For students seeking a laid-back and friendly, but intellectually challenging and content rich college experience, Elmira College (EC) is the school they are looking for. Located in a small city in the south central area of New York State, this college has a tradition of scholarship and egalitarianism that will be attractive to many students seeking a quality small private college to attend.
The school was founded in 1855 and was the first college in the U.S. to offer bachelor’s degrees to women that were equivalent to the bachelor’s degrees given to men at that time. The college began offering degree programs to men after World War II and became a co-ed institution in 1969. The college offers about 35 majors, which allow students to earn either a B.S. or a B.A. degree. The college also offers master’s degree programs in education-related fields and business management. The college is known for its education and business programs, and those two majors, along with psychology, are the most popular fields of study on campus. Some of the colleges other programs may suffer from lack of resources because of the school’s small size.
The school’s small size can be beneficial in other ways, however. Class sizes are typically 20 students or fewer. Students also get a lot of one-on-one interaction with faculty that they wouldn’t get at other schools and the faculty advisement program is strong.
EC is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which has been around for 100 years and accredits schools in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The association accredits both high schools and universities.
Elmira College is unique in that it offers a special six-week term in April and May each year. The courses taken during this mini-semester are usually not required courses for the major, but instead are courses aimed at educational enrichment. Many of these courses are study-abroad programs. One study abroad program allows education students to teach in England or the Bahamas during the spring term. The educators are very well-trained and sought after by schools looking for dedicated education professionals. Public service is a key part of the college’s ethos. Students are required to complete career-related internships and perform community service. The students have contributed more than 300,000 hours of community service over 25 years, according to some estimates.
EC has a very extensive library for a college of its size. The Gannett-Tripp Library has more than 389,000 books and 855 periodicals, along with numerous computers for research and study use. This school is very well-regarded, being ranked the No. 6 regional college in the north by U.S. News and World Report. The publication also gives the school very high marks for the value of education it provides compared to its tuition price. The Princeton Review also has good things to say about this college, ranking it as one of the 212 best colleges and universities in the northeast.