Centre College

Three Quick Questions with Centre College

For Three Quick Questions, I send the same three questions to admissions representatives at colleges all over the country (the subject line of the e-mail is “Three quick questions”), and then I hope to hear back from them. When I do, I’ll post them on Apply with Sanity. It’s that simple.

(See all the past Three Quick Questions posts here.)

The three questions are meant to probe some of the things that make a school unique but that aren’t easily captured as a stat to go in a book or web search.

Today’s response is from Lauren Samuelson, admissions counselor at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

What is a course, tradition, program or event that is unique to Centre College?

We have a top ranked study abroad program with semester long programs and a very popular “Centre Term”- our three week January term for study abroad. We send over 85% of our students abroad and close to 50% of students are traveling abroad more than once. Our semester long trips are the same cost as living on campus, the only thing students need to buy is a flight. This international emphasis is very important for our students and faculty members usually go alongside them, making study abroad programs a little more homier. One unique Centre term class we have had is called the “Art of Walking.” I took the class one January and we were based in Strasbourg, France. We hiked all over Europe for three weeks while reading philosophy books about learning from our surroundings. I still think about that class and what it taught me still today. We have 9 different locations for our semester long residential study abroad programs and typically about 14 different international locations for Centre term trips. We offer free passports to first year students if they don’t have one when they get to campus. We guarantee that students will have the opportunity to study abroad, do research or internship, and graduate in four years.

Naturally every college wants to recruit the perfect student--high grades, high test scores, involved in their community, leadership...everything. But what kinds of imperfect students tend to flourish at Centre?

Imperfect students who do well at Centre are ones that realize they do not know it all and are willing to learn from others. We have quite a bit of imperfect people here, but people who do best here are willing to learn from others around them. Our campus is very student centered and student run, so students who are willing to lead, even if they aren’t sure how, tend to do great on our campus. With our smaller class sizes and fully residential campus, our students spend a lot of time together so it’s important for students to be humble and remember how much they can learn from each other. Our classes are never larger than 30 and are quite discussion based, so most classes offer a chance for students to not only learn from professors, but from each other. In addition to normal campus activities and classes, another great time for our students to do this kind of growing is on our “Building Bridges Day” which happens in November. Students, faculty, and staff get together to learn to better understand the variety of voices and perspectives represented on our campus. We’re not looking for perfect people to join us at Centre, but we are looking for people who want to continue growing and investing in their next home base.

When people come to visit Centre, what's a place off campus that you recommend they check out while they're there?

Our downtown area right off campus is home to two of my favorite spots- the Hub coffeeshop, and the Grace Café. The Hub is a bright, warm coffee stop that is necessary on a trip to Centre. It has lots of fabulous coffee drinks and is home to our campus bookstore. Lots of professors hold discussions or office hours here so it’s always a nice spot to get to know while on campus. Grace Café is a pay as you can café just a few blocks off campus. Students and families can visit and have lunch here during a visit, but as a student at Centre you can volunteer here serving, cleaning dishes, or greeting guests. This café is a great benefit for anyone in the area dealing with food insecurity and is a great place for our Centre students to give back to the community. Also, all of the food is locally sourced and it is some of the very best food in town!

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Photo by Angela Elisabeth.