StudentsReview :: Thomas Aquinas College - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Thomas Aquinas College

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA- Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkB- Excess CompetitionB+
Academic SuccessA- Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueA University Resource UseB+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessB+
Campus MaintenanceA Social LifeD
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsD
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Afraid, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Social Life
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
She cares more about Social Life than the average student.
Date: Mar 21 2007
Major: Other (This Major's Salary over time)
Thomas Aquinas College is a 4 year liberal arts college offering a curriculum centered around the Great Books. All the students take the same course of studies, an integrated curriculum consisting of theology, science, mathematics, philosophy, literature, history, etc.

The classes are small, usually made up of 11 - 19 students directed by a "tutor" who controls the discussion. The classes are seminar type settings rather than lectures. There are no majors, minors, or electives. Every student does the same sequence of studies and at the end each receives the same degree - a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.

The workload is very heavy as it's a very rigorous curriculum. It's a challenging, and unique academic experience—one that is testing, draining,

But the downside?

For people who want the "college experience", TAC is not the right place for you. Dress codes, curfews, and stringent rules destroy the atmosphere quite a bit. TAC is a very catholic place, and whilst religion is not forced upon you and you don't have to be catholic to attend, it is a VERY catholic and conservative atmosphere. This of course affects what kind of place that it is. The student body consists of a lot of homeschoolers and people from large families. I'd estimate under 10 of the student body ISN'T catholic, myself included. Everyone tends to be very like-minded in their thinking and beliefs, so if you're looking for a diverse campus culture, this is not the place for you either. It is a very small college, numbering about 350 students, which is both a positive and negative thing. Positive in that you get to know all your classmates and tutor really well, and many find smaller classes to be beneficial to their learning experience. The size makes it negative due to the fact you're really stuck with the same people for 4 years which almost feels like you're in high school rather than university! The size also makes the dating scene difficult, because if you break up it's difficult to avoid them and there's not a lot of "selection".

The social life was probably the worst part about TAC. Being so small, there was very few clubs or groups to get involved in. It is a very sheltered environment, partly due to being very isolated. The campus aesthetically speaking is absolutely beautiful, being situated in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Paula in Southern California. Being in this unique location provides opportunities for bushwalking and hiking. The school organises certain events for students, such as guest speakers, excursions to nearby towns for museums and plays, plays to get involved in, dances etc. but overall the social life is very bland and not very exciting. There is a not a whole lot that goes on at the campus which can make it a dull experience. And since everything is so strict, it's sometimes difficult to enjoy your time there and "feel at home" It's not a laid-back kind of atmosphere which is kinda how I imagined college to be - there's not a lot of freedoms or privileges granted. For example, no TVs are allowed in dorms so everything is very regulated and kept under control. Another thing is the school seems very centered on academics to the point where the overall college/social experience is compromised - even out of class students talk about school work a lot of the time. I transferred after a year because I didn't feel I was getting a lot out of it, and I was wondering where it would possibly take me. Of course, getting a job shouldn't be the most important factor in choosing your college education. But realize that at TAC, whilst a highly academic and rich learning experience in many ways, it is also very rigid and narrow and in many ways limiting. You don't get to see "the full picture" or be exposed to all kinds of thinking, beliefs, etc. so it is definitley not for everyone.

I recommend you attend the High School Program first to see if TAC is for you. Many people would find attending TAC a very worthwhile and rewarding experience. But like anything, make sure it's the right one for you.

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