was drawn into IWU thanks to their great facilities. That's
one thing IWU has got going for them—they provide students
with great dorms and an awesome student center. Other than
that, there's not much beneath the surface.
At IWU, you're
forced to go to three chapel services a week. These
services are extremely shallow in content and offer very little
spiritual growth, partly because you're forced to go to them.
You're given six chapel skips. If you use your chapel
skips, you're looked down upon like a heathen, even if
it's for medical or family reasons.
The Pharisee-like nature
of IWU's chapel department is amazing. IWU makes strict rules
about not missing chapel and they are not afraid to
use their chapel services to guilt trip students who don't
do all the optional spiritual activities (even if you don't
have time to do them), use skip chapels, or who
complain about the chapel service content. An example of this—a
group of students complained about the lack of scripture in
the chapel services and requested the chapel department to provide
more scripture discussion in chapel services. The chapel authorities responded
by using a chapel service to justify how they were
correct in their actions and how these students were nothing
more than a lot of rebellious sinners. Again, this was
over a request to have more scripture in the chapel
services. As a result, the students hid away and
chapel stayed the same as it was.
Aside from chapel,
IWU's academics can be described as mediocre at best. I
was challenged more at my own high school than at
this college. Students were lazy and professors didn't really push
their students. Of course, this doesn't apply to all professors,
I had a handful of professors who were excellent and
provided me with far more spiritual insight than I got
from all four years of chapel ramble. I just personally
felt I could have been pushed more than I was.
For art majors, the art department, (I was an
illustration major), never really pushed their students to do better.
As a result, many students continued to paint/draw at high
school levels even though they were in their capstone classes.
The art department does have a sophomore mid-point review to
test if students are really worthy of their major, but
it's a joke. Even the students who didn't pass the
review still went with their major, even though their talent
suggested they do otherwise.
The art department also lacks
in a figure drawing class, which is a basic staple
of any art education. The reasons given for this is
due to the nudity involved in a figure drawing class.
Well, instead of thinking outside the box and having a
clothed figure drawing class, students have to draw from photographs,
which only limit their artistic ability.
department also does a horrific job of giving students an
idea of what to do after college. They require a
capstone class that will teach you how to make business
cards and a blog (as if making a blog is
hard), but other than that, you're left on your own.
As a result, many of my classmates have nowhere to
go and will most likely not use the major they
spent so much time and money on.
of the illustration major, the main downfall is the lack
of perspective. In my experience with the illustration department, one
perspective on how to approach illustration is preached without acknowledging
other approaches. For example, at IWU illustration is narrowed down
to realistic art—you can only draw by the rule of
thirds, use specific colors and you can't have a creative
style of your own. Other markets of illustration (like editorial
or advertising illustration) aren't acknowledged?though this is partly because there?s
only one professor who runs the department. It wasn't until
I went to grad school, with a larger illustration department,
that I realized that there are so many markets and
ways to approach illustration. (For example, not every illustrator believes
you have to always use photo references! *le gasp*)
as I?ve made a crazy long review, I?ll end it
here. In all, my experience with IWU was not a
very good one. To me it was like experiencing a
way worse version of my high school all over again.
Of course, that said, I know people who loved IWU.
In all, it?s up to your opinion and preferences. I
highly suggest to those looking for a college that you
find a place that you can respect because it provides
you with opportunities and challenges that can help you grow.
Look through as many colleges as you can before you
make a decision. You?re going to spend a lot of
time and money on whenever you go, so find a
place that won?t make you want to punch someone every
time you think about it.