This academic tourist recently traveled to Edinboro University on this past father’s day. It was my best father’s day to date and provided for reflective time about the campus. I traveled from the Washington, DC area and I found the six hour drive to Edinboro, Pennsylvania to be extremely scenic and easy.
The school started out as a training school for Pennsylvania teachers in 1857. The campus back then was just two humble buildings. From that humble beginning it has blossomed. Edinboro, Pennsylvania is a true college town. You get the feeling of watching a movie as you drive through the main entrance of campus. This rural campus explodes in a large campus feel with all of the updated facilities and amenities that are found on a very large campus.
The campus has the largest liberal arts undergraduate degree program in Art in the Northeast. It has been recognized for providing a conservatory quality education at an affordable cost ($18,945.00 in state for room and board & 22,683.40 for out of state students). The Art Department has approximately 1,000 students in four undergraduate programs (Art History, Applied Media Arts, Fine Arts/Crafts, and Art Education) as well as two graduate programs (Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts). The department encompasses four buildings, and houses two on-campus galleries, the Bates and Bruce Galleries. The undergraduate program allows for specialization in art education, art history, cinema (Animation and Film), graphic design, photography, ceramics, drawing, jewelry/ metalsmithing, painting, print making, sculpture, textile design, weaving/fibers, and wood/furniture design.
This university got on my radar years ago for the work they were doing in The Office for Students with Disabilities. This is one of the first campuses in the nation that provided a high level of support services to students with disabilities. They do an excellent job of enhancing the university’s commitment to equal opportunity for all students with disabilities. The campus maintains the largest community of resident students with severe disabilities attending higher education in Pennsylvania as well as one of the largest in the United States
Socially Edinboro University offers over 200 clubs and organizations on the campus. These opportunities range from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., LGBTQIA to the Computer Science Club. They even have a Community Outreach Center for students to get involved with community service projects in the greater community.
Famous alumni include Actress Sharon Stone, Mike S. Zafirovski, former CEO of Nortel Networks and former President of Motorola and Joseph Newton Pew founder of Sun Oil Company (now Sunoco).
The campus is quite inviting. I could not locate the dorm that my son would call his residence for a week and I stopped a campus police officer. The Police Officer did not just tell me where to go but lead me to the parking lot of the dorm. My family received the same warm reception when checking into the dorm. I hope in four years that my son’s checking in process is as seamless.
Just like the Psychologist Jean Piaget, who studied the intellectual development of his own three children, I find myself learning through the experiences of my own children. My reason for visiting this campus was to deposit my oldest child in the Xavier and Tina Williams Summer Business Academy.
The application process was a real eye opener for my son. The forms were not at the level of the Common Application but it did allow putting meaningful time into this process. It was interesting to see his thought process when answering the application question explaining his interest in business and/or why you would like to attend the Academy. His first draft really was short and non-descriptive. The growth in the process was having him rewrite and really flush out his thoughts in regards to his reasons.
Teachable moments were also emerge when he needed to ask for letters of recommendations. “What two individuals will you get to write you a recommendation,” I asked my son. I am lucky that my son has excellent relationships with his teachers but not wanting to miss this teachable moment I asked him what would you want them to say. A conversation then generated about academic achievement and effort. It was a major uh hah moment. I digress.
Across the nation summer program occur on college campuses. They have a variety of interest and target audiences. These are great exploratory opportunities for students. What I loved about the Xavier and Tina Williams Summer Business Academy was that professors from the department were hands on. So instead of a graduate assistance working with my son he interacted directly with tenured individuals from the university. I am not sure a thirteen year old rising ninth grade understood the magnitude of that key element but his parents did.
Mr. Xavier Williams is currently the Senior Vice President Public Sector and Healthcare for AT&T. He is a 1989 graduate of Edinboro University. “My wife and I have always looked for opportunities to reach back and invest in the generations behind us, said Mr. Williams who was a student athlete while attending the university. “When the concept of this summer academy was shared with us and the opportunity to partner with the folks at Edinboro University, it was a very no-brainer.” The camp enrolled students from New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. “We wanted the academy to provide young people with a university experience and introduce them to business concepts to help build a good foundational tool for their growth and development.”
This campus is worth the investigation. It is a small college with a big college feel. You will not be another when you walk on campus. Bravo Edinboro!
Mark Ausbrooks is the Academic Tourist. He occasionally blogs about colleges and universities that he encounters.