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| Goucher was the first school I visited, which certainly had an effect on whether or not I chose it. The campus itself is beautiful, especially in the spring -- flowers blooming, green grass everywhere, etc. New buildings, like the T and especially the Ath, make Goucher look amazing. It is very easy to get wrapped up in how nice the campus is and forget how enclosed it is. There are no roads through campus that you can drive on, only a loop around the campus. It takes on average around 5 minutes to get to your dorm from your class, and there are dining services scattered around the campus.|
As for academics, they are really what you make of them. There are many people who barely got by in high school and choose to skip classes all of the time. On the contrary, there are some very dedicated students who spend immense periods in the library (like myself). On a Saturday night (not a Friday night as much), you can see a lot of people studying in the library. I also think it depends on the department. Some of the 'easier' majors attract the people who do less work, so some departments get a less-than-stellar reputation. I personally spend almost every night in the Ath (our library) for anywhere between 1-6 hours. It's always crowded, but it's usually crowded with the same people.
The social scene at Goucher is...nonexistent, to say the least. I've had friends visit on Friday nights and they're astounded by the fact no one walks around outside. As an athlete, I spend a lot of time in the SRC (sports and rec center), and many of the athletes know each other. No one really comes to a lot of sporting events besides the athletes, but to have that community is really nice, seeing as Goucher is very clique-ish. There are definitely parties and the Programming Board puts on dances and other extra-cirriculars every weekend, but they're not always well-attended.
As for living on campus, I really enjoy it. The rooms aren't super nice, depending on where you live. I lived in a triple in Stimson freshman year and honestly didn't mind it. You don't have to spend every second of every day in your room or with your roommates. Many of the dorms are also connected to dining halls, which is really convenient when it's raining. I actually really like Goucher food. There is almost always a dining hall open, and they each serve a decent variety of food, most of it locally sourced. If you have any problem or a question about where a vegetable or meat came from, you can email the company. The dining hall workers and FMS workers are also some of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. The health services are also great, there are some great counselors (free of charge) and doctors, and you can typically get an appointment on the same day you call.I think you need to be a certain type of person to go to Goucher, and while I'm not positive I fit that mold, I definitely don't feel out of place. There's a lot of people with a lot of different backgrounds and interests. I'm not going to say it's super easy to find friends, because it definitely isn't, even if you put yourself out there. Goucher students often form tight groups, and those groups are exclusive. If you find some people, great, if not, be prepared to spend a lot of time alone.
|Apr 21 2013|| 3rd Year Female --
Class 2014 |
Goucher is, in my opinion, how the world should be. The student body is so open and friendly and accepting, the teachers seem to genuinely care about their students, and the campus itself is physically beautiful. It's not for everybody, but if you think you might fit in at Goucher, it's definitely worth a thought! Let's break it down into sections:|
I've been here for less than a year, so I might not be the best guy to ask about this, but from what I've experienced so far, Goucher has a wonderful academic program. Besides some introductory classes, the class sizes are super small! The typical class has about 15 to 20 people in it, and they shrink in size as the classes get more specific to your major. You probably won't be taught by anyone world-renowned or anything, but you also won't have to deal with TA's or professors that don't even know your name.
A lack of school spirit at Goucher seems to be a common complaint amongst students. Goucher does have NCAA Division 3 lacrosse, basketball soccer, tennis, hockey, and equestrian programs, but attendance at events is usually pretty low. Goucher's social scene is very far from clique-y, but the athletes tend to stick together, which is understandable.
The food at Goucher, as far as college dining hall food is concerned is pretty wonderful. The biggest dining hall is Stimson, which serves the traditional college fare: burgers, pizza, a salad bar, and some deli meats. Then there is Heubeck, which is Goucher's answer to a healthier alternative. A lot of my vegetarian/vegan friends seem to love eating there, although I can't speak too much about to the food there as I've only eaten there a couple times. Then there's Pearlstone, which serves burritos and quesadillas. There are other things on the menu at Pearlstone, but for reasons that have not quite been explained to me, they never serve anything else. There is also some prepackaged sushi and sandwiches at the front of pearlstone which are quite good and especially convenient if you're in a rush.
