Loving the crystal blue skies and moderate temperatures characteristic of springtime in the Pacific Northwest, two busloads of independent educational consultants (IEC’s) took to the Oregon highways for college tours following the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) Annual Conference in Portland.
And they were rewarded with exquisite campuses showcasing Oregon’s geographic diversity and natural beauty. Although the five colleges visited by each of the post-conference tours were relatively quiet, the enthusiasm and warm welcome from administrators, staff, and students working during the summer more than made up for any shortage of undergrads on campus.
Here is a little of what the HECA tour groups learned over the course of two very full days:
University of Oregon
Why a Duck? Well, why not a Duck? Founded in 1876, the University of Oregon is the state’s flagship institution. Towering shade trees dominate the 295-acre campus located in Eugene—the quintessential college town. With more than 200 comprehensive academic programs, the UO offers something for everyone and at a very reasonable price. In fact, out-of-state students are offered opportunities to establish residency after freshman year to benefit from low in-state tuition.
The UO commitment to environment and sustainability is evident throughout campus. Earlier this year, the Robert and Beverly Lewis Integrative Science Building became the first higher education laboratory in Oregon to be awarded LEED Platinum certification—the highest possible—by the U.S. Green Building Council. The 103,000 square-foot Lewis building is the home of biologists, chemists, neuroscientists, and other researchers working together under a single roof.
For prospective architects, the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts tops several lists including the DesignIntelligence ranking of programs in sustainable design education. The architecture program takes five years, and students receiving scholarships benefit from a 5-year guarantee covering time to complete.
Oregon State University
Situated 90 miles south of Portland and an hour from the Cascades or the Pacific Coast, Oregon State University boasts of its status as a leading research university. One of 73 land-grant universities, Oregon State is also recognized as a sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant institution—only one of two in the U.S. (the other is Cornell). The 400-acre main campus includes a Historic District, making Oregon State one of few university campuses listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
And Oregon State is rapidly growing. In fact, this year’s freshman class increased by 11 percent. Six major construction projects including a new residence hall, new classroom buildings, and cultural center upgrades, are well under way.
Undergrads entering Oregon State as freshmen or transfer students are automatically reviewed for scholarship eligibility—no application is required. And students who have completed the full International Baccalaureate diploma with a score of 30 or higher may be awarded a minimum of $3,000 per year, renewable for up to four years.
Pacific University Oregon
Pacific University began as a school for orphans from the Oregon Trail in 1849 and was modeled after the best schools of New England. Today, Pacific University serves nearly 3,500 students (22 percent from Hawaii) on campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene, and Woodburn.
Exercise Science is the most popular major at Pacific University, and course work includes biology, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor learning and nutrition in two main tracks: integrative physiology and motor behavior. Students in the Advantage Scholars Program may apply for an early decision admission to Pacific’s health professions programs during their junior year. Those who successfully complete program requirements will be offered one guaranteed interview with the Pacific University Graduate or Professional Program of their choice.
Each year, the Na Haumana O Hawai’I (NHOH) organizes a campus-wide luau designed to celebrate and share culture with the extended Pacific community. With an average crowd of 2,000, 8,000 pounds of cargo gets shipped in from the islands making this event the largest student organized luau west of the Mississippi.
Once known as McMinnville College, Linfield’s main campus is located on 193 “park-like” acres. In recent years, Linfield has more than doubled in size allowing for an increase in the student body and the development of new facilities. An expanded library on the far edge of campus has given the college better space for research and collaborative study.
The Linfield Center for the Northwest (LCN) facilitates regionally-based internships, community service and service learning opportunities. Housed within the LCN is the Oregon Wine History Archive chronicles the Oregon wine industry and includes historical documents from winery owners, growers, researchers, marketers, and sellers. The Center is currently involved in a larger Oregon Wine History Project designed to involve students in research related to Oregon’s wine industry.
Linfield’s largest major, nursing is a “transfer-only” program located on the Portland campus. Students apply to the nursing program after completing prerequisites at the McMinnville campus.
One street away from the Oregon State Capitol in Salem and co-located with Tokyo International University of America, Willamette University is situated on a stunning historic campus. Founded in 1842, Willamette was the first university established in the western United States and one of the earliest coeducational institutions in the U.S.
In addition to the 60-acre main campus, Willamette owns the 305-acre Zena Forest and Farm, which provides for onsite classes, research, and a student-operated farm and garden. Part of the farm is the Summer Institute in Sustainable Agriculture where students live in a farmhouse for six weeks and take classes in agroecology and sustainable agriculture.
Willamette offers various talent scholarships (music, forensics, and theatre) requiring a separate application or audition in addition to materials submitted for admission. Students may apply for talent scholarships in conjunction with either the Early Action or Regular Decision application timeline.