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Greta

If you are familiar with colleges in Oregon...

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I would be grateful for anything you can tell me about:  Southern Oregon University, Portland State University, and/or Western Oregon University.

 

I'm looking for schools in the west coast states that participate in the WUE tuition plan *and* which offer BFA degrees in Studio Arts or Visual Arts or Digital/Media Arts.  I couldn't find anything in California that meets those criteria.  Those three schools in Oregon do.  Haven't looked into Washington yet.

 

I'm coming from a position of complete and total ignorance about these schools and their environments, so anything you could tell me would be appreciated!

 

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Western Oregon has a small, beautiful campus in a small town near Salem, the capital. It started as a teacher's college, so education is still a very strong and popular major. At times, we've had season tickets to their fine arts series and have enjoyed the various performances. It is known for having very good student support, and thus as a great place for first generation college students.

 

My husband took a full year of Anatomy and Physiology there one summer when he was preparing to apply to PharmD programs. He already had a PhD in chemistry, had taught at the college level for many years, and had been accepted to medical school twice, but still needed some more prerequisites for pharmacy school. He was very impressed with both his professor and the rigor of the class.

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I don't know anything about your funding criteria but if you're looking for an award winning fine arts & design university, maybe look at Emily Carr in Vancouver. 

It's about 60K Cdn for int'l tuition for the 4 year programs & there are scholarships avail to foreign students. http://www.ecuad.ca/

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Portland state is an urban/commuter school (less than 20% of students live on campus). Portland has a thriving arts community and a lot of college-age people, so it would be a fun place to live if you can find an affordable neighborhood that works. There is good public transportation if you don't bring a car.

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Portland state is an urban/commuter school (less than 20% of students live on campus). Portland has a thriving arts community and a lot of college-age people, so it would be a fun place to live if you can find an affordable neighborhood that works. There is good public transportation if you don't bring a car.

 

Thanks!  I think she would just have to be in that 20% that actually does live on campus, since that's probably all we could afford for her!  I think she would really enjoy the urban environment, though I admit I'd be a little nervous sending my little girl to the big city.   :001_smile:

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My husband is a professor at Portland State. What I like about the school is that people love being in Portland, so the professors are really happy to be here and stick around (rather than leave as soon as they get a more prestigious offer). There are lots of young, dynamic professors, and very little turnover. The campus is really, really urban, but it's not hard to get a place that is leafy and green and still be a quick bike or tram ride to the university--it quickly feels suburban as soon as you go over the bridge to the east side (we have a new bridge that is just for bikes and trams and that goes directly to PSU). Portland is booming, and it's an incredible time to live here. It's also getting more expensive, but it's nowhere near as expensive as most other large U.S. cities.

 

We know a few professors at SOU. Ashland is a FANTASTIC little town. Very very different than PSU--quiet, sleepy, but artsy and outdoorsy. The town is full of retirees from the SF Bay Area, and so there is tremendous support for the arts.

 

I would visit if she can--they are so so different!

Edited by rzberrymom
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My husband is a professor at Portland State. What I like about the school is that people love being in Portland, so the professors are really happy to be here and stick around (rather than leave as soon as they get a more prestigious offer). There are lots of young, dynamic professors, and very little turnover. The campus is really, really urban, but it's not hard to get a place that is leafy and green and still be a quick bike or tram ride to the university--it quickly feels suburban as soon as you go over the bridge to the east side (we have a new bridge that is just for bikes and trams and that goes directly to PSU). Portland is booming, and it's an incredible time to live here. It's also getting more expensive, but it's nowhere near as expensive as most other large U.S. cities.

 

We know a few professors at SOU. Ashland is a FANTASTIC little town. Very very different than PSU--quiet, sleepy, but artsy and outdoorsy. The town is full of retirees from the SF Bay Area, and so there is tremendous support for the arts.

 

I would visit if she can--they are so so different!

Thank you, this is a huge help! Yes, I'm hoping we can visit in the summer of 2017.

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Greta, Maybe rzpberrymom can address my long distance impressions, but we removed Portland State from my dd's list. It was only ever on there bc PSU has one of only 4 Russian critical language flagships in the country. That was a huge draw for her bc CLF's language goals are higher than other schools in the country. Reaching superior is her dream.

 

But, the more we investigated the school, the more we felt like it wouldn't fit her in any other way. It reminded me of our local directional university: mostly local students, mostly commuters, and an older student body. (I can't remember where I read it, but the ages of students are not your typical 18-22 yr olds.) An out of town freshman living on campus would not have the same experience on that campus as on most college campuses bc the environment is "local." (Not easy to put in words, but if you experienced the atmosphere, you would understand.)

