It’s been a while since we’ve had a 50 States, 50 Colleges entry! Things have been busy in the Guidance office with midterms, more college applications, and planning for course selection. And we can’t forget all those snow days…as I write this, it’s 5 degrees in Lowell (with a wind chill of -6). Now seems like a good time to think about college in a warmer setting!
College in the Spotlight: Warren Wilson College
Location: Asheville, NC
Enrollment: approximately 900 students
Warren Wilson is not your typical college. Its renowned Triad Program combines academics, work, and community service. The philosophy behind the program is that there’s so much more to an education than sitting in a classroom or library. The work and service components compliment the academic foundation by getting students out in the field (sometimes literally…more on that in the next paragraph) to experience things and explore their passions.
Let’s talk about that “work” requirement. As one of the seven “Work Colleges” in the U.S., students spend 15 hours per week on an assigned “crew”, all that help maintain and operate the school. Know that these are not your run of the mil jobs. Sure, you can find work in Admissions or in the Finance office, but you can also request some pretty interesting assignments (not that admissions or finance isn’t interesting!). The Archeology Crew curates the college’s collection of artifacts and manages the school’s archeology site. The Blacksmith Crew makes tools that are used on campus, and perform demonstrations for the community. The Forestry Crew manages the college’s 650-acre forest. Imagine what this adds to a resume! The work program compensates students $3,480 per year, helping to offset the cost of tuition.
As you might imagine, Warren Wilson students have some pretty unique study abroad options to pick from. Semester and year programs are available in China, Finland, and Mexico (to name a few). Some courses run at the college but have a travel component. Upcoming destinations include Alaska (to study cultural history as it relates to environmental issues), Armenia (students will study the country’s emerging adventure tourism industry), and Puebla, Mexico (to work with community members on various service projects).
The farm at Warren Wilson College was ranked the #1 College farm, so it’s no surprise that the cafeteria focuses on a farm to table menu. The farm’s beef, pork, and eggs are served there, along with vegetables sourced from the college garden. In fact, 20% of what is served comes from what is grown (or raised) on the campus.
Asheville, NC has been named on of the “Hippest Hangouts” by USA Today, and the trendy downtown area is only 10 minutes from campus (and students can ride the city bus for free if they need help getting there!). The artsy downtown boasts more than 40 galleries and many music clubs and halls. Asheville is nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, which offers plenty of opportunity for tons of outdoor activities. Skiing, paddling, hiking, mountain biking, and climbing are all just minutes from campus!
For more information on Warren Wilson College, click here.