Dorms on campus vary. Stimson is the biggest dorm, and a lot of Freshman seem to get placed there. Stimson is also the oldest and worst smelling dorm. However, people who live in Stimson value it for it's sense of community. Everyone over there keeps their doors open and it's a very welcoming environment and a good place to make new friends. Most of Goucher's on-campus party scene takes place in Stimson. If partying is not your thing, however, have no fear, because Sondheim, the substance free dorm, is also a really nice place to live. Students their enjoy their own restroom facilities and the spacious suites they are placed in. Heubeck is also a nice dorm where many Freshman reside. It is also one of the few dorms with AC, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at in the early months of the school year, when temperatures can be quite hot.
The Social Scene:
Ah yes, Goucher's mulch-faceted, diverse social scene Let's see if I can tackle this without writing too much.
Look, if you want to live out an Animal House fantasy, this is probably not the place for you. There are no fraternities at Goucher, and most of the wild partying happens off campus, at nearby Towson or JHU. "Parties" on campus are usually limited to a group of 10-15 people drinking in their dorms. That said, there is A LOT of drinking that goes on on campus. True, Goucher may not be party central, but people who are into drinking will not be dissapointed. It is actually quite funny to walk around campus on a saturday night and watch all of the drunk people stumble around and laugh.
People who don't drink aren't pressured to try alcohol, though most of them probably will at some point, because, after all, this is college. And that's okay. Like I said, there is a sizeable substance-free community here, and those who don't party won't be alienated at all.
Likewise, though, drugs on campus are a presence, to say the least. It is not uncommon for parts of campus to constantly reek of pot. Other drugs present on campus (though less so than marijuana): acid, shrooms, ketamine, and heroin. I don't mean to give the impression Goucher is some sort of druggie-school: it's not. But drugs are around, just as they are in the real world.
I know the girl:guy ratio here at Goucher is a topic of interest to some people, and I will say this: the guys love it and the girls don't as much. But because of this ratio (at least I think), hook-up culture is more prevalent, as it probably is in most school. There are a lot of couples on campus, but there are also a lot of one-night stands. Honestly though, it doesn't feel that overwhelming, the ration I mean. This school has come a long ways since it's women's-only days, and there are quite a lot of men on campus.
There is also a HUGE LGBT community here at Goucher. This is mostly due to the fact that Goucher students are extremely open-minded and accepting. We're dealing with some students who walk around in hot-dog costumes and leopard prints from head to toe. Homosexuality is nothing out of the ordinary here, and there is very little to no judgement of LGBT people here on campus.
I feel like I should say this, although I don't want to scare people off, 90% of the student body is probably: white, liberal, Jewish, and from an upper-class family. Goucher promotes diversity, but it is a small-liberal arts school with an even smaller endowment, and all of that creates a somewhat homogenous culture. Don't get me wrong: it seems to be getting better. The Freshman class is definitely seems to be the most diverse at Goucher currently, so that's a sign of things headed in the right direction. Still, it's something to consider.
Bottom line about Goucher's social scene is this: Goucher is an AMAZING opportunity for kids who had a rough time of it socially in High School. I can't stress that enough. We are as close to judgement-free and open-minded as it gets, and the close knit community here provides a lot of students with the fresh start they were looking for. This might be, in part, why Goucher gets a "socially awkward" wrap, but that's not true at all. We're just very open and non-judgemental, and I think that can freak a lot of outsiders out.Hope this was helpful for prospective students!
|Oct 31 2012|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2016 |
| I was inspired to write this review of Goucher College after reading a New York Times article about the (lack of) success of 2011 graduates of a local private liberal arts college (Drew). This article made me reflect on my college experience and how much it really helped me. Did it help me? Was I the problem? What do I have to say about Goucher and where I am now? Because of these experiences, I'm not going to comment about stuff like the quality of food or housing (which are great, by the way).|
One of the major problems with Goucher College is that it's only known locally and within academic circles. Try applying to a company with Goucher College on your resume. It's very difficult to compete with Harvard graduates. I read a blog by a Harvard graduate about how he was disappointed with the lack of jobs being handed to him. He was also only able to land a SALES position with Google, nothing higher level. Granted that's a great start in any company in this economic climate, it just shows how this economy has become what my friend (who was accepted to Harvard Law) calls the Great Equalizer. Harvard graduates are competing for the jobs that lower-level graduates were fighting for. So, my point is that it's very difficult to compete with a 'small' name like Goucher College. So I guess the things that I should be reviewing are the things that Goucher College can help their students with that will get them jobs when they graduate (or at least a fighting chance at a job). I think the things that Goucher could help its students with are: internship experiences, work experiences, alumni/academic connections, networking opportunities, and the academics. I'll address how Goucher approaches each thing based on my experiences with professors and staff at Goucher.
