I recently had the opportunity to visit Bethany Lutheran College. I flew out to join my husband at our Synod’s convention so that we could drive our new Vicar’s household goods to our town. I flew out a day early so that I could tour the college before we left. It was important for me to tour the college as this is the college that my oldest son wants to attend. He will be touring later this year on his own.
After a short presentation with the Dean of Admissions and a longer tour with a current student, I have to say that I was very pleased with the college. It is a very small college, yet they are growing and updating. I could tell you all the statistics about class size and student to teacher ratios, but you can find that online at their website.
The campus itself was very nice and cozy. I just had a good feeling while I was walking about the campus. There is a beautiful chapel there with an even more beautiful pipe organ. I was there for a communion service and the organist was rocking that organ. It was incredible. They have chapel every day, but the kids are not required to attend. I liked that. I would hope that my kids attend, but I am glad it is not forced.
Silly things that I liked..
- The students pay a $25 yearly fee to do laundry. For that $25 they can do as much laundry as they like. There is no need to find quarters.
- The meal plan is on a per meal basis. Instead of a dollar amount, they can choose how many meals a week they would like to eat. Each time they eat at the cafeteria, it is deducted as 1 meal. Most kids choose 15 meals per week. The meals are all-you-can eat.
- Students are required to live on campus for 2 years.
- Dorms are segregated. There are visiting hours. I think the opposite sex is distracting enough without living together.
- Clubs are open to all. Math majors can write for the campus paper or the literary magazine. Biology majors can sing in a choir. It means that my “I really want to write” son can still study something else, but also get practice writing. He can do something that he likes, but still study something that will hopefully land him a job.
- They have a nice Communications department. They can brag that a few of their graduates have landed jobs with ESPN.
- There were a lot of places around campus for the kids to hang out and relax/study/do what young adults do.
- They encourage the students to start clubs or other activities. They really want the kids to be involved with the school and not just go to the school.
Bethany is very friendly to homeschoolers. I asked the Dean what he would like to see for a transcript. He was open to either a portfolio or just a transcript listing classes and grades. I think there is some frustration with the differences in homeschoolers. He mentioned that he knows homeschoolers keep all kinds of records and was open to all different types of transcripts.However, he doesn’t want to see SAT II tests, and he isn’t going to look at the writing portion of the SAT. That was a pleasant surprise. He also mentioned that he didn’t want to see Driver’s Ed on a transcript. I chuckled to myself on that one.
Overall, I think this college would be a good fit for my kids. It is small, so they will not be overwhelmed. I almost wish that I was 18 again so that I could go to college here. Almost. No, never mind. I don’t want to be 18 again, but I wouldn’t be upset if my kids decide to go to school here. I have not said anything to them about the school because I want them to form their own opinion. I will be anxious to hear what they think.