 

The other thing that started to concern me was that they don't have a vibrant honors program and the admissions statistics are very avg. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg02_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=933 Normally that info doesn't bother me, but Dd would be in their top 1% and there isn't really anything within the system to help her find a group of peers. Bc of high the commuter percentage and no strong honors program, we weren't sure she would find a strong group of friends to make being there a huge draw for 4 yrs. (Ok, I can share this data, though this is not the link where I read what I was thinking about. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg06_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=933 Avg age: 26 and only 14% graduate in 4 yrs. That gives a strong sense of part-time commuting students.)

 

That is all complicated by the fact that for Dd coming home for visits would not be possible bc we are just about as far on the opposite side of the country as you can get.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Greta, Maybe rzpberrymom can address my long distance impressions, but we removed Portland State from my dd's list. It was only ever on there bc PSU has one of only 4 Russian critical language flagships in the country. That was a huge draw for her bc CLF's language goals are higher than other schools in the country. Reaching superior is her dream.

 

But, the more we investigated the school, the more we felt like it wouldn't fit her in any other way. It reminded me of our local directional university: mostly local students, mostly commuters, and an older student body. (I can't remember where I read it, but the ages of students is not your typical 18-22 yr olds.) An out of town freshman living on campus would not have the same experience on that campus as on most college campuses bc the environment is "local." (Not easy to put in words, but if you experienced the atmosphere, you would understand.)

 

The other thing that started to concern me was that they don't have a vibrant honors program and the admissions statistics are very avg. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg02_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=933 Normally that info doesn't bother me, but Dd would be in their top 1% and there isn't really anything within the system to help her find a group of peers. Bc of high the commuter percentage and no strong honors program, we weren't sure she would find a strong group of friends to make being there a huge draw for 4 yrs. (Ok, I can share this data, though this is not the link where I read what I was thinking about. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg06_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=933 Avg age: 26 and only 14% graduate in 4 yrs. That gives a strong sense of part-time commuting students.)

 

That is all complicated by the fact that for Dd coming home for visits would not be possible bc we are just about as far on the opposite side of the country as you can get.

 

 

Thank you for sharing this!  I'm having a hard time sussing out what a college is like based on what I can find on the web, so this is very helpful.

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Southern Oregon University has a pretty campus. I adjuncted for a little bit there and am not a huge fan of the administration in the department I was in, but the kids there wouldn't ever come into the same contact so it's totally irrelevant. Ashland is a progressive, theater town in a beautiful location. It attracts a lot of tourists and has low crime. People are very health conscious and there are lots of outdoor activities - hiking, rafting, skiing... I think the quality of education will be comparable to the other state schools you mentioned, but I prefer the small town vibe of Ashland over Portland or Salem.

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Southern Oregon University has a pretty campus. I adjuncted for a little bit there and am not a huge fan of the administration in the department I was in, but the kids there wouldn't ever come into the same contact so it's totally irrelevant. Ashland is a progressive, theater town in a beautiful location. It attracts a lot of tourists and has low crime. People are very health conscious and there are lots of outdoor activities - hiking, rafting, skiing... I think the quality of education will be comparable to the other state schools you mentioned, but I prefer the small town vibe of Ashland over Portland or Salem.

 

 

It sounds really lovely!  Thank you.   :001_smile:

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Hi,

I'm also interested in these schools since we're in the similar boat as the OP living in California. However, in our case we're considering a move to the PNW and therefore not limited to WUE schools. Unfortunately most of the top schools on our list do not participate in WUE which include UW and OSU.

The top Oregon school on our radar is OSU due to excellent STEM and research opportunities. Its one of only three in the US with land, sea, space and sun grants (Cornell and Penn State are the only others). The school is also known for its engineering school and has a great robotics program which our son is very interested in. The only knowledge I have of the school is through online research however. Though we would like to visit this summer if possible.

Does anyone have impressions, experiences or knowledge of OSU? I know its located in the small college town of Corvallis. The student body is also on the large size with 30K+ students. Interestingly, the campus isn't huge (400 acres) for a population of that size. Though I've heard from one student that the number is higher due to their eCampus which might account for this at least in part.

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6 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

Question--isn't WUE only good for 4 years? And don't BFA usually take 5?

 

I believe that you are correct on both counts.  Still, a tuition discount for 4 years would be a huge help.  And since I posted this, my daughter has completely changed her career and education plans, so this is all moot for us anyway!  (Much to my surprise.)

