Norwich University - Comments and Student Experiences|
I would like to preface this review by stating that I began my education here at Norwich as a student of mechanical engineering. Therefore I cannot comment with a great degree of accuracy on the overall merit of educational opportunities outside of the limited scope of my major. Engineers here follow an extremely structured degree tract, as is likely a similar case at other institutions. However I will try my best to give readers a general sense of my perceptions regarding the quality of the non-technical electives I have taken, as well as more detailed comments on the vast array of math/science/engineering courses required to fill my specific degree requirements.
I will begin by discussing my experiences with technical introductory classes such as Calculus I, II, III, Chemistry I, II and Intro to Engineering I, II. I believe Norwich University has some truly talented professors handling these freshman-level courses. The instruction is precise, accessible and fair. Professors were always helpful and extremely kind. The chemistry department, in particular, is staffed by talented, professional and interesting people that convey a passionate interest of their field. The general concern for students' well-being I witnessed in these courses was truly second-to-none. Overall, in my experience Norwich offers beginning technical students an incredible value.
Moving on to my experiences in more advanced technical courses my perceptions are polar opposites to the overwhelmingly positive early experiences I have initially described; so much so that I find difficulty in even beginning to elaborate on what, exactly, fails so desperately in Norwich U's attempt to cobble together an undergraduate engineering education into a meaningful experience.
The most glaring observation I can extract from a mountain of dissapointments here is the incredibly apathetic to downright derogatory attitude instructors of upper-level classes hold toward the university, fellow faculty members and students. Many professors seem to hold little to no personal interest in their fields - conveying a strategy of only "going through the motions". Instructors here often seem annoyed by further inquisition from curious students seeking more information. Others have nothing whatsoever to offer these students as they cannot offer any further or alternate explanation of material other than what is printed within an assigned textbook.
I have personally witnessed tenured engineering professors here at Norwich publically humiliate inquisitive students. Other professors create an equally poor learning environment by adopting a more subtle "learn by fear" approach to education. Every, single day I attend courses here at Norwich I am entirely baffled as to how a group of such highly educated people at an institution devoted almost entirely to teaching can be so unhelpful. What seems even more ironic is that Norwich is marketed as a "leadership laboratory" to prospective students. From the faculty here, I have learned exactly what not to do in positions where I am called to provide leadership.
General elective courses I have taken at Norwich have been better than my experience with higher-level technical courses. However, this is mostly due to common respect and courtesy instructors seem to give students outside of said technical classes - rather than a particularly notable or inspiring educational experience offered. Overall, these classes seem remarkably average and could easily be compared to a senior-level high school class offering at nearly any public institution.
In conclusion I would not choose to attend Norwich University again. As a senior, I feel I have missed out on a significant amount of education and experience at this institution. As a soon-to-be graduate seeking to enter the professional world I feel that Norwich has given me a negative outlook regarding my current skills and potential to succeed. This is something that I find myself constantly working to correct.
I sincerely hope that prospective students will find this review to be helpful.