can study ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. There is a Dance Abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dean College is one of the few colleges with a full-time certified and licensed Athletic Trainer for the Dance majors.
The newest major is Biology.
The MAP program is for undecided students; by the end of their first year they select a major.
Classes are small and students make personal connections with faculty and staff, many of whom live on campus.
To ensure students are not surprised with a poor grade at the end of the semester, there is college-wide monitoring for student grades every 3 – 4 weeks. This helps with student retention and graduation rates.
– The school has the Arch Learning program, a fee-based program available for 200 students with LD. Students with documented LD can participate in this program for one or more years. For this program, the college is looking for motivated students who can self-advocate, have independent living skills (e.g., get up in the morning on their own, take medication on their own, eat healthy food, get out of their dorm room, solve problems without mom or dad, can handle a part-time job) and with the ability to do college level work (i.e., typically with an IQ of 90 or above).
Typically, the most intense support is in the freshman year. For example, freshmen on the program often do three hours of executive function coaching per week. Students in the Arch program take 1 Freshman Arch-designated class in the Fall and 2 Freshmen Arch-designated courses in the Spring taught by LD professionals. The content of these courses is the same as the courses taken by other students; it is not watered down. They take 2 Arch-designated class in the Sophomore year and 1 Arch-designated seminar in the Junior year and in the Senior year.
Arch students live among all the other students and their classes are all over campus.
93% of Arch students return to Dean for their Sophomore year of college.
– The entire school population has the following learning supports at no additional cost: Math Center, Writing Center, peer tutors, faculty tutors, and workshops for students. In addition, students who had an IEP or 504 Plan in high school may be eligible to use the school’s assistive technology at no additional cost.
– Every student does at least one internship. There are more internships available than they Dean has students. The Sports Management major has a relationship with the stadium for the New England Patriots which is only 15 minutes from campus. They also have a relationship with soccer’s New England Revolution, as well as the Red Sox minor league baseball team.
The College indicated that they had a 96% placement rate for their graduates. They have direct admissions to certain graduate schools.
– There are performance, academic, athletic, multicultural and community service clubs. Students run the school radio station. Students can act starting in the freshman year; there are two musicals and three plays each year. An orchestra is hired for the musicals. Athletics are in NCAA Division III.
– Dean is diverse in many ways. Students come from about 40 states and 20 countries. About 35% of students are African-American or Hispanic. There is a large LGBTQ population on campus. 35% of students are athletes. 35% of students have a learning difference.
– The College is currently renovating the TV and radio station. The Library is scheduled to be renovated next summer. For sustainability, the school is changing all the light bulbs to LEDs.
– Dean accepts the Common App and their own App and they are both free. The college is test optional, but they encourage students to send their scores even if they are low. They also encourage students to submit an essay and a letter of recommendation. Admissions are holistic.
Admission to the Dance major requires an audition.
– All domestic students are considered for merit aid, currently between $10K and $25K. International students qualify for a merit aid although the amounts are lower. There is no required GPA needed to keep your merit aid in future years.
– Nearby Curry College is a crossover college which I also visited. I plan to write about Curry College in my next blog post.
Net Price Calculator – on each college’s website
The university has a Guaranteed Placement Program, which guarantees a job offer or enrollment in graduate school within 6 months after graduation, if you meet the requirements of the program which include maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0, completing an internship or approved work experience, and conducting an active job search. If you don’t get a job in your field, the school will guarantee you a 3-month paid internship in your field.
Earlier this month, Landmark College, a college serving students with language-based learning disabilities, announced three new academic programs would be starting this Fall:
- BA in Liberal Studies
- Associate of Science in Life Sciences
- Associate of Science in Computer Science/Gaming.
What’s your experience with Landmark College and how do you view these new academic programs?
The Honors program requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher and over 1100 on the CR and Math sections of the SAT.
As the Regional Center for Colleges with Learning Disabilities, there is an extensive program for 25 –30 students each year on the Madison campus at no extra charge.
The college is need blind with 92% of students receiving an average of $19,700 in aid. Merit scholarships of between $3500 and $24000 are available based on SAT scores. Students can get an Alumni grant of $1000 by getting an alumni, trustee or faculty member to sign; children of alumni get a $1500 grant.
If you’ve visited or attended the Madison campus lately, share your observations.
After spending a day and a half at the “Professional Visit Days for Educators” at Landmark College this month, I feel strongly that Landmark College is a college that changes lives.
If you have attended or visited Landmark College, share your experiences.
If you are a student with Learning Differences and/or ADHD, I recommend that you research and visit with the personnel in the departments that provide disability services at the college. These services may be in one department or spread over several departments with names like Disability Support Services, Office of Disability Support, Learning Support Center, and Academic Support Center. Think about what information you need to help you decide whether the program meets your needs.
Some questions you may have are:
- What is the philosophy of the program?
- How many professionals are on staff?
- What services, accommodations, workshops, and adaptive technology are available?
- What is the procedure for students to receive accommodations from a professor?
- How many tutors are on staff? Are they peer or professional tutors? How often can students be tutored? What subjects is tutoring available for?
- Are there organizational coaches?
- How many students are accepted in the program each year? How many apply?
- Is there a fee for the program? How much is the fee?
- How does the graduation rate for students in the program compare to the overall graduation rate?
- What documentation is needed to apply for the program? Is there a separate application for the program? Is an interview required?
- Is there an orientation before the freshman year?
What other questions would you ask?
I will be giving a talk on “College Support for Students with Learning Differences or ADHD” on Tuesday, November 16 at 7 pm in Somerville, NJ. For more information and to register, call 908.725.7799 or email email@example.com.