Before I do that, let me tell you a little bit about my postgraduate experiences. I graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology. That was perhaps the worst mistake I could have made. Everyone and their brother studied Psychology, and so few people find success finding jobs in the field (with just a bachelors) that they change fields, which is what I will be doing in Fall 2013. The only work that I could find when I graduated was working part-time at the local TJ Maxx for minimum wage. That lasted for 6 months, then I went into a jobless depression for two years. My previous work experience included life guarding at summer camps, life guarding and teaching swimming at Goucher's pool, working in the post office and tons of volunteer/leadership experience with the Hillel organization on campus. How could I expect that with my background in a 'soft skills' field that I would find a legitimate job that would help me move out and on with life? After two years of unemployment, I found a job working with emotionally disturbed adolescents at a boarding school. That job helped me put some kind of experience on my resume and land a job with a local customer service call center. I worked there for three months, then I was hired to work as a behavioral health counselor at the local psychiatric hospital and to work at a newly relocated B2B marketing company. It's still telephone/customer service related work, but it's good office experience to put on my resume and a good way to pay for my expences. I would also like to say that there's no way that I could make it through this recession without my mom's financial support.
I did everything that I could to find a job, including networking at job fairs in NYC, contacting alumni on Goucher Connect's alumni database, and thoroughly looking through all of the job database websites. When I first graduated, I wanted to find a research assistantship that would give me experience to apply for a PsyD in clinical psychology. My plans changed after I couldn't find anything for two years. I enrolled with four different temp agencies. I sent out over 500 resumes and cover letters for jobs ranging from administrative assistat, to research assistant and everything in between. I even applied to be a corporate flight attendant. The hardest thing for me to realize was that even with all of the social networking, the temp agencies, the summer and year long work experiences, the leadership skills and the academic work, I was not going to find a job with my 'soft skills' background. If I could do it over, I would study something that was more marketable like accounting, engineering, or computer science. My advice to any undergraduate would be to study your major and computer science. Everything is about computers nowadays. If you can find a way to be a part of the computerization and replacement of humans, you'll be set.
The most important resource at Goucher College is the faculty. If you are in good contact and relation with your advisor and other faculty in your major, you're more likely to get good recommendations for internships, assistantships or jobs. I graduated three years ago, and I can still contact my advisor and other professors for recommendations. When I apply to graduate school this fall, I will be relying on those professors for their support and good words. I decided that I would not stay in Psychology because it is so hard to find anything without a masters or PhD/PsyD. I was lucky to find the behavioral health counselor job that I have now. No matter what your major at Goucher College is, connect with your professors. The professors are generally very good quality, and they care a lot about students finding work and exploring their field of study. But they are not going to help you find those opportunities, mostly because Goucher professors (and mostly professors at small private liberal arts colleges) tend not to be well connected within the industry or academic community.
Goucher College has alumni groups around the country (and the world), but most Goucher graduates are not in the top tier positions that can help you land your foot in the door. I searched through the Goucher Alumni network to find that there are not as many graduates in high ranking positions as I thought. I did get in touch with some Psychology professors, but no one could really reach out with any jobs or connections to other jobs. Also, the opportunities to connect with professionals from Goucher College are very few mostly because not many people attended Goucher. It's not like the ivy leagues or larger state schools where graduates are eager to help out new graduates find work.
I mentioned earlier that I was looking for research assistantships. It's so difficult to find a research assistantship on campus or off campus. The research assistantships on campus fill up so quickly, and the options off campus are few and far between because you're competing with Johns Hopkins University students. You might try to find something at University of Maryland or Towson University. And like I said earlier, Goucher professors are not well connected enough in the academic community to help you get an internship or research assistantship with a professor at another university.
The academics at Goucher are very good. However, I have a major complaint about the Psychology department: the Psychology department cares more about how you feel than what you know. I feel like they know that you're not academic enough to talk about knowledge, so you have to go with the topic of feelings. If I could do it all over, then I would study something else like sciences, mathematics or computer science.
Well, that's my lengthy review of Goucher. I hope it was helpful. Goucher has some other great resources, and some of the graduates go on to great schools like Oxford, Georgetown, Columbia and other top tier schools. Goucher can offer as much as you put into it. But you have to be focused and have a specific career path in mind. Find as many internships as you can get your hands on, and get as much undergraduate experience in your field as you can.
| Starting Job: store clerk (retail), Preparedness: D+, Reputation: C- |
|Mar 25 2012|| Alumna Female --
Class 2000 |