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

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD Faculty AccessibilityA+
Useful SchoolworkC Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationF
Individual ValueA University Resource UseF
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceC Social LifeD
Surrounding CityF Extra CurricularsF
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:
Self Absorbed

Lowest Rating
Creativity/ Innovation
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
He cares more about University Resource Use than the average student.
Date: Nov 20 2012
Major: Religion/Religious (This Major's Salary over time)
The college employs a four year "Great Books" program that includes the generally accepted classics of the western world. This program starts with the Greek philosophers and the Bible and progresses through the later commentators on these seminal works - both defenders and critics.

There are majors or electives. The teachers - called tutors - lead a group of students in a daily or twice weekly discussion of a section of one of these "Great Books". Different tutors bring different backgrounds, strengths and interests to their discussions, so the variability in value to an individual student is considerable. This wouldn't present a big problem except the final exams are uniform: all freshmen take the same math or lab final, for example, and the preparation may or may not have covered the same points of emphasis. This was very frustrating as was the

great subjective element in individual grading in such a loosely defined system. Syllabi, for example, included our required reading assignment but little information

about the signposts leading towards good grades. TAC purports to deemphasize grades but that didn't seem to help me - I graduated with a 3.0 but was always an active participant in class. Too bad that didn't

seem to help at the end of the semester. One of the natural defects of such a subjective grading system was that some students quickly earned the reputation as smart among the tutors and grading differences quickly arose. I have met graduates who claim they worked very little and

received 3.5 GPAs overall - I can't help but resent them. Please don't be fooled - grades matter to grad programs and my poor TAC performance caused me to change career direction to minimize the impact my low grades

would have. The truth is, I should have transferred to Occidental College or a similar school.

Also, the college is heavily oriented towards making the Catholic faith plausible to it's students. That is it's whole focus - there isn't a goal that is a close second. This produces a deplorable 'good guy' (supporter

of needed premise or positions that support Catholic doctrine) and 'bad guy' (critic of Catholic positions). This closed mindedness is absorbed early and well by the students and actually interferes with a genuine

liberal education. TAC is a four year advertisement for one understanding of the The One True Faith. If that seems interesting to a prospective student, he or she will not be disappointed.

It's math and laboratory curricula are antiquated: no semblance of modern biology is taught for example and the little modern math and physics present are very poorly understood by the students and inadequate for transfer or to meet graduate school admission requirements.

Oddly, frequent writing isn't part of the program although there is a final thesis required. I wish there had been some attempt to train us in writing a basic research paper which would have helped ease the transition to further schooling.

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