College in site: Kalamazoo

A relatively small higher education institution of 1,400 students, situated in Michigan, Kalamazoo College boasts of a liberal arts education that prepares students for virtually anything.

One of the college’s professors of Anthropology, Kiran Cunningham, is a Woodstock alumna and was present on campus to talk about her experience earlier this week.

“The smallness of it is nice,” she said; this, in turn, is what makes the college so similar to Woodstock.

Furthermore, when asked about the scholarship system, particularly merit-based, she said that the school looks for students who are “fit for the college,” not just academic stars who have high standardized test scores or grade point averages.

Having an “open curriculum,” as described by Dr. Cunningham, the college harbors bright minds from across the world, exposing them to a globalized world by urging them to pursue courses abroad during their education.

This diversity is an aspect that most Woodstock students are already familiar with.

Furthermore, this attitude of grappling with diversity and views different from one’s own is a factor that the university greatly looks for while admitting applicants.

On an average, the college grants between “$20,000 and $30,000” annually to recipients of the merit-based award; there is no application needed, as everyone who applies to the college is considered as an applicant for scholarships.

The institution is also test-optional, not requiring standardized tests such as the SAT or the ACT for admission.

One of the main factors that contribute to the school’s claim in preparing students for “anything” is its distinct “K-Plan … a four-part, integrated approach to an excellent education in the liberal arts and sciences,” according to the school’s website.

This curriculum consists of a concentration each year of college: the first year is titled “Rigorous Academics,” where the student “will shape [their] major and all other classes with guidance from faculty and other members.” The second year is based off internships and real work experience that the student should pursue; the third year is entitled “Study Abroad,” where the student can “choose from 45 programs in 22 countries.” Finally, in the fourth year, every student is mandated to do research, culminating in a “graduate-level thesis, performance or creative work.”

For engineering aspirants, Kalamazoo offers a special program where one can take courses for three years at the college and then transfer to the University of Michigan for two years, graduating with a master’s degree in engineering.

Dr. Cunningham said that “coming from Woodstock would be a super plus.”


Photo by Dhrubhagat Singh

Edited by Aarti Malhotra

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