WISH YOU WERE A CHIPPEWA? Students rank attending CMU based on education, administration
The past year has been tumultuous for Central Michigan University, with a faculty strike, votes of no confidence and the ongoing medical school drama becoming big news.
But Betty Wagner, director of admissions for CMU, said the recent contract negotiations between the Faculty Association and the administration have not had an effect on recruiting or the decision-making of prospective students.
“I think in today’s world, parents and students understand negotiations,” Wagner said. “We’ve not really gotten any questions from parents regarding that.”
It has often been a concern among some in Mount Pleasant that last year’s contract negotiations would have impacted incoming classes of students. Indications, as of now, suggest otherwise.
The elimination of the CMU Promise, a short-lived promise that guaranteed a flat tuition rate for five years that ended at the beginning of the recession in 2008, has not affected incoming classes much, either.
Wagner said this is because of CMU’s competitive and elite academic programs and its appealing size.
“We’re in the top 100 schools (in the country) size-wize, so that gives us an advantage for students looking for a university that’s a midsized university in a classic college town.”
Wagner touted a “wide array” of programs that CMU has to offer to potential students, including health-related programs, communications, fine arts, journalism, broadcasting, education and biomedical sciences, as elite.
CMU was established in 1892 as a school for education, and it remains one of the elite education programs in the country. Most of the programs Wagner mentioned are also recognized nationally, making CMU an attractive destination for students.
Lapeer sophomore Ellen Meinecke said she chose CMU in part because of its academics.
“I loved the friendly environment,” Meinecke said. “People smile and say hello when you walk by. I am also going into elementary education and was told by everyone that CMU graduates of the teacher education program are well known for their high quality and training, and most of the time beat out graduates from other schools.”
Sheridan sophomore Nick Nassif echoed Meinecke.
“CMU has a lot of great academic programs in my opinion,” Nassif said. “They offer a ton of different majors, but the thing I like most is how much they offer the sciences, like my major (biomedical sciences). They offer summer classes at Beaver Island and any science major should take part in these opportunities. I plan to take part in as many as I can.”
Rockford sophomore Bethany Hicks cited the culture, along with academics, as one of the reasons she chose CMU.
“It has a high-ranked communication disorders/speech pathology program, and I feel like it’s a really good community of people,” Hicks said. “I especially like the Honors Program and living in Larzy (Larzelere Hall), and all of the people I’ve met through that. I really like the Volunteer Center and all that we are able to get involved in through that, too.”
When asked what areas CMU needs to improve upon, a common theme among students was communication between the administration and students.
“What (the administration) needs to remember is that this is not high school,” Nassif said. “We students pay $20,000 plus each year to be here. We have the right to be treated as individuals and have the right to know where our money is going.”
They also added that none of that should keep potential students from coming to CMU.
“CMU has many things I don’t feel other schools have,” Meinecke said. “We have faculty and staff that truly care about students. I have yet to have a professor that won’t do anything in their power to assist me in my goals. We have friendly students that make it a welcoming place. As big as CMU is, I have never felt like a small fish in a huge lake. We have wonderful clubs and organizations that bring great events and wonderful opportunities to campus.
“Central is a place you can call home,” she said.
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