Some people schedule elaborate vacation road trips for summer and I like to do the same – only with a college counseling twist. That’s right, readers – the arrival of June brought with it the Indiana independent colleges tours and found me on a bus traversing the state with eighty other counselors in search of great schools to recommend to our students.
The first stop brought us to Indiana Wesleyan University, an evangelical Christian college of approximately 3,000 undergraduate students that has long been in the business of creating world changers. With over 80 majors for students to choose from and an educational system built on the idea of not only coaching students academically, but on coaching them for all facets of their adult lives, the university is certainly structured to do just that.
In fact, IWU’s focus on whole-student education begins at the moment of application when all students take the Strengths Finder assessment and receive their finished report – whether they enroll in the university or not. (Having completed a Strengths Finder assessment myself recently, I can attest that the results are worth a read for anyone and provide real insight into how you approach both your work and your life. Thus any IWU applicant can find tremendous value in these results no matter which direction they head.)
Armed with their five intrinsic strengths after submitting their applications, students who enroll at IWU can pursue a long list of careers – though with the University’s focus on the education of the whole person to create world-changers, understandably service-based options are the most popular. At the top of the list is nursing. (One in six IWU students are part of the nursing program because, though it isn’t direct-admit and requires freshmen to meet minimum academic requirements when they apply to join in sophomore year, there are no caps on how many students can participate so everyone who qualifies is in.)
IWU also continues to expand and improve its overall program offerings, both academically and within student life. New programs in music therapy and art therapy will soon emerge in their classrooms and a football program will join the other 16 NAIA sports already available. (Ladies’ tennis was declared the 2016 NCCAA National Champion this spring so the IWU student athletes aren’t messing around.)
For those students of the equestrian persuasion, it’s worth noting that IWU is a school that proves the rule that a college doesn’t have to have a formal equestrian team or club to allow (and encourage) students to pursue their interests in all things equine. This was perfectly demonstrated as our tour wound through the science building and I spotted the equine research project pictured at left. Clearly someone had strong interest in incorporating their interest in horses into their area of academic study and the university supported their endeavor. (Want to know more about the sciences at IWU? Visit iwuscience.com.)