Lehigh Valley Independent College Tour

Associate Director of College Counseling Dana Clark recently visited Lehigh Valley and shares her top five takeaways for five colleges in that area.
Moravian College
1.) Moravian is the sixth oldest college in the nation and first school to educate women and the first to educate Native American people in their language.
2.) In 1742 the Moravians fled from the Czech Republic and settled here on Christmas Eve, thus naming the town Bethlehem. They were very traditional and practical people and continue this mission in their education today. For example, those pursuing the field of nursing or education will start their clinicals and student teaching freshman year to ensure this is the route they would like to pursue.
3.) Nursing is a very popular major at Moravian and is rated fourth in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 97% pass rate on the NCLEX. This program, along with speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy, are practitioner-based (just like their founders). During the Revolutionary War, the Moravians were asked to serve as soldiers, which they declined, but offered to set up a hospital that would help wounded soldiers from both sides, and that building is still standing on campus.
4.) All students receive MacBooks and iPads when arriving to campus freshman year but they also take courses on how to use this technology outside of social media. The use of graphic design and managing excel sheets, along with other technological advances, is highly integrated in the curriculum.
5.) 40% of the student body are first-generation students. Administration wants all students on the same playing field. The pro of having all students have the same types of technology is that they can help and work with one another and allows the expectation to be the same for all.

Lafayette College
1.) Among the 2,500 undergraduate students at Lafayette, 35% are involved in Greek life; students can rush sophomore year (known as a delayed rush) and the fraternity and sorority houses are spread across campus.
2.) “Laf-Lehigh Rivalry Week” is the longest standing rivalry in the history of both schools. They do fundraising together to profit local organizations, and while all sports teams play against one another that week, everyone looks forward to the big football game at the end of the week.
3.) Admissions seeks to fill about 700-750 freshmen seats every year, but that number is increasing every year, so much that a new dorm and academic building are in the midst of construction. As enrollment increases overall for the university they hope to go “need blind” where they won’t have to consider the FAFSA and can fill the financial gap and accepting more students of need.
4.) There are two libraries on campus; the Kirby Library was built by the same architect who built Penn station.
5.) 50-60% of students do research at Lafayette and a quarter million dollars goes towards their research each year. All students who do research receive funds to present at conferences and some choose to do research for credit to graduate, or for a monthly stipend.
 
Cedar Crest College
1.) Cedar Crest College is an all-women’s college in Allentown, PA with approximately 1600 undergraduate students. You will find men on campus, however, as the graduate school is open to men as well as women.
2.) Research is a major focus at Cedar Crest and most students begin their research as early as freshman year. The biology program hosts many opportunities in any of their twelve laboratory facilities. They even have a lab that holds an octopus in which students are currently observing.
3.) As a member of the School for Field Studies (SFS) students are able to conduct hands-on research and take part in field-based learning and research in areas around the world including Australia, Bhutan, and Costa Rica. Many students can apply for financial aid to fund these trips, while receiving credit which will go towards their college degree.
4.) Cedar Crest provides all students with an abroad experience known as the Sophomore Expedition. Every full-time student with a GPA of 2.5 and higher has the opportunity to spend 7-10 days at no cost. The trip is guided with faculty and staff and travels to a new region every year. This year the class went to Rio de Janeiro and next year the group will travel to Athens, Greece.
5.) In addition to students having the opportunity to double major or take on numerous minors, Cedar Crest also offers a number of certificates such as the Human Resources Management Certificate or the Child Welfare Certificate, which require 12 credits to complete, and serve as a nice addition to a degree when job hunting.
 
Muhlenberg
1.) The Public Health Program is so popular at Muhlenberg that after 40% were minoring in it the school pushed for it to become a major. Muhlenberg has two partnerships with BU and the Philadelphia Medical College of PA, and allows for early access or preferential access to be admitted earlier.
2.) A third of the student body will have multi-disciplinary focuses and are encouraged by faculty to pursue both areas. Nationally ranked for theater and dance, it allows the opportunity for students to double major in the arts and in business or something of the like. The two biggest associations are their theater and dance associations, with over 200 people per group.
3.) There are no auditions for those pursuing a theater/music/dance program, though students can audition after they are admitted for talent scholarships.
4.) Muhlenberg is known as one of the most religiously diverse campuses in the United States as its student body identifies as one third catholic and one third Jewish, while the rest are a variety of faiths. 
5.) Muhlenberg is also nationally ranked for food and their integrated kosher dining options. Separated kitchens allow students who eat kosher to still eat with their friends.
 
Lehigh University
1.) Lehigh will soon be creating a new college of health. Right now they are focusing on where a program like this can make an impact. This program would look at the delivery of health care and how data analytics refers to this area, and will hold 300 students once it’s running. 
2.) The school hosts an Integrated Business Program (IBE), modeled after UPenn. IBE is an accredited business degree with a core in engineering where students choose a specific track they’d like to pursue. Many students stay for a fifth year and receive the business or the engineering degrees (based on whichever they didn’t pursue).
3.) Lehigh values global experience and has a partnership with The United Nations. The NGO status gives a special clearance and access into the UN for professors and students. Last summer they even celebrated the 10,000th visitor to campus from the UN. This program is open to anyone and is not exclusive to majors (though it’s more common for business majors to pursue this opportunity).
4.) The President’s Scholarship is an award that offers students free tuition for their fifth year! If a student enrolls for four years and receives a 3.75 or higher GPA, he/she can come for a fifth year, free of charge, to pursue a second bachelor’s or master’s degree.
5.) The marching band, known as “1967,” is known to do surprise gigs around campus and around town by busting in and standing on tables while playing. 
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