Gonzaga was portrayed to me as a sort of hidden gem by my high school advisor. She insisted that I'd receive an education on par with or better than any of the other colleges I was accepted to (which included Rose-Hulman University and other Universities with highly respected engineering programs) but I would enjoy the benefits of a smaller University community. My parents liked it because it was close, so they pushed hard too.
It didn't take long after starting my classes to realize that I had made a serious mistake. I had entered with enough AP credit to put me into classes with sophomores, so I expected to be challenged in my courses. This was not the case, however. Three semesters later, nothing has changed. My courses tend more toward vast amounts of low-level busywork than more meaningful, challenging problems. Classes move at a snail's pace. In one of my classes this semester, the first half of each class was spent reviewing the lecture of last class. In effect, we received every lecture twice.
When I first arrived, I signed up for the engineering department's mentor program. I was assigned a junior mentor who came to me and told me that unless I had any special reason to stay, I should go to a better University as soon as I could. Since then, I've come to realize why he told me that. One of the primary undergraduate computer engineering professors remains on sabbatical and another is retiring this year without a replacement in line. As such, my computer engineering classes are being taught not by professors, but by students who graduated only a few years ago from Gonzaga University. These classes now seem to cater to the lowest common denominator in the class, and most of us are left doing busywork every week.
In an attempt to expand my education, I joined several groups on campus: IEEE, ACM, and even SAE and ASME. My freshmen year I figured that they had all lost my e-mail address because I never received any information past the first meeting and the occasional announcement of a movie night. This year, though, I've realized that the groups don't actually do anything. You join to pad your resume, and that's the end of your involvement.
The students at this University are generally of two types: those who came here not for an education, but to party and enjoy the social life and basketball team, and those who came here for an education. People who fall into the latter group generally have broken spirits. Of course, there are those who enjoy the education here, but I've met only a handful of these students in the engineering department.In short, I'll agree with what my mentor told me from the start: Do not go here unless you have any special reason to. I am currently hard at work on transferring in an attempt to salvage my college education.