of these characterizations of UNCA are accurate, and some aren?t.
First of all, it is indeed a VERY liberal school
?right up there with the mother ship in Chapel Hill.
That said, conservative students (all five of them) are tolerated,
if not embraced.
The facilities are surprisingly first-rate
for a small school. For example, the biology department has
an electron microscope ? most unusual for such a small
campus. Public access computers are all over the place.
Academics are top-rate, make no mistake about that. I
know a girl who did very well on her SATs
in a college-prep curriculum and was rejected by UNCA.
It seems like the admissions standards get tougher every year.
Enrollment has expanded comparatively little over the years compared
to WCU and ASU.
That said, I saw a number
of bright kids so consumed with social activism that their
academics suffered (shades of UC Berkeley in the 60s).
a school with such a supposed free spirit reputation, I
found the professors quite regimented. Every course I took had
a syllabus and every instructor stuck to it religiously. We
knew exactly what was expected of us from one class
to the next. Still, the professors are very caring
and generous with their time. I consider myself quite bright
and hardworking, but it was a challenge to maintain good
grades there. They?ll definitely push you.
There is a certain
amount of hypocrisy, however. Despite all the talk of
?diversity?, UNCA is as white as the driven snow. I?m
almost certain UNCA is the least diverse campus in the
UNC system. In fairness however, there are few people
of color in the mountain region of NC, so it
might be difficult to recruit minorities to attend college so
far from home.
Through my studies at UNCA,
I learned how to speak, understand, read, and write Spanish.
I also learned a great deal about the history,
geography, and culture of Spain and Latin America. Some might
say, ?Well, duh! Doesn?t everybody who majors in Spanish everywhere
learn that?? Based on my interaction with people with Spanish
degrees from other colleges, my answer is ?No.?
among the 74% majority who would definitely attend UNCA again.