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Southern Connecticut State University

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I transferred from an out-of-state, small private liberalQuite BrightPsychology
I transferred from an out-of-state, small private liberal arts and hard sciences university. I had gotten accepted to a few other very good schools and did a summer session at Yale.

I came to SCSU due to lack of finances in my family as well as other unfortunate personal events (such as death of a parent, etc). However, I had also learned about Southern's different kinds of major concentrations in Psychology - something that my previous institution lacked (it only had a general Psychology bacherlor's with no concentrations). The concentrations are Mental Health (which is what I am doing) and Research in Psychology.

Southern has honestly really surprised me. It is much better than I had expected. I am the kind of person who would attend Yale or Harvard if I could, yet I have honestly really enjoyed my time here at Southern.

I think that what makes the big difference as a student here, is the general versus the departmental level. For an example, my first year here, I was only taking night and saturday morning classes, and did not do any social or club/organizational involvement on campus. However, ever since I became an officer of the Psychology Club and joined PSI CHI, as well as became a research assistant with my advisor, I have LOVED it here. My advisor is a brilliant clinical forensic psychologist and researcher. He has worked with the FBI, and other countries' institutions are interested in his research. It is a privilege working with him.

What is awesome is that other professors in the Psychology department are like him: educated and well-published, yet are not arrogant nor conceited about it! All of the psychology faculty I have come to know and meet so far has been very friendly, helpful, but challenging as well. They genuinely care about your success and about your dreams in life. They help you reach your personal goals. I would not have known about internship and fellowship opportunities, great research opportunities, and other networking contacts had it not been for the faculty in my department.

My point is that if you're going to this institution, or any other for that matter, it is important for you to get involved; at least at the departmental level. This is crucial if you are planning to go to graduate school; that way you can do research, network with professors and other academic figures out of your college, and get good recommendations. Also, you will have a great time doing so, at least at this college. I have had a great learning experience, as well as a lot of fun.

The classes here are usually small enough (surprisingly) that you can have class discussions with your professor and each other. The only times I've had to be in big lecture halls were for two, general-education requirement courses (you know, the ones where half of all the freshman are in!).

I can see what people mean by saying that Southern is a second-grade school, commuter and all, but I wouldn't generalize and say that it means all students are not smart. I have met brilliant students, and most of the faculty are knowledgeable as well. Also, this place is incredibly diverse, and liberal in a good way. This is a great place to be in if you are a foreigner, disabled person, single-parent, full-time employed, senior citizen, soldier, have a family; and it is an accepting and affirming environment whether you are gay or straight, black or white, Christian, Muslim, or Atheist.

Something else I really love about this college is the fact that there are a great number of student-run organizations and clubs who do human rights and activism: from environmentalism to gay-rights, inter-faith, helping to build housing for the poor, and lots of other human, animal, and environmental activism. Among these are Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, the Men's Initiative, etc.

I know that this is a very positive review, but at this time I honestly can't think of a bad thing to say about this institution. The bad things are just petty things that don't matter. I do, however, hope that they stay more selective like they have been lately, and that there can be more full-time professors. (Although, the adjunct professors I've had so far were just as good as the non-adjunct).Finally, I am aware that as a Psychology major, I do not know what other departments are really like. I have heard that a couple of departments/majors aren't so good here. However, the majors/departments that are great are Psychology, Nursing, and, obviously, Education. Southern also has an MFA in Creative Writing, and is the first institution in Connecticut to have this degree (it is the farthest you can go in creative writing, and equivalent to a PhD, as far as creative writing goes.)

2nd Year Female -- Class 2011
Education Quality: A+, Innovation: B
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My academic experience at Southern was EXCELLENT.Psychology
My academic experience at Southern was EXCELLENT. This school has what you need if you're willing to go after it, so make sure you're informed and proactive. A lot of students didn't seem to take school as seriously, so, yes, the atmosphere wasn't the "brightest". However, I sought out those individuals who were like-minded and I had no problems. As a member of the Honors College my tuition was completely paid for (best decision I could have made as I now have NO student loans). The smaller class sizes (both in and out of honors classes) were really conducive for fostering relationships with professors, and those relationships helped me get a job right out of graduation, and will help me when I apply for graduate school in the fall. The social life at Southern is a bore (as most people are commuters) and the food is pretty bad. But, hey, it was all about the education for me. I had my core group of friends and we all took school pretty seriously. If we felt like doing something fun on the weekend there was no problem getting into downtown New Haven for food, drinks, and dancing. House parties were always fun too! Academic clubs were prevalent (I was a part of both clubs for my major and became president of one). Not too many non-academic clubs that I was aware of, though. Honestly, so happy I went to Southern. Met some of the best and brightest professors I'll probably ever meet. My thesis advisor worked with me over the summer and sometimes into the late afternoon/evenings when we needed to hammer out the work. Looking back on it now, I'm so glad I chose Southern over UCONN. I would have been just a number! Southern's psychology department is a real gem too. Many of the professors in the dept. went to top notch schools and they actually know how to TEACH. Can't say enough about how awesome they were. They really helped me to see my own potential and I will be forever grateful!
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Quite BrightPolitical Science
The school is awesome if you put in a little effort.
3rd Year Male -- Class 2013
Education Quality: A+, Useful Schoolwork: B-
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