Johnson and Wales University Update

In March 2018, I attended Johnson and Wales University (JWU) brunch for NJ counselors and educators. I wanted to hear what had changed since I visited the Rhode Island campus in 2014. The highlights were:
  • The culinary classes have been reworked based on industry input and now look at market segments like chef-driven corporate dining and chef-concept restaurants, in addition to fine dining.
  • The College of Health and Wellness was opened in 2016 offering a B.S. in Health Science, a B.S. in Public Health and a B.S. in Dietetics and Health Nutrition. On the graduate level the school has a Physician’s Assistant program in which they hold 12 seats for JWU graduates.
  •  In the College of Engineering and Design, the hottest program is the two-year old Cyber Threat Intelligence & Defense program. A new major in Digital Marketing and Social Media starts in Fall 2018.
  •  A new building, the Center for Science and Innovation opened just over a year ago.
  •  Early action admission was offered for the first time in Fall 2017.
My earlier JWU posts are one from December 2013 and another from January 2014.

Johnson and Wales University (JWU) – Part II

In January 2014, I visited the Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, which is celebrating its 100thanniversary.  The university has two campuses in Providence: Harborside, with a view of the water and Downcity, in downtown Providence.  Both campuses have housing, dining, and sports facilities and there is free bus transportation between the campuses.  My tour guide Rain lived in campus housing at the Downcity campus, while attending class in the Harborside campus.
JWU is a good match for a student who knows what they want to study, wants to take classes in their major starting in their Freshman year, and wants practical, hands-on, experiential learning.  To learn more about Johnson and Wales University, see my December 2013 blog post.

Cuisinart Center for Culinary Arts
Harborside Campus –  The Harborside campus is the home of the College of Culinary Arts.  The Cuisinart Center for Culinary Arts, built in 2009, is the jewel of the campus.  This $38 million, LEED-certified four-story building is a unique facility filled with “labs” for culinary and baking students.  As you walk by each of the labs, you can watch the students cutting, cooking, baking, making chocolate, etc.
Baking Lab
During the 1st two years at the culinary college, the students spend two trimesters a year in cooking or baking labs and 1 trimester a year in traditional classes.  The labs are 6 hour a day, 4 days a week.  The culinary students earn an associates degree after two years and can stay for two more years for a variety of Bachelors degrees. 
Dough sculpture made by JWU students
Sugar sculpture made by baking students
Decorated cakes on display

Wildcat Center – Gym facilities in Harborside Campus
The Harborside campus has most of the green grass, and has the sports playing fields.  Freshmen in Harborside live mostly in triples or quads.  There is apartment style housing available for upperclassmen.  Housing for juniors and seniors is very convenient; housing for Sophomores is a bit of a walk.  School cost includes knives and uniforms that the students wear in the lab.     

Downcity Campus –  The Downcity campus houses the College of Business, the School of Technology, the Hospitality College, and the School of Arts and Sciences.  The Hospitality College students run the Radisson Hotel in nearby Warwick, Rhode Island, where I stayed overnight.  Freshmen in Downcity live mostly in doubles.  There is also housing for upperclassmen.  The food at the Snowden Dining Hall where I ate was tasty and cooked by students.  JWU is building new facilities for the Physicians Assistant program and for additional parking in the Downcity campus.  JWU is planning to move the building that houses the School of Technology closer to the other Downcity campus buildings.

Johnson & Wales University

I recently attended a Johnson and Wales University (JWU) breakfast reception for independent college consultants and I thought you might enjoy hearing about what I learned. 
Basics: JWU began as a business school in 1914.  The programs are experiential and work-integrated.  Faculty have industry-relevant experience and there are no lecture halls.  79% of students come directly from high school; 21% transfer from other colleges.  Since 2006, the college has become more selective in order to improve its graduation rate.  There is a 79% retention to the Sophomore year.  The 4-year graduation rate is 68%. 
Academics: The school is on a trimester schedule; each trimester is 11 weeks long.  Undergraduates must complete 40 courses to graduate. Students, who take 4 courses each trimester, graduate early.  Students begin to take classes in their major in their Freshman year.  Sophomores do an internship for course credit in their major.  Seniors complete a capstone and a third trimester internship.  4200 students had an internship in 2012-2013 school year. As a senior, students can take 1 MBA course per trimester.  Starting in 2015, the school will offer a Biology major that could feed into the Physician Assistant program. 
JWU has a career focus.  Over 1200 employers came to campus this year.  74% of students on a paid internship received a job offer from the company they worked for which is higher than the national average of 63%. 
Work and/or Study Abroad are available to all students.  All JWU Study Abroad Programs are for 20 students led by 2 faculty members.  Foreign language is not a requirement to do study abroad.  About 500 students study abroad each year.
Each student has 3 advisors: personal, professional and academic. 
Campuses: JWU has four campuses: Providence, RI; North Miami, FL; Denver, CO; and Charlotte, NC.  Some majors are not available on every campus. The number of students at each location is as follows:
  • Providence – 10,369 (There is housing for 3500 students)
  • North Miami – 1952
  • Denver – 1529
  • Charlotte – 2325.
The Rhode Island campus is physically split into two sections, separated by 2 miles and serviced by the University’s own shuttle system.  In addition, the Equine programs are in Rehoboth, which is about 20 minutes away.  Students can also ride buses anywhere in Rhode Island for free.  The university is building a Physician Assistant building on the Rhode Island Campuses.
Colleges: The University has the following undergraduate colleges:
  • College of Business, which includes some unusual majors, like Equine Management and Criminology.  Many students sit for their Series 7 exams while still in school.
  • Hospitality College which includes some unusual majors like Sports/Entertainment/Event Management
  • College of Culinary Arts, which offers Associates and Bachelors degrees.  This college has the only accredited Culinary Nutrition program in the country.
  • School of Technology (only in Providence) has Engineering and Software Engineering majors
  • School or Arts and Sciences.
There are graduate schools in:
  • Providence: including 4+1 BS/MBA, MBA, an MS in Criminal Justice and a new Physician Assistant MS
  • Denver: MBA.
Housing and Extracurricular activities: Housing is required for freshmen.  There is an online roommate-matching program.  Freshmen are allowed to have cars but they are not needed.
JWU has over 100 clubs and has Greek life.  There are NCCA Division III sports in RI; other campuses have NAIA and USCAA sports.
Applying: The school is test optional. Applications are read by major and certain programs are harder to get into (or switch into) than others.  Baking & Pastry, as well as Counseling Psychology are difficult to get into. The college has an Honors program; students with an SAT score of 520 (Critical Reading) and 510 (Mathematics), typically qualify.  JWU accepts AP scores of 3 or higher. 
Visiting: There are daily tours at 9AM and 1 PM, Preview Days (one Saturday a month), and Wildcat Weekends.  Rising high school juniors and seniors who want to get a taste of JWU may want to attend the Culinary & Hospitality Career exploration program weekend over the summer.
Financial Aid: The Cost of Attendance is $38.9 – 40.8K per year.  JWU offers need-based and merit aid.  They do not front load financial aid and they offer:
·        Academic scholarships of up to $15,000. 
·        National Student Organization Scholarships for members of BPA, DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, JA, TSA, and SkillsUSA.
·        Legacy scholarships of $4000 a year. 
Early Enrollment – There is an early enrollment program where students do their senior year of high school at JWU.  Students pay half tuition for the first year and there is no Federal Assistance available for that year.
What is your experience with JWU?