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1 hour ago, Greta said:

 

I believe that you are correct on both counts.  Still, a tuition discount for 4 years would be a huge help.  And since I posted this, my daughter has completely changed her career and education plans, so this is all moot for us anyway!  (Much to my surprise.)

 

Greta, just curious what she switched to? Did she stay in state or is she using WUE somewhere else?

 

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8 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

Question--isn't WUE only good for 4 years? And don't BFA usually take 5?

 

Yes, that is one of our concerns with WUE as well. Many degrees end up taking longer than 4 years especially when you factor in career exploration and major changes which is 'very' common among students at this age. Add to that unforeseen complications such classes not being available when needed or impaction and there is the greater likelihood of 5+ years. Anything beyond the 4 years and costs skyrocket which some families are not able to absorb especially with multiple kids in college.

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7 minutes ago, dereksurfs said:

 

Greta, just curious what she switched to? Did she stay in state or is she using WUE somewhere else?

 

 

Radical change from art to paleontology!  She's staying at the CC where she's been doing dual enrollment for now (she's just graduating next week, and she wants to stay to finish her A.S. in Geology).  Then she's planning to take advantage of WUE at either Montana State or South Dakota Mines, because they both have good paleontology programs.  (She's not looking for a career in academia, but wants to work at a natural history museum, and keep her art as a hobby, separate from her income.)

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10 minutes ago, dereksurfs said:

 

Yes, that is one of our concerns with WUE as well. Many degrees end up taking longer than 4 years especially when you factor in career exploration and major changes which is 'very' common among students at this age. Add to that unforeseen complications such classes not being available when needed or impaction and there is the greater likelihood of 5+ years. Anything beyond the 4 years and costs skyrocket which some families are not able to absorb especially with multiple kids in college.

 

And this is one (among several) of the reasons I was glad my daughter decided to get an Associate's degree before she goes off to her WUE school of choice.  Hopefully she'll have enough classes under her belt that she can get her B.S. within the 8 semesters that they allow for.  But, for anyone else considering that plan, just be aware that not every school that offers the WUE rate offers it to transfer students.  So be sure to check whether it's for freshmen only.

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7 minutes ago, Greta said:

 

And this is one (among several) of the reasons I was glad my daughter decided to get an Associate's degree before she goes off to her WUE school of choice.  Hopefully she'll have enough classes under her belt that she can get her B.S. within the 8 semesters that they allow for.  But, for anyone else considering that plan, just be aware that not every school that offers the WUE rate offers it to transfer students.  So be sure to check whether it's for freshmen only.

 

Wow, big switch to paleontology! :biggrin: I actually switched majors more times than I care to count. That is also why CCs are a great place for young college kids to explore their interests at a much more affordable price. By the time they are ready for university they will have a better idea of what they want to pursue... at least in most cases.

Regarding WUE and transfers, yes, some schools we've looked at do not offer it such as Western Washington University (WWU). In addition, they are only allotted '2 years' of reduced tuition as opposed to 4 years. So finishing on time is still important. Though CC certainly helps defray those overall costs. 

 

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We found most schools would NOT do WUE for transfers! We had friends get caught in that, though they had been warned. One thing we did find with WUE is that dd's school allowed her to drop out for a semester for medical reasons, and still keep her WUE. She had to do the paperwork beforehand, though. 

 

Another thing, for CO students, if you've done DE--is the COF, Colorado Opportunity Fund. We had to use it for DE, but then ds ran out as a junior. It is based on semesters, not credits. They can't lower CO tuition due to the Bruce mess, so they give 1/3 back that first semester, and then take it off the bill from there out. However, if you've been a DE student since 14, lo and behold, junior COF is gone. The Air Force was NOT happy and tried to get ds to make up the difference. We won the battle though, because he had required to take COF. It's a fight every semester. My other kids tokk their ROTC out-of-state, so haven't been affected. 

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9 minutes ago, dereksurfs said:

 

Wow, big switch to paleontology! :biggrin: I actually switched majors more times than I care to count. That is also why CCs are a great place for young college kids to explore their interests at a much more affordable price. By the time they are ready for university they will have a better idea of what they want to pursue... at least in most cases.

Regarding WUE and transfers, yes, some schools we've looked at do not offer it such as Western Washington University (WWU). In addition, they are only allotted '2 years' of reduced tuition as opposed to 4 years. So finishing on time is still important. Though CC certainly helps defray those overall costs. 

 

 

Yeah, I changed majors too, but I always stayed within the sciences.  I swore my daughter would never be a STEM major, lol!  But I'm happy I was wrong.  

