Today, I took a trek down to the Wisconsin-Illinois border to visit Beloit College where Liberal Arts truly is amplified! I actually fell in love with Beloit College last year after hearing our representative talk about what a great college Beloit is. At least, I thought I would love it…it sounded like a college I would thrive at. You never really know, though, until you pay a personal visit and spend some time on campus. I was so excited to visit Beloit this year, I didn’t even think about the 3 hour drive….until I realized I had to be on the road at 5:30 AM. After making the drive, which was all highway, I learned it wasn’t bad at all; cruise control, music, and caffeine helped me greatly.
The sleepy little town of Beloit was just waking up when I arrived. Full of large, old, stately homes that were nothing short of fantastic, I realized the college sat right in the middle of the seasoned residential area. It felt safe, cozy, and personal. Pulling into campus, I was impressed by the cool brick buildings where ivy climbed, the centuries-old oak trees shedding their colorful fall leaves, and the surprising Indian mounds that are respected and taken care of by the college. People were friendly and smiled as I walked toward the incredible, native plant-lined, platinum level LEED certified Center for the Sciences. The four story atrium was breathtaking!
About 1300 student call Beloit College home. They have such comfy dorms! The one I toured had hardwood floors and awesome cubbies above the closets that I’ve never seen before. A lot of stuff can fit up there, which is important when you are dorm dwelling. Beloit also has theme houses where several students can live in a house based off a common theme. I walked down a tree-lined street filled with those big houses I mentioned earlier and found out the college purchased all of the homes and turned them into theme houses where students currently reside!
Beloit is a test optional college, meaning ACT scores can be sent with your application if you wish, but they are not required. More and more colleges are realizing timed, standardized tests taken on a Saturday morning may not be the best predictor of academic success. Most popular majors at Beloit include Political Science, International Relations, Econ, Business, English, and Psychology. They have a superior Anthropology program where many of the world’s leading Ph.D.s are educated. The anthropology research is unparalleled. Overall, 63% of Beloit’s graduates go on to get graduate or professional degrees.
My tour guide was a delightful, very knowledgeable, fast-paced walking sophomore from Maine majoring in Anthropology. Good thing I walk fast, too. Her parents did not want her to attend college so far away from home, but after the family toured many colleges and checked out several anthropology programs, she said there was no question…it was Beloit, hands down.
Beloit has a “Liberal Arts in Practice” model where it’s all about transferring and applying what you’ve learned in college. This is accomplished by connecting you to educational experiences outside the traditional classrooms and facilitating reflection times to deepen your learning. This makes sense to me….why learn all this stuff in college if you can’t use it in the world? “Liberal Arts in Practice” is a valuable bridge from college to professional employment, graduate school, and/or service experiences.
In short, Beloit College did not disappoint. Actually, I loved it there. It is a nationally recognized Liberal Arts College by both Fred Ruggs (you’ve heard me mention my guru, Fred…he is the guy who writes “Rugg’s Recommendations” and Lauren Pope, author of the book “Colleges That Change Lives.” Check it out!