The College of Charleston
The College of Charleston - Comments and Student Experiences|
The staff at the college treats you like you are just another number in line. Forget about getting anything done (doing paperwork, setting up financial aid, getting a hold of who you need to talk to, etc.) because when it comes to doing all the dirty work you are ALWAYS missing something with them. I can't even tell you how many times I had to go from class to office to home to office BACK home just to go back to the office to do one simple task. No one there seems to know what they are doing, or even who to talk to, to help you. Of my 2 years I spent there, I spent WAY WAY WAY to much time just trying to figure out basic information that any other basic college offers with a click of a mouse. They change their website so often that I feel like every other month I was remaking a user ID, or signing up for a new program they were trying out. It's very frustrating as as student to try and study and balance everything AND learn a new poorly made website every other month (half the time the logins wouldn't even work and you would have to call for help, but they didn't know what to do either!!)
Needless to say I went to a community college for 2 years before College of Charleston and I would recomend the community college WAAAAY over College of Charleston. I wish I could get the HUGE amount of money I spent on this CRAP of a college back!DO NOT ATTEND COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON. YOU WILL REGRET IT!
Some departments do not have an option to leave a voice message nor do they answer the phone. So email is the only means of communicating. That's fine except the senders are usually rude. My thing is this: if you're going to be rude, don't be a coward about it by hiding safely behind technology. They do not even address you by name or close the email properly. They just jump straight in with snippy angry comments. Of course, they never sign their name either and since you are emailing a department; i.e., financial aid, registrar, etc., there? no way of knowing who you are dealing with. I was all but told by an advisor that CofC was not for people like me (adult transfers who worked fulltime). So I was discouraged from the very beginning. Then, I was assigned a department advisor and she was very encouraging and told me that we could make things work for me, even if I was a non-traditional student. (So, not everyone has the same mentality, thank goodness!)
I am a native South Carolinian and have lived in Charleston for several years, although it is not home. In general, Charleston is very traditional (aka backwards thinking, prejudiced with a smile) and it took years for me to get use to how unwelcoming people are here once they realize you are not Charlestonian (trust me, they know you're not "one of them" after you speak two words). They call it "traditional and historical" but it is just another way of saying you don't belong (even other Southerners) if you are not from here. Well, CofC carries that same Charlestonian spirit. I even had a faculty member admit (before I even said my reason for leaving. Oh yeah, I can't wait to transfer for fall) that the college is not friendly to non-traditional students. There is so much opportunity for broadening the college's horizons and taking advantage of the adult transfer market by offering more evening and online courses. I realize the school wants to maintain its reputation as a traditional school; however, it is stupid when it does so by outright excluding certain groups. The "young people" may want to go to college with their own age group and I can totally understand them not wanting a campus full of 30 + year olds as their peers. But other colleges have a way of catering to all groups while still maintaining the youthfulness of a traditional setting. I think CofC needs to stop being snooty and get with the program. The "good ol boys" days are over!
Well I spent my full four years here. My first year was spent drunk or in the library. The second year I did in fact expand my horizons a bit and found myself doing cross country, dating hot women, and enjoying my classes a bit more. I studied abroad one semester, then finished a year and a half later here. In the last year I even met a few science professors that really did challenge me intellectually. In addtion, I did land an internship in microbiology at a school in NJ (near my home) one summer and found another professor that let me do research with him. Also, students were reasonably friendly, though many were extremely racist and closeminded. My father is Jewish and I once had a girl tell me the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves for not accepting Jesus as their savior. SERIOUSLY! Oh yeah, and be prepared to be publicly yelled at if your religion is anything other than Christian.
Professors were pretty good, especially in the humanities. I found my science professors (aside from one) to be aloof and only interested in research, but that's probably true at many schools. I had to struggle to get on a research project with one however; few professors here are open to having the students work with them on independent projects, which are a necessity for grad school/some jobs.
So what's the problem? The Colleges' ability to get you a job. The College is continually increasing its tuition (esp. out of state) at something like 14% a year. The career services are a joke, and virtually everyone that stays ends up working at a hotel front desk. If a student decides to leave SC they will find nobody has heard of this school and thinks it's on par with University of Phoenix/Devry. Tell an interviewer in the northeast you went to "College of Charleston" and theres a 99.8% chance nobody has heard of it. Also the school is very very slack about getting their students internships. I got one, but I had to struggle to get it, and it was ironically near my home in NJ, not in SC. To rub salt in the wound, I'm pretty sure the career fair had every branch of the military show up, to try to allay students of impending unemployment. I literally know of nobody in my class so far, that has gotten a solid, permanent job. My guess is virtually all will go back to school at some point, however to try to fix this (myself included)I really regret not going to Rutgers and saving some $$ and having a real career network upon graduation. Once the dust settles you realize there is nothing special about this school other than the campus location. Hot women can be found at any college campus, and the entire city's economy is based on bars. Alcoholism is a serious problem here, even among people over 30 (significantly worse than other college campuses). There's also a lot of crime (robbed twice, had a friend get shot) and homeless people. Moreover, the downtown has recently replaced every single movie theater and cool store with overpriced clothing venues. Charleston's a great place to vacation, but not to live, and most certainly not to go to school.
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