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College News - October 2012

Coming up!

See details under Campus Events

  • NASA scientist on campus next month to discuss Mars Rover landing
  • New! Power of Women Leadership Series starts in January
  • 'Silent Heroes' at Samuels Theatre
  • Art therapist addresses veterans' issues

Strategic Plan On Track

Now entering year three of implementation, Cedar Crest is making strong progress with the 22 initiatives in the Strategic Plan. Some highlights:

  • Art Therapy–The new bachelor's degree has 33 enrollees and planning is under way for a master's degree.
  • First Year Experience–Students have responded warmly to this award-winning new program designed to help them develop personally as well as academically.
  • Global Studies–The new major is growing, and study-abroad opportunities are being expanded to Sweden, Germany, Australia, Korea, Guyana and other locations. In 2012-13, 40 or more students will study abroad.
  • Living Learning Communities–The College now has three vibrant communities themed around art, social justice and the environment.
  • New Media–With added faculty and the Media Convergence Lab, students in this new major are getting a first-rate grounding in tomorrow's technologies.
  • SAGE–The School of Adult and Graduate Studies has a record enrollment of nearly 1,200 and has won a major federal grant.
  • Women's Leadership Institute–Plans are under way for an undergraduate leadership certificate and executive leadership academy for early to mid-level career women.

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Cedar Crest Highly Ranked by U.S. News

For the second straight year, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Cedar Crest one of the "best values" among liberal arts colleges in its region, and a "top regional college." Cedar Crest ranked #6 for value and #16 in the regional college category–and in the top 26 percentof these colleges overall.

Cedar Crest distinguished itself most in percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students (76 percent) and low student/faculty ratio (10/1), both of which help ensure individualized attention. The report did indicate that many Cedar Crest students incur debt in pursuit of their education. A high percentage come from working-class families and communities, and such students typically can't attend college without student loans.

"Cedar Crest...is part of the proud working-class tradition of the Lehigh Valley, and we are happy to draw a large percentage of first-generation college students from the local area," says President Carmen Twillie Ambar. "While some do incur debt, our 'best value' ranking indicates that their investment pays off." She adds that 98 percent of Cedar Crest students receive some form of financial aid.

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An Impressive Class of 2016

Enrollment for 2016 is up 30 percent over the previous year, and the incoming class GPA is up 12 percent. The top three states students hail from are Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, but the class includes members from as far afield as Korea and Germany. The most often-mentioned majors are nursing, chemistry/forensic science, education and psychology.

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Creative Writing MFA Makes a Splash

Cedar Crest's new Pan-European Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, launched this summer, features a faculty of internationally known authors. One of them–adjunct faculty member Dinaw Mengestu–has just earned a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. Mengestu's recognized work, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008), depicts the stories of immigrants escaping the violence of their African homelands and remaking their lives in urban America. The MacArthur grants confer national prestige along with $500,000 to support recipients' work.

The MFA program links the craft of writing to the creative energy of place, bringing students and teachers together in inspirational cities like Dublin, Barcelona and Vienna. Students attend three 15-day summer residencies, and work in distance-learning mentorships between residencies. For more on the program, visit mfa.cedarcrest.edu.

On-Site M.S.N. Offered at Reading

Reading Hospital and Medical Center has chosen Cedar Crest to deliver an accredited master of science in nursing program to its nurses. Launched in August, the onsite program–identical in content and faculty to the campus version–can be completed in two years. Besides nurses at Reading Hospital, the program also is open to nurses working in the surrounding area, which is experiencing major growth in health needs.

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SAGE Business Program Available All-Online

To make it as convenient as possible for adult students, the School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE) now offers many business degrees and certificates that can be completed entirely online. Of course, SAGE students can take all or some of their courses on campus or in hybrid form during evenings and weekends, typically in an accelerated format. They may also take courses during the daytime in a traditional classroom format.

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