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Geneva College

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We went to visit Geneva College in early March, and I've been meaning to post about our trip since then. We're considering it for our dd, a homeschooled high school junior planning to major in biochemistry. We visited the college for 2 1/2 days. Here's how it went.


The College:

Geneva is a Reformed Presbyterian Christian college in western PA. We do not attend a RP church, but we found no issues personally with their materials. They have several viewbooks on their website.

Here's the website: http://www.geneva.edu/page/index.html#



It's small, cosy, and pretty. They are finishing up a big construction project which redirects a main road that once went through campus, and also adding an attractive main campus entrance. The buildings are a mix of old and new, are clean and kept up well. The student center was built in the 1960s (and looks it). It has a large attractive room on the top floor used for studying, that has many large windows overlooking the Beaver River. The library is OLD but gorgeous, with modern equipment, and free coffee (and sometimes snacks) for students. The Science and Engineering Building has a recently updated Chemistry Lab (very nice), and was a pleasant place to take classes.



The students and staff we met were very friendly and helpful. While we were waiting for our dd to wash up from her organic chemistry lab, we stood out in the hall outside the chemistry professors' offices. Two of the professors came out to talk with us, including the department head. A biology professor between classes also came up and spoke with us. The Admissions office accommodated almost everything we asked for (I emailed them a long list the week before). Dd enjoyed staying with the sweet girls who hosted her for the night in their room. We felt welcome at Geneva.



This school has mostly small classes. Dd attended 5 lectures and a lab, all of which were taught by kind, teaching-focus PhD professors (yes, the lab, too!). One of the English professors lectured during the first half of class and gave a quiz during the second half. While his students were taking the quiz, he talked with my dd in the hall about her goals and interests. I sat in on different English class with dd, and found the professor to be helpful, engaging, and interactive with his students.



Geneva seems to be "off the radar" when it comes to many of the ratings systems out there, but the school has a solid program. They strive for a teaching, nurturing but not coddling atmosphere. A core program is required which includes Bible and several worldview courses, as well as the standard liberal arts "sampler" (some courses from each of several main areas). They accept many AP tests for credit, for up to 24 credits of credit by exam. They only accept CLEP credits for general elective credit. Transfer credit is accepted with prior approval (save all paperwork, we've heard). Their chemistry has been ACS approved for more than 50 years, and their biochemistry degree just got ACS approval. Very few Christian colleges have an ACS-approved chemistry degree. I do not know of another Christian college with an ACS-approved biochemistry degree (let me know if there is). They do not have a grad school, but have a good acceptance rate into grad and medical schools. Students can't help but get to know their professors quite well, and they have opportunities to do research.



Most students live on campus, and are required to do so except under certain circumstances. We only went into the girl's dorms, but they seemed comfortable and safe. The upperclass dorm seemed nicer than the freshman dorm, though. The girls just leave their shower stuff in little plastic baskets right on shelves in the bathroom. I also saw student's things left alone on study desks in the library (books, laptop, backpack) - and warned my dd NOT do do that. It's nice that the students feel safe there, but better to be cautious.



We ate several meals (four, I think) in the dining hall for free. Dd is a health-conscious eater and definitely feels fine about eating there. The food is good and there are a lot of choices. There is only one dining hall. It has many windows and is comfortable, with friendly staff.



It was COLD, usually about 10 degrees colder than where we live in VA in the winter. They get a lot of cloudy days as well.


Surrounding Area:

The campus is about an hour's drive from Pittsburgh, a very nice city. Downtown Beaver Falls is not a very attractive, but Geneva is in the "College Hill" area, away from it. There is a bit of "us" and "them" happening as well, but the college is trying to implement community outreach. On the plus side, this part of PA has a lot of natural beauty.


Student Life:

Geneva does NOT have fraternities and sororities (Christian or national) or "social clubs," a big plus for us, as many Christian college do. They do have many student organizations, and sports, music, etc. Dd was happy with the choices, but you may want to check them out more thoroughly. Chapel attendance on Wednesday mornings is required, and you can't miss more than four chapels per semester. The library is even closed during chapel. We went to chapel and enjoyed it, but a few students there were talking and/or doing homework. Students scan their id's on the way out to record attendance.



We were very impressed with this school. Dd said that the classes were just as she had hoped they would be, with professors who were really concerned about whether their students were learning the material. The academics are solid, and the students seem friendly. One of the things we especially liked was that they acknowledged the parents' authority. Many colleges have the attitude that that parents should pay, then just step to the side, but the faculty at Geneva included us as part of the process. As long-time homeschooling parents, this was important to us. Naturally, we will not be attending college with our daughter, and she will take on more and more of the decision-making as time goes on, but we feel it's too important a choice to make without our input.

Edited by MomsintheGarden
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Wow. My daughter didn't want to go so far away (probably couldn't afford to anyway :glare:) but Geneva sounds fabulous! It probably would have been very appealing to our oldest.


Interesting about the science degrees. I will be keeping that in mind as we look at other schools for our next daughter, who is more adventurous!

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