Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Who do you want to be for Halloween? Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Last Saturday, Lee’s Summit (where I live) had its Halloween Parade in which kids get to march in their costumes and have a fun time. Our daughter chose to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. So I helped her get dressed and my wife did the pony tails and put in ribbons, and we had an old fake dog that we threw in a cheap wicker basket. We threw “Dorothy” into the car and my wife whisked her away. As everyone was lining up someone approached and said, “Your daughter has been picked as a one of the finalists. Have her go up to the stage when called.” My wife was stunned and delighted. After a process, turns out our daughter won 3rd place for best girl’s costume, and there were over 200 kids there. My wife was blown away and so was I when they got home and told me.

We had totally forgotten that there was a competition and judging. So what does this have to do with college? Who do you want to be? Our daughter picked a favorite character and we just went with the flow. Being Dorothy came “naturally” to her. When choosing a college major and eventual career you simply need to go with the flow. Probably if we had consciously tried to win the competition we wouldn’t have. It would have been overkill or something.

“You’ll recognize it when you see it.” You’ll eventually see yourself in some role or career when it’s the right time and place. Don’t worry about it. Just fall into step in the parade, have fun, and everything will fall into place. Every place has its own rhythm, its own step. Rockhurst is a small university with lots of one on one attention from faculty where you get to make lots of close friends. Some like a bigger, more bustling atmosphere. You’ll know which college is right for you. Don’t sweat it. Just go and visit several. Just follow the yellow brick road.

Check out Rockview: http://www.rockhurst.edu/rockview/

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Economy & Education

In this time of economic crisis it’s good to know that Rockhurst University is the cheapest Jesuit institution in the nation. Out of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, it costs less to go to Rockhurst than the other 27. Of course, state run colleges cost less than Rockhurst, but most don’t offer a Liberal Arts education that gives you a well-rounded and broad-based foundation upon which to build in the highly competitive market. Furthermore, state run colleges and universities don’t bring in a Christian perspective and values. Sustained by a 2,000 year old Catholic tradition and a 450 year old Jesuit perspective, Jesuit institutions have weathered a lot of storms and crises and have endured.

While Wall Street is rocked and Main Street experiences potholes, some large enough to engulf a local bank, and while the world economy is shaken to its knees, you have to keep your wits about yourself and realize that life went on after the Great Depression—if not, you wouldn’t be here today. Life will go on. We’ll get through this economic crisis, but the thing is to have a strategy. As a prospective student and/or parent of high school kids, you need to invest in the future. A college grad with a well-balanced multifaceted education will be better placed in the emerging world market than a grad with a narrow focus from a state college. You can go cheaper with a state college or university education, but you almost always get what you pay for. Sometimes things are too cheap and the product doesn’t last, or devalues. A Jesuit education is sound and well-rounded. It doesn’t invest in fly-by-night educational schemes and flash-in-the-pan ideas. A Jesuit education is well-worth the money spent.

So why Rockhurst, and not another Jesuit institution that costs more? Won’t I get more since I pay more? Not necessarily. Rockhurst strives in giving you more bang for your buck. We don’t have as large an overhead as some Jesuit universities do, and so we don’t have to charge as much to pay for lots of stops and whistles. At the same time, we’re not bare bones either. Think of us as a well-trained athlete: lean and mean. We’ve already cut away a lot of the fat that Wall Street and Congress need to cut out. There are no pork barrel projects at Rockhurst that need to be funded by student tuitions. So check us out. We’re not afraid to be compared with other institutions. You have to choose wisely and invest in your values, especially your (child’s) education. Rockhurst University makes no bones about its Catholic Jesuit values which embrace people from all backgrounds and religious or non-religious affiliations. We respect diversity of opinion and freedom of conscience.

Click here for info.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Double Majors & Double Dipping

Recently a prospective student asked me whether Rockhurst University allows a person to get a double major. Yep, no prob. Allegedly some colleges and universities don’t encourage doing this, but at Rockhurst double majoring is a little known secret—unfortunately even to some of our own in-coming students. It’s actually not hard at all! Because Rockhurst has what’s called a Core Curriculum that all students must take, some of the courses you’d be taking in your major also count as meeting the Core req. In other words, you can take one course once and have it do double duty! Because of this, double majoring is quite doable, even easy. In fact, some people even leave Rockhurst with a triple major, though in five years instead of four. But you can easily double major in four years.

Graduating with a double major has many benefits. 1) It knocks the socks off any anyone interviewing you. 2) It demonstrates you have determination and discipline. 3) It provides you with a much deeper well-rounded education. 4) It gives you a fall-back plan if you ever need to change jobs and seek employment in that other field. 5) Some jobs require a multi-faceted background and people who can readily multi-task seemingly different subjects.

I’ll be honest; some students feel intimidated just by the thought of doing a double major, but let’s tackle it this way: at Rockhurst after getting one major, most people have 50-55 hours worth of free electives to take. Yes, FIFTY. Many majors consist of 21 or 24 hours of upper level courses in addition to the Core; that’s only 7 or 8 courses out of the 16+ free courses you have left. By choosing certain upper level Core courses that can do double duty, you double dip and can get a double major without any extra money out of your pocket, or Mom and Dad’s. Or if you really play your cards right, you can come to Rockhurst bringing with you high school courses taken for college credit and already have a jump on things! This frees up way more hours. Even a triple major would be quite doable.

So take full advantage of what a Rockhurst University education offers, double dip and get a double major! And getting a double major and a minor is also in the cards.