I didn't realize some colleges allotted less time for transfers, so I need to check into that!  Thanks for mentioning it!

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6 hours ago, Greta said:

 

Yeah, I changed majors too, but I always stayed within the sciences.  I swore my daughter would never be a STEM major, lol!  But I'm happy I was wrong.  

I didn't realize some colleges allotted less time for transfers, so I need to check into that!  Thanks for mentioning it!

 

This gives me hope for our dds.  They both dislike math. Yet many science majors they might otherwise be interested in have higher math prerequisites such as Environmental Science. 

 

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4 hours ago, dereksurfs said:

 

This gives me hope for our dds.  They both dislike math. Yet many science majors they might otherwise be interested in have higher math prerequisites such as Environmental Science. 

 

 

My dd hates math too.  She was very disappointed to learn that she has to take Calc I and II for a Geology degree.  She took pre-Calc this semester, and she did fine.  She hated it, but she made it through!  If I had known she would end up in a STEM field I might have pushed math harder so that she would have taken Calc I by now, but in a way I'm glad that I didn't.  Math is tough, so that extra year of maturity going into it is probably for the best.

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On 4/26/2018 at 10:25 PM, dereksurfs said:

Hi,

I'm also interested in these schools since we're in the similar boat as the OP living in California. However, in our case we're considering a move to the PNW and therefore not limited to WUE schools. Unfortunately most of the top schools on our list do not participate in WUE which include UW and OSU.

The top Oregon school on our radar is OSU due to excellent STEM and research opportunities. Its one of only three in the US with land, sea, space and sun grants (Cornell and Penn State are the only others). The school is also known for its engineering school and has a great robotics program which our son is very interested in. The only knowledge I have of the school is through online research however. Though we would like to visit this summer if possible.

Does anyone have impressions, experiences or knowledge of OSU? I know its located in the small college town of Corvallis. The student body is also on the large size with 30K+ students. Interestingly, the campus isn't huge (400 acres) for a population of that size. Though I've heard from one student that the number is higher due to their eCampus which might account for this at least in part.

OSU is definitely worth a visit. It was too close to home for my dd, but I love the school and the campus. As we visited other schools around the PNW, I was more and more impressed with our local campus. It does have excellent STEM opportunities and there is a tech presence in Corvallis with HP and some smaller tech companies. Corvallis was voted "Best College Town in the Pac-12"--it's a beautiful, green, healthy, liberal place. OSU does not feel like a huge school like UW. There are many Californians at all of the Oregon schools we visited--I think it's getting so hard to get into UC schools that a lot of CA students are looking at nearby states.

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23 minutes ago, Ali in OR said:

OSU is definitely worth a visit. It was too close to home for my dd, but I love the school and the campus. As we visited other schools around the PNW, I was more and more impressed with our local campus. It does have excellent STEM opportunities and there is a tech presence in Corvallis with HP and some smaller tech companies. Corvallis was voted "Best College Town in the Pac-12"--it's a beautiful, green, healthy, liberal place. OSU does not feel like a huge school like UW. There are many Californians at all of the Oregon schools we visited--I think it's getting so hard to get into UC schools that a lot of CA students are looking at nearby states.

Thanks, Ali,

Yes, CA UCs are crazy, crowded and the STEM majors are even harder to get into for local students with good grades. Plus, we like the idea of a college town where we could live and at least some of our kids go to school locally to save on room, board and other related expenses.

I have a follow-up question since you seem local to the campus. Do you by chance homeschool in the area or are your kids in public schools? We are a homeschool family and haven't found too many homeschool groups in and around that area. We may also consider the local public high schools or Running Start program through ALO/Corvallis Hill High. Any thoughts on the homeschool landscape there?

Thanks,

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We homeschooled through 8th grade and then put our kids in our public high school which is decent. It's not crazy competitive like the bay area high school where I used to teach. There are homeschoolers, but not much in the way of organized groups. I think there are some Classical Conversations groups in the area. We had a co-op when my kids were younger but as the founders' kids hit high school it dissolved. It is very common for people to put their kids in school for high school around here. Homeschooling is very common and accepted. Homeschoolers can take non-core classes and compete in athletics at local schools (my kids did band and science at a middle school while homeschooling everything else). I took a class at Linn-Benton Community College and I think I had a homeschooled high schooler in my math class there. Lots of LBCC classes count for OSU credit--that's another way college kids save money. I was taking classes to renew my teaching credential and I think most of my classmates in Public Speaking were OSU students taking it to fulfill a requirement for a lot less money than at OSU.

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