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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


This past weekend, we made our official college trek to Belmont University. The nice thing about visiting Belmont is that it is in Nashville. So that meant sleeping in a bit and only a 20 minute drive downtown. Such a nice relief from the past several weekends! Courtney joined us on our day long adventure while John was at home with JT and Lindsay.
Future Bruin?
 Sarah and her mini me Courtney

Belmont is a private university of about 6,000 students. I have many friends who have attended there and speak very highly of the environment, education, campus life. I was hoping that Sarah would feel the same way- it would be nice to have her only 20 minutes away as opposed to hours away :)

Mascot- Belmont Bruins
The first impression that I had as a parent that differed from our other campus tours was the huge involvement of the students in being ambassadors for their school. Pretty much everywhere we looked there was someone with a red shirt to wave as we pulled into the university- making sure we knew where to park, ALL around campus to answer questions, lead a group to their new destination, and give tours of the campus and dorms. We would have been hard pressed to get lost or say we couldn't get information about something because of these ambassadors. We spoke to several great students and even found someone who attends our church that we have never met before!

 Sarah having fun with the statue- "America"
 "Asia" statue
 Hanging out in a tree

 The two things that made a big impact on Sarah was their academics, specifically the education department, and their dorms. As of this moment, Sarah is thinking of becoming a high school teacher either teaching English/Literature or both English/Lit and History. These have become her two favorite subjects in high school and her most challenging as well with both of these being AP level the past two years. During a session the visitors broke down into small groups to hear the Dean or Asst. Dean of that school speak about that specific major. During our session with the asst. dean of education, we were really impressed with how Belmont runs their education program. They have a program called the 4 +1. In a nutshell, Sarah would attend college for 5 years. After 4 years, she would graduate with a major in English (or desired subject of her focus) and a minor in Education. In that 5th year, she returns as a graduate student interns at a school for the entire year as completes the program for teacher certification. In addition, she has courses at Belmont and at the end of that year she graduates with her Masters Degree in Education as well as 1 year of experience. We both really liked how that program works and seems to set a great path of success for their students.

The dorms were some of the best we have seen thus far. They keep getting better with each campus visit! Belmont has several huge dorm buildings on campus. We looked at a few that have what they call suite dorms. 2 people share one pretty large room and then 2 rooms share a common (Jack and Jill style) bathroom. Each room has their own sink, but share toilet and shower. Pretty nice setup in my opinion. Some of the rooms that we looked at were also decorated in a similar style that Sarah would decorate, so we took several pics for ideas to use next year.
Outside of one of the dorms

Probably the only negative part of Belmont is the tuition. Cheaper than Sewanee,but pretty pricey in my opinion at $ 32k per year for the whole enchilada- tuition, room and board. At this point we aren't ruling it out until we apply and see if there would be any scholarships/aid available.

We even were able to attend a free showing of their play- very talented students!

Out of those we have visited, Sarah has declared Belmont her #1 choice. I agree with her and look forward to the remaining visits we have planned in the next few months. They have some stiff competition with Belmont.

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